Groover Playlist 101 | Class Acts

Another load of great new tunes from around the country and around the globe.

Tarbox are doomed to rock, Call It Out! emerge from the shadows, Gazoline make time, Human Pattern deal with PTSD, The Listros share the love — and they’re not the only ones trying to win you over today with a submission from Groover, a platform that connects artists with critics like me for a small fee. You can (and should) follow me on Spotify HERE, check out my Top 150 playlist HERE, or 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, go HERE. But first, get your fill of today’s roster of artists, which includes a hefty dose of great homegrown Canadian talent:


Tarbox | Cursed

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “After several years of working on different projects and touring across Canada, Tony, Simon, Deiz and Jack decided to form Tarbox. Through their post-grunge and alternative vibe, the band manage to give groove and a new flavour to these somewhat forgotten styles. With the help of Dave Traina from The Damn Truth, Tarbox produced and recorded their first album as a band at The FreqShop studio (The Franklin Electric, We Are Monroe, John Jacob Magystery) in Montreal. With a heavy and emotional meaning behind it, this new album offers a wide range of intensity and dynamics.”

Call It Out! | Dead Ends (Shadows)

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop-Punk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Anyone remotely interested in the angsty and loud sounds of mid-2000s rock and pop-punk will love Dead Ends (Shadows), a fiery single from Toronto four-piece Call It Out! Beginning with a minor-keyed guitar strum and bright lead, Dead Ends (Shadows) quickly morphs into an energetic pop-punk anthem about the crippling tendencies of a relationship built on gaslighting. “It’s about getting out of a narcissistic situation in which someone is constantly making you think something is wrong with you when it’s really something wrong with them,” lead singer Onicka Waithe says. The track also has a killer music video where Onicka cleans out the memories of the person — who is now nothing but a shadow — eventually setting them ablaze. The pageantry in the video keeps the viewer’s attention but lets them focus on the powerful lyrics and dynamic instrumentation. Dead Ends (Shadows) is part of Call It Out!’s five-song EP … Anywhere But Here. In Onicka’s words, the EP is about “overcoming adversity. It’s about facing what life has to throw at you head-on and not backing down.”

Gazoline | 3 Minutes 5 Secondes

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Nominated for the SOCAN Song Award and twice at the ADISQ Gala, Gazoline have presented more than 300 concerts (maybe 400, but who’s counting?), asserting themselves on stage as one of the most energetic projects in Quebec. After Gazoline (2014), Brûlensemble (2016) and the EP Yūgen (2017), the team finally emerges from their hiatus to rescue the lost art of rock. Rock called for help; nobody answered. So it plugged two defibrillators into French-Canadian rock band Gazoline’s comatose body, the last name on its list. That was more than enough to bring the band back to life, dragging along producer Gus van Go (Arkells, Hollerado and a bunch more) to confine themselves for two weeks and come out of it with their best album to date (until the next one): An arena-rock record like nobody does them anymore, with Springsteen-sized ambitions. Gazoline III arrives in November, but the band are coming in hot today with the single 3 minutes 5 secondes, a meta rock tirade in which they’re messing with the audience expectations on a modern disco background. As the chorus repeatedly states, “it’s louder than what you can hear.” Gazo’s back.”

Human Pattern | Post Trauma

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “After a trip to Berlin, and a true love at first sight for German minimal techno, Human Pattern sets out to reproduce the surgical sounds of electronic machines and the abstract textures of synthesizers with his instrument: The saxophone. Using guitar effects pedals, microphones of all kinds and his computer, he twists this wind instrument to offer an electrified, colder and synthetic version. Human Pattern is an unusual take on the saxophone: dark, repetitive and minimalist.”

The Listros | Love Is All Around

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The history of life on this planet relies on an infinite web of human connections. Nobody in this world stands alone, and that is what stadium alt-rock brothers The Listros convey in their debut EP Resemblance. The title of the EP is not only a reference to the physical resemblance Sean and Evan Listro share, but the “resemblance every human being has to each other … no matter what race, religion, or class you belong to. It’s about looking at our similarities rather than our differences,” they say. Every song on Resemblance is meant to be universal and relatable, especially the lead single and climax of the EP, Love iIs All Around. With the instrumentation of lead guitars, monolithic drum beats, and sparse string arrangements, Love Is All Around feels like it could fit in the James Bond cinematic pantheon. The lyric video, with its sporadic colour tones, could also work as an opening credit for the next Bond film, taking inspiration from Adele’s Skyfall.”

looking for A name | Nadir

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:looking for A name are a French duo formed in March 2020 by Basile Jacquemin and Sarah Faure. They have no name, they are nothing and no one — but a common passion, burning and unifying, imposes itself on them. Their music sits between dream pop and alt-rock, colored by the indie universe they inhabit. Nadir is the first single from the new era of our group. After releasing four singles to find our bearings and establish the color of our music, we are releasing our album Monsterosa on July 9. We conceptualized it as a small universe all by itself, a universe where the emotional mixes with the crazy in a cocktail that is sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Monsterosa is a laugh in the face of complacent solitudes, a melancholic, ironic and burlesque therapy for the sublimation of our condition of social beings.”

Eméa | Tudo Bem

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Latin-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Eméa are a French band of three children who go on an adventure on the border of reality and imagination, and draw stories where everything is possible. Eméa transport us to the magical and mysterious horizons of Latin America and other landscapes that have inspired a plural music. Traditional sounds are tinged with modern and urban colors; the softness and the strength of a voice is sublimated by dreamy melodies and the heat of distant rhythms. When Ibeyi’s poetry meets Flavia Coelho’s energy, creations in several languages are born, but they all speak of love and hope.”

Bibzo | On Essaie

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Hip-Hop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Bibzo is a African-born ragga MC, now flirting with more smooth musical ambiance. On Essaie is a sunny hymn.”

Aurus | AWOL

HOME BASE: France.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Aurus is a modern mirage; the embodiment of our contradictions. Bastien Picot mixes modern elements with traditional music from his hometown. In AWOL, Aurus and Mathéo Técher refer to this American expression to illustrate the desertion of our being, barricaded behind the shells that we strive to build to camouflage our wounds, our cracks, our scars. AWOL is an ode to fragility and the beauty of our imperfections; a fight against the military discipline that we inflict on ourselves to smooth the roughness of our contours. It is also a call to courage. AWOL is a utopia, an atmospheric and liberating track, in which Aurus and Técher have imagined a world in which we could interact and be ourselves, without artifice and fear.”

Chancy Squire | I’m Sorry (ft. KateNiss)

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “In 1980, three friends — Klaus Rieger, Wolfgang Vorpahl and Nikolas Beyer — founded the band in Hamburg. A few months later, Mike Boch and Dirk Kowalewski joined on drums and keyboard. After Nikolas left, Michael “Schmiddle” Schmidt and Michael Austermeier (bass) completed the band. The band recently reformed after a long break to bring their songs back to life. I’m Sorry is a calm, harmonious ballad and is intended to encourage reconciliation in relationships. Giving up too soon — that’s what this song is meant to fight against.”

One Blood Family | Maria

GENRE: Hip-Hop / Reggae.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:One Blood Family are a brotherhood that find affirmation through the culture and music, transforming despair into hope, happiness and participation. Seven young asylum seekers from different African countries and seven Turin musicians form this multi-ethnic ensemble to overcome diversity, language barriers and prejudices. Their album is a journey through several different rhythms that thrill with its energy. But above all it is the portrait of an Italy that exists but which still remains hidden in individual experiences.”

Shari DeLorian | Don’t Let Me Go

GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Seven Swords is the latest work from Milan artist Shari DeLorian. With its gritty materiality, intimate atmospheres and liberating digressions — at times dreamy, often bloody — Seven Swords revolves around the impossibility of seeing yourself for whom you really are. It’s a concept album about self-knowledge and the sorrows deriving from the long harsh road to it. The record’s title pays homage to the well-known religious icon Our Lady of Sorrows, named also Seven Swords Mary. Depicted with seven swords piercing her heart or radiating around her, in popular culture Seven Swords Mary is the name by which the Virgin Mary is referred to in relation to sorrows in her life. Reflecting the artist’s peculiar interest in cultic — mostly Orthodox — imagery, in the context of the album the suffering Virgin becomes a universal metaphor for the violent traumas that constitute the self.”

Sarahmée | Bienvenue Dans Ma Vie

HOME BASE: Canada.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Now a staple in the Quebec rap scene, Sarahmée makes a remarkable comeback with her critically acclaimed second album Irréversible. Supported by the singles T’as Pas Cru, Freedom, My Skin and Fuego, in collaboration with the rapper Souldia, Sarahmée delivers an album reinforced by refined flows and Afro rhythms. She says: “Bienvenue Dans Ma Vie (Welcome To My Life) is a straightforward and direct text — it is the introduction of all my thoughts from the last few months, of what I want to convey. At the visual level, I wanted to put forward objects that have a link with my family history, a tribute to my mother, who rocked my childhood with her music. My mother plays a West African string instrument, the Kora, and has done a lot of concerts accompanied by traditional musicians. Also in a nod to our family history, the chair, which is a central element of the clip, was bought when we lived in Africa and remains to this day an important object for us.”

Anthony Fraysee | Sur Un Fil

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Flamenco.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am 24 years old. After several years of touring all over France, I am happy to present the first single from my album Sur Un Fil.”

Full Deck | Limbic

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are all hedonistic, pleasure-seeking creatures — sometimes to our own detriment — and Full Deck’s latest single Limbic, is an ode to the human control centre responsible for this self-indulgent behaviour. It takes the listener on a journey with someone who feels confused and possessed by their own limbic system. It sounds strange, but this sort of behaviour happens to people every day. The limbic system has the power to put a person into an almost fugue state, having them do something they are unaware of at the moment. Ever walked down a path and thought, “Wait, where am I? Why did I go this way?” That’s the limbic system. Full Deck formed in 2019 and performed live all around Ontario quite a few times prior to the pandemic. Limbic is a fresh sample of the band’s musical maturity as musicians and the second song on the EP You Know It’s Real, which dropped this April.”

The Wildwood Family | Bye Bye Mon Cowboy

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “A country-folk cover band covering the ’30s to today, The Wildwood Family present their version of Mitsou’s hit Bye Bye Mon Cowboy. A well-crafted mix of country and bluegrass à la Johnny Cash and vocal harmonies à la Andrew Sisters. Being from the generation of children who danced to this song, the idea of doing a cover came naturally, and with a lot of enthusiasm. This is taken from their new mini-album 4 by 5, which celebrates four Quebec classics, in a country-folk style.”

Iain T. McKelvey & The Midnight Tangos | Raise Your Wine

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Iain T. McKelvey & The Midnight Tangos are a steamboat chugging purposefully down the Cooks River, dodging discarded bikes and semi-submerged shopping trolleys, picking up anyone who thinks they can handle the revelry along the way. Based in the Inner West of Sydney, they blend elements of folk, blues, country and classic rock with a penchant for overthinking. They can move your feet and soften blow of the existential horror of existence. Make sure you’re at the jetty waiting to enjoy the ride.”

Chouette MAMA | Duduk Inspiration

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: World / Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Chouette MAMA, an electronic music performer from France, released his first album Roomy in 2019, follwed by the single Route 69. After following a lot of music styles during these past few years, Chouette MAMA has created his own universe. His music, open to everyone, is joyful, inspiring, lively. He says: “Here is a title made with a player of Duduk (Armenian flute) and a player of Oud: This instrumental walk takes my listeners on a journey! Will he make you travel too?”

Mike Dunhill | The Day I Met You

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am an Italian composer, pianist and arranger in Berlin. In my non-classical compositions, I have experimented and mixed different styles, always giving a special place to piano and Moogs. I can say that I have a romantic and melodious vein but also a very rhythmic one. In any case, I try to put always some cheerfulness and brio in my compositions, no matter if they are more reflective or more rythmic. This year has been really tough for us musicians. As a reaction to this difficult situation, I composed a bunch of instrumental songs, where I imagined diving into crystal clear waters to discover an incredible world full of color and cheer. That’s how I came up with the album Under Water With Rainbow Smiles.

Kaija | Bobblehead

HOME BASE: Canada.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “With a talent range as eclectic as her background, New Zealand’s Kaija (pronounced ka-ya) is making her mark as a fresh and unique singer-songwriter on the Canadian scene. Her sound and writing are influenced by a diverse blend of ethnicities and cultural influences, including Jamaican, Fijian and European, and with it Kaija packs a perfect mashup of smooth and soulful R&B, dire dark pop and solemn hip-hop. Her lyrics are an insightful and honest reflection of the emotionally tumultuous experiences faced by youth in revolt, and her intuitive depth provides a voice for those whose lives chart the unpredictable course. She says: “As I sat down at my piano to write this song, I felt a desire to be a voice for lost souls. Bobblehead directly shines a light on the sex industry, inspired by my sex worker friends who feel stigma and shame placed upon them, ironically, by the very same society that employs them. There is an inviting groove to the beat but my message is ardent.”

Need Soft | Waves

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Soul/R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are twins brothers born in 1989 in France. We formed Need Soft independently in 2017. Passionate about music with eclectic tastes, we practise an instrumental style mixing pop rhythms, melodies and melancholy. Our identity is based on a mix of electric guitar and groovy production. Waves is special for us because it is our first real song with vocals. It will be part of our next EP Le Soft, which will be available in the summer.”

Wheelsin | Widget

HOME BASE: Sweden.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Hold On is written, recorded, produced and mixed by Henrik Baudou Fjelkman and Patrik Blomqvist. If comes from the EP Hold On, the band’s second studio release. Its four newly written hits give the listener a magical pop experience.”

Nother | Lines (ft. Moon Leap)

GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Nother is the solo project of Stefano Milella, created after years of collaboration as a producer, drummer and composer for movies and TV. Milella’s music has the ability to be both engrossing yet calm, soothing yet immediate. It’s electronic music with a human pulse, with an ability to find homes both in the headphones of our last year and the dance-floors of our re-emergence tomorrow. Created after the loss of a close friend, Nother allowed Milella to focus squarely on the music. A lo-fi arpeggio and deep beat guide Moon Leap’s voice through a texture of bright synths that float around your head, as the colors of the Northern Lights soar across the sky of your emotion, till the exploding end. The calmness of her voice is a whisper that travels through the layers of the song and the relentless drums. It comes from the new album Future Is Bright, which captures an optimistic tone, looking forward into a new horizon with warm hues. The album is out July 22.”

Ioish | When The Dogs Define Her

GENRE: Post-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “My name is Vaibhav and I make music for a New Delhi band called Ioish. We have been making music since 2011 but started playing live in 2014. Since then we’ve shared stages with bands like As I Lay Dying, Intervals, The Ocean Collective and Tides From Nebula, to name a few.”

Stefano Pesapane | Changes

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electro-jazz.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Born in Italy in 1962, I started playing drums at the age of 8, and by 16 I was playing in nightclubs. Had formal schooling in music in Rome (1977-81) and Umbria (1988). In 1984 I had my first professional experience with a band called The Nightworkers; I spent two years with them playing in Morocco and Greece. In 1987 I joined Rocky Roberts Orchestra, touring across Italy. From that time I played in other bands and with bandleaders such as Sonny Costanzo, Tony Scott and others. In 1999 I moved to The Netherlands and started playing with local bands and musicians. Changes takes a nightwalk through love, life and urban meditation.”

Jagk:) | Après ça

GENRE: Electro-Jazz.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Recorded in the midst of a pandemic, the song speaks for itself — Après ça (After That) you have to continue to live or succumb to joy. Simply listen to it.”

Rom4n | Paradoxe

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Through his psychedelic atmosphere Rom4n transfigures his music into a hybrid of rock and opera, electronic and romantic lyricism, jazz and musical. Trained in classical music, forged by the experience of life, through his songs Rom4n exudes raw emotion, coming from the depths of his bowels, and strives to cast a keen eye on the world, in a dreamlike and profound way, both in English and in French. Paradoxe is the beginning of a rupture — a rupture of a reality shaped by our society which cracks on all sides — and gives a glimpse, perhaps, of what our world really is. Paradoxe is a call to free oneself from the grip of the demons of gold and oil.”