Sean Listro reaches for the stars, Urban Village take pride, Magon does double-time, Panaviscope play it smart and more in today’s submissions from Groover, a platform that connects artists with critics like me for a small fee. You can (and should) subscribe to my Tinnitist Top 100 playlist HERE, or you can listen to it via the widget at the lower right of every page on this site. If you want to be in an upcoming playlist, click the link just below the widget or go HERE. But first, get out your passport and get ready to go global with today’s international lineup:
Sean Listro | Lonely Star
HOME BASE: Canada.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto alt-rocker Sean Listro has an uncanny ability to draw the listener in with his moving, operatic voice — drawing comparisons to Matt Bellamy of Muse. A song from Listro takes the audience through a whirlwind of soundscapes. Each track is a pocket dimension of Listro’s choosing, featuring dizzying guitar hooks, enchanting piano, and staccato drum fills. Though he is relatively new to the scene, Listro commands his craft like an artist produced to churn out stadium anthems. From his time exploring electronic beats, the theories of music production, and acoustic/explosive guitar riffs, to discovering his craft as a solo artist and recording his first original song Lonely Star, Listro has learned to create songs that stick in his listener’s minds. Atmosphere is everything to Listro and it is heard as he masterfully layers instrument after instrument that boils into groundbreaking crescendos. His sound is influenced by his heroes, artists most notable for their experimental sounds, such as Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails and Hans Zimmer. Listro’s wall of sound approach also melds together a dark, yet energizing spirit.”
MY TWO CENTS: An ambitious, arena-sized hit of soaring Can-Rock grandeur.
Urban Village | Dindi
HOME BASE: South Africa.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Soweto’s Urban Village recently released their first album Udondolo. Feet in the tradition, head in the future, the four musicians of the band Urban Village get their inspiration from the rich musical heritage of South African soil. A totally original synthesis of Zulu guitar, indie-folk, maskandi, South African choirs and jazz — all carried along by an undoubtable energy and charisma — their powerful sound is steeped in the cultural consciousness of yesteryear, including the famous “ubuntu (common humanity)” and Pan Africanism. Their album was recorded at home with the energy of live music and patiently polished in the studio by Frédéric Soulard. They say: “Dindi is about Black Pride, pride in your skin colour, your blackness.”
MY TWO CENTS: Creating unity through the universal language of music.
Magon | Hour After Hour
HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Indie Pop-Rock.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Paris psych-rock singer, songwriter and producer Magon released his album Out in the Dark back in 2019. On his brand-new sophomore album Hour After Hour, the French-Israeli artist appears as a modern poet, a witness to the passage of time, with psychedelic ballads and garage bangers, somewhere between Ty Segall, Allah-Las and The Velvet Underground.
MY TWO CENTS: He’s definitely the man of the hour. Keep an eye on him.
Panaviscope | The Last Smart Person On Earth
HOME BASE: Switzerland.
GENRE: Psychedelic Synth-Pop.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Panaviscope is a one-man band led by Alex, who composes, plays of all the instruments and sings. He released his debut album Like The Sun. The Last Smart Person On Earth is a track which passes through a variety of musical universes, from French House to the ’90s, from ’70s psychedelic rock to future bass.
MY TWO CENTS: A mind-expanding blend of sounds, styles and sonics.
Filpo | Endorphine
HOME BASE: Canada.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Filpo is a new Franco indie project. And the chemistry works! Heavy and groovy, their brand of rock navigates the airy and vaporous confines of dreams and human consciousness as they deliver personal and open-minded songs in which vintage tones plunge unrestrainedly into the confines of the present. With Endorphine, Filpo unveil a darker cut from the album Printemps, to be released in April. For the occasion, the band take an introspective look at human consciousness, at the feeling that there is always something preventing us from moving forward, from existing, and that manifests itself through extreme fluctuations in the brain. Like the character’s delirium and momentary psychosis, the band take us by surprise halfway through, while the rhythm, supported by the guitar and bass riffs and keyboard notes, creates a chaotic whirlwind. If they take us completely elsewhere with this good dose of raw energy, the band prove that they still have a lot to offer for the rest of the project.”
MY TWO CENTS: It hits the sweet spot between soothing and sinister.
Moodssupply | Hot For You
HOME BASE: France.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Moodssupply are a Dutch studio experience extravaganza, using musicians from all over the world to craft songs. Through soul, funk & disco influences, Moodssupply get constantly inspired. If it has groove, they dig it. What’s cooking? Their latest signature dish Hot For You. “We took some sweet classic soul, added spicy funk vibes, a touch of fine jazzy keys and sprinkled it with sultry tongue in cheek lyrics to give it that extra lovely retro taste. Although the guitar was soaked in too much wine, it nicely balances the flavors. Served well with moods such as Dinner with Friends, Groovy Sundays and Happy Vibes.”
MY TWO CENTS: Great tastes that taste great together.
Northern Quarter | Rocky Mountain Song
HOME BASE: Canada.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Northern Quarter hail from the charming Albertan mountain town of Canmore. The indie-pop group formed in 2017, and their varied influences have created a genre-spanning band with songs ranging from indie-folk to jazzy lounge vibes. Centrepiece to this line up is vocalist Kerry Hunter. The Fort McMurray singer and lyricist weaves beautiful imagery with fascinating, sometimes stark tales about her own life. Carlos Nadeau’s guitar skills are also all over every single song. Backing all this up are Wendy Crewe on bass and Dave Crewe on drums and samples. 2020 has been a challenging year, but the band has gone from strength to strength, the pinnacle of which was winning the YYC Music Group Of The Year award, a humbling and unexpected achievement. Their upcoming album features a number of interesting collaborations, most notably Tim Newton from Shred Kelly, who plays banjo on Rocky Mountain Song.”
MY TWO CENTS: Pop goes the roots.
Minihi | Lost Takeno
HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Minihi are the creative outlet of percussionists and composers Zands and Louise Anna Duggan. Louise is the percussionist for Agnes Obel and Zands plays with Melt Yourself Down. Between them they have worked with artists and ensembles ranging from the Royal Philharmonic to Lady Gaga, and worked on Thom Yorke’s Grammy-nominated album Anima with the London Contemporary Orchestra. Together, they create a uniquely take on contemporary instrumental music by blending mallets, piano and bell-like textures with earthy drums and bubbling synths. Lost Takeno is their newest track. Cinematic and moody yet uplifting, this track was inspired by a trip to a deserted fishing town in rural Japan. A storm was brewing, birds of prey were circling overhead and the window shutters were closed. It features an old celeste, hammered dulcimer and a piano with vintage synths and earthy percussion that has been treated to create a chilled electro groove.”
MY TWO CENTS: A soundtrack in search of a movie.
Boorook | Looking Through The Rainbow
HOME BASE: Australia.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Boorook’s cross-cultural style creates positive change and an entire revolution of sound. Drawing from his ancestor’s heritage traced to the roots of the Kirrae Whurrung tribe of southwest Victoria, Australia, Boorook is creating powerfully sensory music designed with true culture and craft. With a spectacular crossover style of his own infused with indigenous rap, R&B, and soulful pop/electro hooks sparkling from the lefts to the rights, Boorook’s immaculately uplifting vibes are a reflection of his altruistic intentions of creating positive music for the greater good of us all. Boorook returned at the very start of 2021 with a brand-new album called Positive Change. “Looking Through The Rainbow is a song I wrote about a traditional ceremony that my ancestors would have during a full moon. A smoke signal would send a message to the tribes of the western district , which would indicate that it was time to start moving towards the location which is a ancient volcano in my area. The ceremony would begin with song dance, feast and over the next few days it would lead into over elements of great importance for my cultural ancestors. I hope to share the message of positive vibes within my music to create peace & unity to the many different nations of the world.”
MY TWO CENTS: Music for the mind, body, soul and spirit.
Octale | The Horseman
HOME BASE: Belgium.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Octale are a rising metal band formed of two brothers and a female voice. Heavy, progressive and innovative, they like bringing unusual sonorities to the genre, including Asian touches.”
MY TWO CENTS: A galloping, epic ride through a darkly compelling metallic landscape.
Jaj & The Family Hope | Nourris-Moi
HOME BASE: France.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Jaj & The Family Hope present their next single, Nourris-Moi (Noutish Me). Following the success of their last single In The Shadow Of Myself, Jaj & The Family Hope are back in force with Nourris-Moi, a romantic ballad on the theme of loving memories. It expresses the need to feed on the feelings, the energies which surround a relationship. It talks about the importance of the moments and memories created, both to build up, to rebuild when everything stops, and thus to be able to start again.
MY TWO CENTS: Touching sincerity delivered with lush grace.
Apache Rose | Easy
HOME BASE: Russia.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Apache Rose are up-and-coming band from Moscow, Russia, that epitomize a part of a new underground rock scene in the country: Fresh, energetic and (most importantly) English-speaking on a fluent level. But unlike local peers, they aim primarily at English-speaking countries. And they have been successful with that. They have already built a substantial following in the U.S., U.K. and Europe, mostly on Facebook.”
MY TWO CENTS: From the ’90s, with a funk-rock vibe.
Mark Houston | Open Up The Pages
HOME BASE: United States.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Mark Houston is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in Spokane. Recorded throughout 2020 and set for release in 2021, his debut album blends thoughtful storytelling with guitar-driven melodies and organic soundscapes. Open up the Pages is a dynamic and energetic alternative/folk/rock track centered around layered guitars, harmony-lead vocals and a driving drum beat. Originating out of personal struggles with complacency, Open up the Pages acts as a call to action, encouraging the listener to revive their passions. “For me, the process of writing this song was a wake-up call; It was a realization that I had unknowingly put my dreams on hold, and that I needed to readjust my focus and rediscover them. This release fittingly marks my return to music, and my hope is that this track will inspire others to join me by reembarking on their own journeys as well.”
MY TWO CENTS: And endearing, yet compelling tale that pulls you along.
Andreïa | Invierno
HOME BASE: Colombia.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Andrea Gomez, aka Andreïa, is a Colombian singer-songwriter who lives in Paris. She has a musical degree and a master’s in vocal jazz from the Paris Conservatory. After a lot of traveling and musical studies, Andreïa has been able to create her own musical universe where jazz colours Latin-American rhythm. She’s been part of the French jazz scene since 2014, singing with different groups. Now she debuts her own project as a singer, songwriter and producer. About the song: “The nostalgia of the text gets a little bit of heat with this sunny Colombian rhythm coloured by jazz harmonies, redefining the meaning of Latin-American vocal jazz songs.”
MY TWO CENTS: A warm, soft breeze for a cold winter’s day.
Greatland | The Way To Greatland
HOME BASE: France.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Welcome to Greatland! Please allow us to guide you, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Greatland are a Parisian punk band, drawing its inspiration from Californian acts and way of life, with a slight touch of English pop-rock, for good measure. The Way to Greatland is a song with positive feelings. A renewal and the need to find everlasting internal well-being.”
MY TWO CENTS: The theme song for your own personal sitcom.