There’s a good chance you’ve heard him before. But these days, Nacho Cano is making music as Harmless, and his single “As I Lay Chillin” proves he’s come a long way. Before landing on Harmless, he released music under two different names; the most notable alias being Twin Cabins, a moniker he adopted in hopes of confessing to a girl he had a crush on. The time was short-lived, but the song found new life when the song “Swing Lynn” got attention on TikTok and generated millions of streams. But while “Swing Lynn” is more overtly indie and deals in hopeless romantic musings, “As I Lay Chillin” is a dream pop track that shows just how long Cano has come and how much he still has to offer to the world.
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Despite the heavy subject matter, the production is much more cheery, sounding like something straight out of a coming-of-age soundtrack. The glossy guitar and glazed-in honey harmonies are what drive the song forward, while Cano candidly speaks about being stuck in your body. Though it reads as if he’s trying to overcome alienation or a case of imposter syndrome, the dreamy feel of the song suggests there’s more of a drive to move forward from the past and beyond being pigeonholed in the same box (or body in this case) for years on end.
“As I Lay Chillin” is not specifically about the success of “Swing Lynn,” nor does it seem to be centered around a teenage daydream filled with adolescent angst. Cano wrote the track after a near-death experience with a drunk driver, an incident that injured him so severely he had to relearn how to walk.
“I’m trying to communicate with my younger self that in the last ten years, the fight against the barriers around us has gotten harder,” said Cano. “Despite doing everything we can, as immigrants, we still don’t feel good enough for this country or the music industry at large.” But if his newest song proves anything, it’s that Cano is clearly good enough to warrant a wider following of fans eagerly anticipating what new music he has in store.
Words: David Sosa
“As I Lay Chillin” by Harmless is out on all streaming services. For more on future Harmless music and live shows, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.