Groover Playlist 103 | All Heat, No Shade

Welcome to another batch of great songs from every corner of the globe.

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Paul Cafcae has a big day out, Jack Rayne and Jack Layne show the difference one letter makes, Mona San didn’t catch your name, Vanessa Philippe follows the sun — and they’re not the only bright spots in today’s submissions 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 (and like) 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, soak up these sounds:

 


Paul Cafcae | Longest Day Of The Year

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Rockabilly.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This past year has been a tumultuous one; full of confusion, paranoia and fear. But in the darkness, artists are inspired to take up arms through dance, poetry, visual art, and in Paul Cafcae’s case, song. Paul was watching the world like all of us; watching the news of the murder of George Floyd, watching governments politicize the pandemic, watching the storming of the U.S. Capitol . He decided to write a song to express all his feelings and views. That song is Longest Day of The Year. “All of these things were happening and it felt like one long day frozen in time. I kept on thinking ‘What’s next?’ ” he says. “I couldn’t be there for the marches, but I wanted to express my views the only way I can — through song. It is a protest blues inspired by observing personal freedom restrictions, systematic abuse of power, administrative incompetence, the spread of misinformation and the fuelling of various civil unrests of the past 14 months, as observed by a character who is watching the news in the lockdown and decides that they no longer can be on the sidelines.” Impeccably mixed by the industry veteran Glen Robinson — who has worked with rock idols like The Ramones, The Beach Boys and Nashville Pussy Longest Day of The Year is accompannied by a video that features a history lesson in past civil unrest, using footage from the ’30s to today. Longest Day of The Year is a protest song, but it’s a protest song meant for the dance floor.”


Jack Rayne | I Wanna Be Your Man

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “With shades of yesteryear and passion only a six-foot-tall ginger can possess, Jack Rayne depicts the mountainous highs and heartbreaking lows of the day to day in the most beautiful of ways. Boasting one of the most captivating voices on the Australian east coast, the Sydney-sider has graced audiences nation wide with his authentically raw live show. Rayne combines the traditional rustic nature of roots/Americana music with a unique vocal flair, creating a sound that is all his own. Rayne has the ability to tell emotional tales without sacrificing musicality. I Wanna Be Your Man shows he isn’t all doom and gloom. Jack has never been one to search for conflict; in fact, quite the opposite. The laid-back Aussie would hardly hurt a fly, but this one night things were different. I Wanna Be Your Man tells the tale of Jack standing his ground during a night at a local bar after some not-so-kind words were slung. IWBYM pulls no punches with its pointed lyrics, pedal steel, and rolling rhythm guitar. Jack possesses honesty well beyond his years, and IWBYM shares yet another emotionally moving tribute to his youth.”


Jack Layne | Le Pas Lourd (ft. Quietmike)

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Originally from Quebec, Jack Layne offers his single and video Le Pas Lourd, heralding an EP that will be available in fall. A heavy and sparkling hip-hop piece, Le Pas Lourd is a hymn to the internal struggles that push us every day to break down new doors and leave our mark. Layne wrote it in the company of rhythm maker Quietmike, before sending it into the hands of mixer Seb Ruban. These same seasoned collaborators will also be at the heart of his mini-album. The “vintage” signature video, which features Jack Layne on the run, was directed by Thierry Lambert.”


Mona San | So Who Are You?

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “If sound design were a musical genre, Mona San would be one of its most notable ambassadors. Inspired by the likes of Flume, Sophie, Arca or Mura Masa, Mona San is a craftsperson bordering on perfectionist. Immersed in electronic music from an early age and lulled by the technical sampling prowess of Daft Punk and C2C, Mona San put emotions first, as well as ethnic influences originating from African or Asian cultures stemming from a profound interest. “I try to transcribe instinctively in my sounds what the images evoke to me,” San says. So Who Are You? is the third single from thi upcoming EP Brain Child. This track is the heart of the EP, the centerpiece: A complex exploration of sound, with vocal samples, synths, kicks and snares creating a result as thoughtful as it is childish.”


Vanessa Philippe | Suivre Le Soleil

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Suivre Le Soleil (Follow The Sun) is an electro-pop song with a surrealist universe. The metaphorical lyrics and music showcase the joy of living in the face of the darkness of death.”


Meimuna | Skagen

HOME BASE: Switzerland.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Skagen is the northernmost city in Denmark, and it is at its tip that the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. Here, even if the waves collide continuously, the difference in salinity does not allow them to mix. Cyrielle Formaz is inspired by this eternal encounter between seas that sometimes fight, sometimes caress, to tell a love story. So far to the north, where the light rarely disappears and the white sand dunes witness this sublime event night and day, Cyrielle evokes the tearing of hearts that do not know how to come together. The piano motifs and the classical guitar are reminiscent of the incessant rolling of the waves, while the lyrics of the song, carried by the crystalline and touching voice of Cyrielle Formaz, often send us back to our own adventures. With Skagen, Meimuna presents the second single from the upcoming EP Courage.”


Kolonien | Time Will Tell

HOME BASE: Sweden.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Kolonien are a four-member family band from Sweden and one of the leading voices of the Swedish folk revival for over a decade. With a sound that blends acoustic roots music with anthemic, singalong pop, Kolonien offer a fresh, appealing sound that brings multiple musical worlds together. Kolonien’s lush vocal harmonies are reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, their Nordic folk-pop sound might remind some listeners of Of Monsters and Men, and their hipsters-with-strings vibe makes them Sweden’s answer to Mumford & Sons. At the same time, Kolonien’s music and inspirations are deeply rooted in the Swedish folk tradition as well as the natural environment and progressive philosophies of the alternative-lifestyle community where they were raised. Kolonien are made up of brothers Erik and Arvid Rask, their cousin Anna Möller and their childhood neighbor / “brother from another mother” Mischa Grind. According to Eric Rask, Time Will Tell, the first single from the new album, “grew out of a frustration I often feel around the constant nitpicking concerning people’s differences and shortcomings. We are all incomplete and if we are to get somewhere and change something, we need to put more focus on what we have in common and focus less on who is doing right or wrong. Social change requires that many people choose to go in the same direction, and for that to happen there must be a positive enthusiasm. One thought that has been in the back of my mind is a slogan we used for a performance about climate change that we did as teenagers: “It should be fun to save the world!”


Eric John Kaiser | Ton Musée

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Americana.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Parisian-born Portland musician Eric John Kaiser has carved a unique niche in the Americana scene with his signature blend of songs written in French and English. Exploring the U.S. and Canada one song at a time, Eric has released six studio albums recorded in Paris, Portland and Quebec, and shared the stage with The Stereophonics, Tété, Revolver and The Lost Bayou Ramblers. Ton Musée track is the third single from his new album Vieux.”


Caroline Parke | Pause and Pine

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Alberta’s cattle country singer-songwriter Caroline Parke has a song for anyone feeling stuck in the same old routine, regretting past choices in life. Pause and Pine, an energetic country-folk track, follows a person plagued by sorrow as they work. Caroline has lived on an isolated farm for nine years now. A typical day is a long one and includes taking care of her four kids, cattle, gardening, cooking, canning, and cleaning. Sometimes she finds a moment’s peace to sit and write songs. She started writing music in 2008, but her songwriting really took off in 2019 after a knife-wielding drug user attacked her in her home. She found that songwriting really helped to process the trauma of that night and has been writing ever since. She released her debut album The Road in May 2020. “While I was using music to recover from the trauma of a knife attack I had survived I was daydreaming and escaping, but I was also pining for what was lost, and what I didn’t have,” Caroline says. “I thought that, yes, while this got me through a very tough time, it also created some really bad habits in me. Namely coveting, so I decided to write a song to break myself of that habit, and choose to be content with the beautiful and full life I have in front of me.”


Laura Ltx | Toi

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Laura Ltx began writing songs at 16. Through her music, she reveals her ease in juggling different musical styles. She says: “With only a piano to accompany my voice, today I would like to show you and share with you my music, my color, my passion … After the release of my EP Instinct, here is my new track called Toi.”


Thy Veils | Sunvault

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Thy VeilsSunvault is the first track created with their new bass player Mircea Ardeleanu Jr., and a single from their upcoming album Next Forever. Thy Veils explore the depth of soul music and integrate it in their electronic and jazz sound. The visuals for Sunvault, as well as the other tracks from Next Forever, are produced by Thy Veils in Romania.”


Joshua’s Habit | War

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Modern Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “After 10 long years, Joshua’s Habit are back — and they’re going back to war. Thanks to curfews, restrictions and other global events, many feel they are at “war against the world” — and with their single War, the Habit have an anthem for them. “It’s a song about waging war on the world and relying on yourself to prove all the naysayers wrong,” lead singer Travis Pankiw says. “A song about something to prove and going out and proving it.” Riding the insurgence of new modern rock, Joshua’s Habit formed in Calgary at the turn of the millennium. The group recorded four albums, opened for the likes of Pearl Jam, The Trews, Big Wreck and Jeff Healey, and then went on hiatus … until now. The Habit plan to release their comeback album The Hard Road this July, and will embark on a continental supporting tour in late 2021/2022.”


Jaya Blues Band | Footprints In The Sand

HOME BASE: Indonesia.
GENRE: Americana.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in Jakarta in 2018 and known for live performances, but forced into the studio in 2020, Jaya Blues Band have discovered a passion for recording. They combine musicianship, vocal harmony and relatable songwriting to  create a throwback, comfortable feel.”


Wildwood Family | Smile Back At Me

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The country folk cover bandpresent a small gift for Canada Day: A cover of the famous song from First Lady Sophie Trudeau, with a bluesy/sexy vibe, harmonized with three voices. A surprising cover!”


Spooky Gloom | Bad Luck

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Trap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Bad Luck is an upbeat sad tune explaining how easy it is to fall for manipulation. To be reeled into your demise. You like it but know it’s bad for you.”


Aspyccias | Fight In Vain

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I created Fight In Vain almost 10 years ago based on a story of my own imagination. This symphonic composition was born with a free music broadcast online. I then joined the Orchestre Symphonique du Bassin d’Arcachon in order to copyright the new version. Under the guidance of conductor Yoann Arnaudet, I added missing instruments and consolidated the harmony. Thanks also to the new virtual sound banks, my single in its final and most accomplished form.”


Clintiss | Russe Blanc

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Clintiss creates a rich, rhythmic piano music, full of reliefs and variations. The French-Canadian artist grew up and studied in France, then settled in Canada in 2012. He has spent countless hours at his piano, at home, in piano bars and on stage, looking for the musical language that could reconcile his classical learning and his taste for modern pop music, like indie music, post rock or neoclassical. “For me,” explains Clintiss, “composing a piano solo piece is the fruit of a long journey and a lot of hard work … My personal challenge was to create a piano language that I couldn’t manage to find or hear anywhere else, a fusion between the demanding classical technique and the different musical repertoires that have influenced me over the years — classical, symphonic, pop, electronic music … I hope to have succeeded in developing something unique, sometimes a little peculiar, straddling several worlds.” The term Russe Blanc refers to a Russian citizen who left his country after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917.”


Graham Soley | St. Anne

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Blues.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “My spin on the blues, my favorite genre. Enjoy the Cobalt Dew album if interested — this is the second track.”


Qualité Motel | Demi-Rois (ft. L’Isle & Luis Clavis)

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE TRANSLATED EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Qualité Motel is the side project of the five members of Valaire. After more than six years on the road, they came out of the studio with a second album that heated the lower bodies of the entire Belle Province. In Demi-Rois, Qualité Motel joined forces with L’Isle (the talented Ariane Brunet) to concoct a pop anthem claiming voluntary simplicity through the feeling of love. Punctuated by a verse by Luis Clavis, the song dreams of a life where you stop wanting to accumulate material goods to slow down and appreciate the beauty of a life together.”


Isaackito | Iziwa

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Afrobeat.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “After releasing four albums with Malka Family, Isaac and Dany’o, the group’s trombonist and bass player, founded the Madioko Mobile Studio, a mobile facility that allows you to record an album in any place with an electrical outlet.”


Levyn Garner | Go Stupid

HOME BASE: France
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I’m a French producer and DJ. I wanted to make a cool track to have fun and good energy to celebrate the end of the lockdown and the summer and decided to share it. This track is a mix with old and new-school hip-hop and electronic music. TBH, this track has no sense it just evolved and evolved and got stupid. But who cares?”


RzP | Bandolera

HOME BASE: France / Spain.
GENRE: Reggaeton.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: RzP lets his music do the talking.


Parlour Magic | The Source

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Parlour Magic is a vintage synthpop project from N.Y.C. producer, media artist, and composer Luc Bokor-Smith. The Source is the lead single from Parlour Magic‘s forthcoming EP Hydrogen Palace, to be released Aug. 4.”


Teose | Oh

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “With a style that combines Soccer Mommy’s ’90s alternative packaging and Big Thief’s diaristic alt-folk storytelling, Glasgow trio Teose produce a chimerical blend of new wave, dream pop and grunge. Fronted by writer/producer Melissa Brisbane, Teose have been quietly recording and self-releasing DIY recordings while the world was on lockdown. Their songwriting has a deceptively simple brilliance, layering fuzz-laden guitar riffs under joyous pop-inflected leads — all underpinning lyrics laced with humour and heartache, a style which has drawn comparison to The Cure.”


Cold Beverage | Mind’s In Trouble

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Blues-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Rodney B. rocks his own socks off, going through drumsticks like a wood chipper. Zeno Jones drowns in the deep blues, bending everything he can get his hands on like it’s the truth. As Cold Beverage, they play rock ’n’ roll. Not afraid of voice cracks, breakdowns, and other beauty marks, Cold Beverage lay down heavy blues & rock riffs the only way they know: Totally out of control. The songs combine the desperate lyrics and improvisation of blues with the energy of garage-rock acts from the ’60s, ’80s and 2000s.”


Tube Amp 101 | Strawberry Smile

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Perth duo Tube Amp 101 are a band you need to know. Blending the vast and ever-changing sounds of indie-rock, the up and comers are fixated on delivering masterful sounds and taking listeners on an intricate journey. Focused on exploring retrospective ideals through poignant lyrics and a post-punk guitar soundscape, Tube Amp 101 create music that unfolds dramatically, building intensity throughout and conceptualising the universal notions of loss, addiction and desire — particularly in their most recent EP release True Frirend. Strawberry Smile is a featured track of the newly released EP True Friend. It is a fairly psychedelic abstract piece, written from the juxtaposition of enjoying the warmth of a summer day while also suffering a major relationship loss.”


Slowlane | Onirism

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Slowlane are a downtempo organic house project in Brussels, inspired by dark beats, psyche planing guitars, and African / Latino / Middle Eastern influences. Today Slowlane offers us Onirism, the first of three productions due this summer. Slowlane also plans to release an EP in the upcomings months.”


Scvxnvxx | Rvn the Fade | Battery Acid

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Genre-less artist, but if I had to detail just a few out of the many ways to describe … Underground, dark industrial, experimental trap, alt-metal, indie, deathwave, goth, industrial trap, dark electronic, ambient, industrial rock, darktrap, alternative, heavy trap, trap metal, atmosphere, industrial, noisetrap, shadowrap, electronic. In darkness eye dwell.”


Madora | Unlock The Rave

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Madora are a young duo of French DJs and techno producers from Rennes. With strong tastes for hardstyle, indus & acid techno, the determined duet try to wake up sleeping souls. They say: “In Unlock The Rave, we wanted to make a full rave techno track, using all the codes of ’90s rave sounds, like a best-of of what we like in rave. The structure of the track remains similar to what we usually do — i.e. a lot of variation, alternating build ups, drops and breaks. The track focuses on the underground resistance who party despite the restrictions — we want to transmit hope and a strong message of freedom.”


Underground Dissident (ÛDiss) | Groovy Incantations

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Music is the language of emotions. Music is a gift of life. It helps me to live. Groovy Incantations is a house track that rises and rises until the final explosion.”


Ekki Hugsa | Stockholm

HOME BASE: United Kingdom / France.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Ekki Hugsa are Icelandic brothers Eric and Eckhart. Now settled between London and Paris, the brothers had been focusing on their own projects for several years, but the global pandemic brought them together to work on a series of downtempo and chill tracks. Their releases are inspired by this journey and are named after the various places they have visited in the past 10 years. With their blend of live instrumentation and solid beats, these brothers make music that connects to the soul. Stockholm is a chilled-out musical love affair that pays homage to the Scandinavian city where they lived during the summer of 2012.”


Lightning | Live For Yourself

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Rock.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Lightning is a French guitarist, singer and songwriter. He makes artistic rock with poetic lyrics and catchy melodies.”


TODAY’S PLAYLIST