Groover Playlist 108 | Up, Down & All Around

Today's international lineup takes you to Finland, Australia, Italy, U.K. & elsewhere.


Randa & The Soul Kingdom share the love, Hello Pupa just say yes, Babal hits the bullseye, Finn come to play — and they’re just a few of the acts who have your number 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 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 acquainted with these outstanding offerings from up north, down under and all over.


Randa & The Soul Kingdom | Gonna Get Love

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Soul-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Randa & The Soul Kingdom are here to put funk in your trunk and ants in your pants! Get set for soulful horns, high-octane vocals and gritty rhythms that pack a mighty punch of feel-good goodness. Guaranteed to get you dancing — if you still have a pulse. Their raw, high-energy sets ignite dance floors, often sending audiences into a frenzied Soul Train. Sassy sista Randa Khamis has been lauded as a modern-day equivalent to Marva Whitney and Ann Sexton. Randa & The Soul Kingdom will serve up their long-awaited third album Put Your Hands Up in 2021. Set to test the waters during Covid times, Gonna Get Love has bountiful energy and captures the lustful mood of finding new love. “I wrote it before Covid but it seems like now is the time when we need to hear songs which can make us feel like we’re transported out of lockdowns and we’ve got our own primal mojo working again!” Khamis said. “One of my biggest influences is Ike & Tina Turner. I just love the driving blues and rock’n’roll aspects of their soulful songs. I wanted this song to be inspired by that. At the same time, there are different influences in this song. You might notice a tinge of rockabilly, swamp music and early rhythm & blues.”

Hello Pupa | Yes Way

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Hello Pupa are a pop/rock trio of three musicians who refuse to see their lives suspended. Their will is to sew and unscrew the links that unite them and to free themselves from the weight of other people’s expectations. The puppet — a double being and a playmate in the expression of their art — invites them into a timeless world of eternal becoming that they explore to reveal its woody secrets.”

Babal | Dead Centre

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Psychedelic Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Capturing the angst of 21st-century Britain with Karen Langley’s sharply observed lyrics, laced with the manically haunting guitars of Rob Williams and enhanced by Zoie Green’s trippy keyboards, plus groove drivers Ben Balsom on bass and Jon Sharp on electronic drums, Babal deliver a theatrical, barbed performance that defies categorization. Babal reveal a dystopian, sideways view of life; their psych/art-rock approach calls up comparison with Talking Heads, Zappa, Beefheart, Hendrix, Primus and Patti Smith, among many.”

Finn | Come And Play

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The first single from our upcoming Mayrose album, Come And Play is as smooth as sipping an old fashioned as the sun sinks into the sea.”

NSDX | Ta Gueule d’Ange

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Originally from Paris and an engineer by training, I am passionate about music and released my first project in September 2021. The first single Ta Gueule d’Ange tackles the theme of passion without certainties, rocked by a love without artifice.”

Nixsia | C’est Moi Le Boss De Ma Zone

HOME BASE: France.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Junior Abonkélé, born 1991 in Versailles, started rapping in 2005, calling himself Nixsia. He says: “I am not the best but the next on the list with a concept that will be registered and engraved in the music industry.”

M.A.D. | La Belle Époque

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Hip-Hop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “From the books to rap. This is how we could describe in one sentence the journey of Mystika Ava Dynasty alias M.A.D. Growing up in Montreal, she found a passion for reading and discovered the power of words to influence people and impact reality. However, she never would have thought that this passion would lead her to music. Hers is a journey marked by personal experiences strong in emotions, sometimes even traumatic, but always enriching. It is this experience that M.A.D. relates today. For her, it’s about taking a critical look at her own life, but also at the world around her. To share your fears, your rage, your hopes, while knowing on the other hand that words, for all their power, are not always enough to express exactly what you feel. La Belle Époque evokes the “memory of a not-so-distant time when all that mattered was being yourself.”

I Am The Unicorn Head | Eating Cornbread In Quarantine

HOME BASE: United Kingdom / United States.
GENRE: Prog-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are a new two-piece band, and a product of the pandemic. We formed on a musicians-wanted page on Reddit as a way of staying creative. I am in the U.K. and my bandmate is in the U.S.A. Despite this, by filesharing we have already recorded two albums. This song is our debut single, and details the mental health issues in lockdown that we formed to avoid.”

Delon | Sorry (Radio Edit)

HOME BASE: France.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “With over 25 years of experience, Delon is a complete artist. Producer, DJ, this self-taught electronic music lover transforms each of his productions into a gift he shares with his audience. A pillar of the electronic stage in the South of France, Delon has made his mark with original tracks and residencies in historical venues.”

New Sauce Beats | GTA (ft. Kozi)

HOME BASE: France.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “To the realization of a productiuon with current sounds similar to drill. GTA was make in collaboration with Kozi, who we recently saw alongside Freeze Corleone.”

Drumael | Kill Me Again

HOME BASE: Finland.
GENRE: Doom-Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This is Drumael, a doom-metal band from Finland now doing a more melodic EP. Opening track Kill Me Again was mixed and mastered in Lumic Studios.”

The Ticks | Rats

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Made up of carpenter friends/roommates Kyle (guitar, vocal), Scott Reynolds (bass, backing vocal), and Zack Riddle (drums, vocal/backing vocal), The Ticks have two EPs under their belt (Tixtape Vol. 1 and Tixtape Vol. 2, Creatures). “We met rock climbing for a summer on (Vancouver) island and heard Kyle playing a song around the campfire. We were so infatuated and picked up our own instruments and started jamming,” Scott says. The trio eventually hit up some open mics and played the hell out of their instruments, practising four hours a day for six months, and grew as a jam band. Now they play together as if they have for years.”

Iain T. McKelvey & The Midnight Tangos | Writer’s Lament

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, Australia, they blend elements of folk, blues, country and classic rock with a penchant for overthinking. They can move your feet and soften the blow of the existential horror of existence. Having released numerous tracks in the last few years as a solo endeavour, McKelvey has showcased himself as an artist with a desire to explore and build something that was uniquely his own. He stokes the embers and re-ignites the fire with this mournful solo offering, Writers Lament. A personal reflection on lost love, disappearing youth and learning to live with a life on the outside, the song was plucked from the memories of a songbook dating back seven years. Like a lost love, they reconnected, and found its message still poignant, relevant and moving.”

Erik Strauss | Kiss The Sky

GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Erik Strauss is a music and visual artist from Venice, Italy. Growing up with the jazz and funk music of his family’s records, he later dug into house and underground beat. While releasing independent trip-hop and downtempo tunes, he became part of french label Nuit Blanche and worked with artists around the world. He says: “It was love at first listen. The power of the original Kiss The Sky by Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra and Nino Moschella gave me thrill. As a heavy enthusiast and listener of the ’90s trip-hop Bristol sound (Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky), I decided to do my own cover and give it another life: an instrumental version with some cinematic and downtempo feelings along with strings, guitar and vibes.”