“Life Guarding” is based around water metaphors, both in the track’s lyrics and in its visuals. Its music video is a film and collage by Tillmans, edited by Michael Amstad, that explores shifts its lens “between micro and macrocosms, collages of body parts, fruit and insects, we find him equally paying attention to the waves of the Atlantic Ocean as well as to the ‘same’ water in the form of drops, evaporating on a hot kitchen plate”, a press release reads.
Though Tillmans is a renowned photographer and artist, he is no stranger to music. He has released a handful of EPs since 2016 under his own name and with the group Fragile, and in 2018 worked with UK experimental producer Powell on the Spoken by the Other EP. Most notably, his track “Device Control” bookended Frank Ocean’s 2016 visual album Endless.
“Life Guarding” was written by Tillmans with collaborators Tim Knapp and Jay Pluck in early 2019 at Trixx Studios in Berlin, and later produced with Tim Knapp and Bruno Breitzke. The track is part of a double A-side 12”, alongside the track “Growing”, and is also the first glance at an upcoming album by Tillmans.