5 Songs I Love w/ Chillhum
Chillhum is back with his latest genre-bending track 'Dancing (Alone)' and to celebrate he has shared 5 songs that have inspired his musical journey.
Flake - Jack Johnson
This is a song that really resonates with me for several reasons. Firstly Jack Johnson’s music was a big part of my youth and he was a huge inspiration for me to start playing the guitar. His writing both in terms of lyrics and in terms of melodic content on guitar/vocals was hugely inspiring for me when I first began making my own music and it still inspires me now (it definitely comes through in some of my writing/guitar playing IMO). This song is particularly awesome to me because of the dramatic change in energy that occurs at 3:17. I love songs with big changes in energy/dynamics like this (which definitely is something prevalent in my own music) and the way he does it using so few elements is really really cool to me. I also love the lyrical content on this one - so relatable and meaningful without being too direct and the vocal melody is awesome. Finally, I love the production as well even though it is really simple - the snare is so classic and I love the way the guitar mixes with the steel drum sound. I also love how the guitar tone changes/how those new guitar layers are added when he switches it up at 3:17, and the vocals throughout are mixed really nicely IMO.
Don’t Push - Sublime
This is one of my all time favorite songs, of course performed by my favorite vocalist. There is something about the attitude and emotion in Bradley Nowell’s vocal performances that has always resonated with me in a whole different way. His voice is truly one of a kind and he used it expertly in ways that allowed him to sound anywhere from beautifully soft and sweet to strong and aggressive depending on the context. Additionally, I love the guitar riff and tone that the song starts on - songs with riff-based guitar sections are a definite soft spot for me (I was sad I couldn’t fit ‘six’ by 311 in this list) and this riff has an attitude and groove that matches the vocal so well I love it. The drums and bass are also amazing on this song - and on all sublime songs for that matter. The chemistry between Eric and Bud is just so obvious and it makes all of their tracks bounce in such a unique and specific way which I think is a giant part of their signature sound. Finally, I just love the mixture of genres here - every element is kind of falling somewhere in between different genres in a way that has always captivated me. Sublime was a huge early musical inspiration for me and I think that definitely can be apparent in my music now - especially in certain songs.
Home - Medasin
After high school, my friend introduced me to electronic music for the first time and I dove deep into it - in particular bass music. I was quite into dubstep/freeform/experimental bass music and for about a year that was pretty much all I was listening to/wanting to make. When I moved to LA to attend Icon Collective I had two close friends show me ‘Home’ by Medasin on separate occasions and I wasn’t sure about it at first, but it ended up being one of the first chill/melodic electronic songs that was able to really draw me in. After I got into this song I got really into more melodically driven electronic music (including Louis the Child, Pluko, Flume, Robotaki, Sebastian Paul etc.) and quickly decided that was more of the direction I wanted to go with my own stuff. The vocal chop, the synths, the bass, the drums, the foley; everything in this one is soooo enjoyable for me to listen to and the energy is just so infectious that I definitely look at this as a big influence on my own musical direction.
Together We’re Screwed - Robotaki
This one is special to me because it was one of the first electronic songs I heard that used acoustic guitar in a really significant way and I loved how it worked in this context. Nevve is also one of my absolute favorite vocalists so to have her voice/writing on top just puts it that extra step above for me. I love the way this is mixed, the production, the drums, and especially the way he transitions the soft guitar and vocally driven intro/verses to such a full electronic drop. This one has always inspired me a lot and in my opinion is such a cool, forward-thinking, and unique idea.
Habit - Still Woozy
Still Woozy has been my latest musical obsession/inspiration. His stuff is so amazingly creative and unique; I truly can’t get enough of it. This was the first song I heard of his and it had me hooked immediately. The guitar has such cool processing and the progression it establishes sets such an awesome vibe. The production on his stuff is so cool as well - the bass, synths, and drums work together in an amazing way which makes it always satisfying to listen to. He also makes so many great little moments throughout the song and makes the most of every production decision which I feel like I have been learning a lot from as I listen. And of course, his voice, lyrics, and melody writing are all truly next level to me. It all feels so honest and comes together so well for me and I feel like it allows him to make more of a personal connection with listeners than many modern pop artists who have big teams of people all working on one song. His music also led me to the discovery of some of my other current favorite artists like Omar Apollo and Remi Wolf so I am definitely thankful for that as well.
Make sure to listen to Chillhum's latest track, 'Dancing (Alone) ', below: