Groover Playlist 132 | A Supersized Sonic Sampler

AJ Smith, Cumbiasound, Tired Radio & more great tracks from around the globe.

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AJ Smith plays it cooler, Cumbiasound spice things up, Tired Radio unleash a monster, Raphaël Dénommé says cheers 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) 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, push play on today’s supersized sonic sampler:

 


AJ Smith | Cooler

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:AJ Smith’s unconventional path to becoming a pop artist is reflected throughout his music, which has the uncanny ability to evoke a nostalgic desire for dramatic pop of decades past while sounding modern, fresh, and emotional. He says: “First dates, insecurities, worrying we might say the wrong thing and lose our chance at true love. We’ve all been there. Cooler is a song about those nerves and the internal dialog I’ve had whenever I’ve met someone new. Wishing to be cooler, hoping to get a second chance if I messed up this first one. It’s a really fun song with a hook that takes the listener into a whole new world. I wrote it with my close friends Jenson, Sarah and Bhav and we had such an incredible time pulling this song together. I hope it gives someone the confidence they need to boldly be themselves and recognize they’re already ‘cooler’ the way they are.”


Cumbiasound | O.V.N.I.

HOME BASE: Sweden.
GENRE: World-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Daniel Fridell met Chilean singer/rapper Boogie Castillo in the mid-’90s in Sweden. They met again in 2012 when Daniel started Cumbiasound. They collaborated on a few songs on the first Cumbiasound release Calzones Largos. The duo wanted more flavors to complete their second EP, so they called in Lis Flores Varela to sing on the songs. As well, Daniel has been working with Congolese singer José Pereelanga to broaden the sound even more. All instruments are played live by Daniel.”


Tired Radio | Monsters

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Pop-Punk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are Tired Radio from Brooklyn, N.Y. Monsters is the single from our recent four-band split 7″. We are gearing up for our first international tour in December, a two-week journey through Germany followed by an appearance at Hamburg’s Booze Cruise punk festival. We think this is the most fun video to come out all year — though we may be a bit biased.”


Raphaël Dénommé | Drunken Hearted Woman

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “In 2016, Raphaël Dénommé recorded a mini-album of six songs, merging the Cajun sound of the bayou with current blues-rock. In 2018, he released his first full album entitled Bayou Saint-Laurent. Here is the second single from his latest EP Hard Times and Broken Mind (Vol. 1), scheduled for release on Jan. 28. On Drunken Hearted Woman, the artist’s supple and languid voice rises to sing about the end of a relationship, where sincerity and emotions seem to have been numbed by alcohol. With its waltzing rhythm and frank words, the piece offers itself as a balm to soothe the vagaries of the heart.”


Birchcliff | The City & The Mountain

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Despite Birchcliff being named for a small neighbourhood in Scarborough, the artist’s debut album The City And The Mountain never sinks too deep into the territory of urban centrism — as its lyrics and instrumentation showcase equal parts tranquil serenity and thunderous introspection. Jake Harding, the creative power behind Birchcliff, portrays a keen sensitivity to the din of borough living and its stark contrast to the isolation of what lies beyond city limits. The title/first track, The City and the Mountain comes across as a folk jig, with toe-tapping rhythm and acoustic guitars plucking as Harding croons in a raspy cadence about an urge to escape city life. Coupled with kazoos, tambourines, and a campfire feel, the introductory track establishes Harding’s shrewd folk influence, yet primes the listener for his ability to genre hop. Says Harding: “I’m not trying to imitate anybody else, so I hope it’s received as something fresh. I hope the meshing of genres is as seamless to fans as it is to me. I hope they recognize the honesty in the lyrics and songwriting.”


Just Delayed | Rise Up In The Dark

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Just Delayed is a project created and imagined by Thierry Leduc, its inspired leader. He writes the majority of the compositions and puts his disturbing and rocky voice at the service of the melodious chords of this work. More than 15 musicians representing three generations took part in the recording of this album with refined compositions. The title of this album, composed of three ellipses, is an invitation to choose your own path, like a crucial decision to be taken on the brink of a precipice. Rise Up In the Dark is a song written by a father to his daughter, and the two protagonists are playing their own parts in the video.”


Pijama | Le Soleil Levant

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “French/American duo based in L.A. The first single from our upcoming album, a sexy-spooky take on a classic to dream and bundle up to for the winter months.”


Réel Vibration | Aviator

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Reggae.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am a songwriter, producer and director in the sense that I record and mix my productions myself in my home studio. After long years of city life where my heart swung tirelessly between the city of light, its suburbs and this deep need for sea and mountain sun, I now live between the Paris region and the south of France. You are probably wondering why I am telling you all this! Well, simply because my music reflects that duality. This reggae / urban track is the third single from the album À Part, An opus in which each piece represents one of the many facets of my musical identity.”


Rico Manzano | El Pueblo

HOME BASE: Brazil.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Rico Manzano is a producer, beatmaker, DJ, composer and multi-instrumentalist from São Paulo. After producing several artists and soundtracks over the years, he launched his solo career. He unifies influences from lo-fi, hip-hop, Brazilian funk and R&B to explore sounds, regionality and beats.”


Magon | Egyptian Music

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Paris-based Israeli psych-rock singer, songwriter and producer Magon released his new album Out in the Dark in October. If Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix had a baby it would be him. But Magon is no vibe-cloner — he actually has got something to say, and when the glorious choir of the chorus sets in against Magon touching lyrics, “Tell my mother that I love her / I’ll be back when I get older,” we feel certain to announce that a new rock star is born.”


Le Quatuor Esca | Fragments-2. Scherzo

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Le Quatuor Esca have accompanied an impressive catalog of artists on stage and in the studio. Now they present their own repertoire. The second movement of the work Fragments, composed by François Vallières for the string quartet, is an original and exploded modern classic piece.”


Wai Lana | She Speaks Sign Language

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Creator, director, and host of public TV’s longest-running fitness series, Wai Lana played a key role in helping ignite yoga’s mainstream popularity around the world. Inspired by and infused with timeless yoga wisdom, Wai Lana’s beautiful songs and music videos radiate with her warm heart and positivity. Entertaining and meditational, her fusion of mesmerizing music and captivating lyrics puts her songs in a genre all their own. They are truly songs of the heart.”


Julie Curly | Comme Un Zèbre Dans Le Désert

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Julie Curly is a singer-songwriter from Montreal with a passion for singing in both English and French. Her music is inspired by storytelling and visual imagery. For the seventh anniversary of her debut album Confessions, Curly has released an acoustic version of her song Comme Un Zèbre Dans Le Desert. Remaining faithful to the original folk-pop sound with mandolin and guitar, this sunny and refreshing song tinged with a happy nostalgia is a reflection on the difference, underlining the importance that the author places on rich and evocative lyrics.”


EDFO | Let The Love Shine

HOME BASE: Brazil.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:EDFO is a mysterious persona. The singer-songwriter behind the enigmatic look chooses to remain anonymous and explains that the aesthetic choice comes from a need to be heard. “I want people to pay attention to the message of the song. Not showing my face is a way I found to focus attention on what I can offer: The song.” The singer behind EDFO has already been on the road for 10 years and he brings enough experiences in his career to understand that despite the differences we all have similar expectations for life. And it is precisely on these similarities that EDFO proposes to compose and sing. Let The Love Shine is my first English song.”


Abbie Quinn | The Look In Your Eyes

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am a solo artist. I am also the guest solo nose-flautist for the Terlawk Philharmonic Orchestra. I write, arrange, sing, play all the instruments (except some loops), and produce all my songs. I also pick up the pizzas, sweep the floors and ever since he went missing, I help Neo’s landlady carry out her garbage. I am not self-taught. I have been taught by every song I have ever heard. The good. The bad. And YES, even the ugly! I play guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and percussion (with varying degrees of success). I also play nose-flute, checkers, and a bad game of goodmitten! Wait, I mean a good game of badminton. I have written and performed my own music since I was 14 (with varying degrees of success). Also, one time, I stayed up past midnight. I produce my music on archaic equipment (with wildly varying degrees of success). I suppose I could produce it on modern equipment; but then I wouldn’t be able to use the word “archaic” when describing it. This is a sad love song for those of us who have lost a true love.”


Chancy Squire | Gone But Not Forgotten

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in 1980, the Hamburg band Chancy Squire have reunited after a long break. Modern arrangements with a playful ease are the sound of the musician’s hearts. Chancy Squire want to touch listeners’ hearts, create emotions and make the world a better place. They say: “Gone But Not Forgotten is dedicated to all the victims of the terror attacks in Paris in 2015. Bictims are always forgotten over time., but in our hearts they will always be remembered as our martyrs of freedom. Where religion, politics, power, and money capitulate, music always holds its promise. To connect people, touch and move them. That’s why we put our heart and soul into our songs.”


Jack Rayne | Hurricane

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Indie-Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “With shades of yesteryear and passion only a six-foot-tall ginger can possess, storyteller 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, he has graced audiences nationwide with his raw live show. Rayne combines the traditional rustic nature of roots music with a unique vocal flair, creating a sound all his own. He has the ability to tell emotional tales without sacrificing musicality, especially when he surrounds himself with some of the finest young touring musicians in the country. Hurricane is the 25-year-old’s most vulnerable release yet. A song all walks of life can relate to, this dreamy, warm release shares the story of Jack’s fragile relationship with self-love. With pulsing piano and whaling pedal steel tying it all together, Hurricane is a love ballad we can all find some comfort in.”


Jackie Moontan | Crystal Roof

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Jackie Moontan is as poetic as it is absurd. Jackie claims to be a moonman; his spaceship crashed somewhere in a Mississippi swamp and he’s been roaming that little blue planet ever since, writing songs about its blue inhabitants. Whatever he does onstage, whether it’s dancing or falling down, he always seems to be saved by his love of self-deprecation. Jackie is a quiet observer and a fabulous crooner, tenderly telling the stories around him in his own colorful combination of pop, funk and soul. He was once asked in an interview which animal he felt closest to and he replied, “The chameleon. He’s never in a hurry, always makes good use of his tongue and looks like a fucking disco ball.” Crystal Roof, the second single from his EP, brings together all the vices he developed during this period of confinement: The bad boy he became when he braves the forbidden and the absurd on a tapioca background or the desire not to be alone and join his best Instagram story.”


Fight the Sun | Mistakes

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Who’s never made a mistake? Who’s made 1 or 2? Who has made enough to last a lifetime? Who’s had a lifetime eating dirt? Who’s going to get their just desserts? Who’s redesigned? Who’s reappeared? Who’s on their knees? Who’s given up the dream? Who’s beaten themselves black and blue? Who’s fallen down, stood up? Who’s felt déjà vu? Who’s going to make the same mistakes again? Mistakes, a succinct summation of our last few years set to a guttural, yet limber drop A# riff, underpinned by a tumultuous, tremorous rhythm section, iced with a singalong chorus begging for crowd participation, echoing the self-sabotage, the self-realization, the anxiety of knowing what havoc you’re wreaking upon yourself but failing time and again to do much about it. Pretty standard stuff, really… Mistakes marks the return of Fight the Sun from the rock ’n’ roll wilderness.”


Shakambo | Sans Oim

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Rap.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Miguel Da Costa aka Shakambo is a Franco-Portuguese musician based in the Paris region. Inspired by jazz, soul, hip hop, electronic and Brazilian sounds, Shakambo mixes and combines its influences through rich and bewitching musical escapades. Sans Oim is a single from his next album Inner Eyes. The title is a false ego trip, sometimes a confession, sometimes an introspection. Layers of synths, arpeggios and R&B harmonies, the title invites to travel and immersion, because we all sometimes need to be in our bubble.”


Mita | Cookbook

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Based in Paris, Mita is is composed of three permanent members: Mathieu, compulsive traveler (author, co-composer, lead voice, guitars); Uwe, Argentinian genius (co -composer, bass guitar, keyboards, back vocals, production); and Alexandra, sunshine from Alsace (vocals, dancing). The project started with an unexpected meeting and long nights playing, singing, laughing, and then compsing, recording. Our music is a mix of electronic beats, punchy guitars, old chool keyboards, the energy of Alexandra’s voice, echoing Mathieu’s dark and sensitive lead vocals. This first release is talking about toxic relationships, through funny, innocent, violent and bittersweet lyrics. We want to share the emotions which are driving us, love, joy, and sometimes melancholia, et make our concerts an unforgettable moment of share.”


Jordane Tumarinson | Hominidée

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “A very passionate and prolific artist, French pianist and composer Jordane Tumarinson has produced no less than five original albums between 2018 and 2020, as well as numerous singles. His compositions are either misty, either rythmic, always refined and are met with great interest on streaming platforms early on without any particular communication or professional entourage. Now signed on an independent record label, Tumarinson is expected to release his sixth album Odyssée in March 2022. This new contemplative piece was inspired by Tumarinson’s reflections on change and how humans are compelled to it, whether out of curiosity or out of constraint.”


Carsten Kranzer | The Tug Of War

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This is my first release in a while, so I wanted to come back out with some energy. The Tug of War was recorded at Soniczen Records in Oakland. My producer Charlie Wilson (who’s worked with Hot Buttered Rum, Albino, and The Stone Foxes, among others) brought his studio magic to this track and as usual I was treated to collaborating with some of the best musicians in the Bay Area. Super grateful as always for that.”


Wapiti Show | Back In Vegas

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electro.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Born in 2009, this trio offer electro-rock with various influences. The first album was about an initiatory road trip mixing electro basses with vocal harmonies. After 100 concerts and a studio accompaniment, we’re back in 2021 with a new dance album, which mixes electro music composed by Fred and hip-hop groove vocals by Peter.”


Ikkem | Dans Tes Bras

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Ikkem, a 22-year-old rapper originally from Casablanca, is now based in Montreal. His music combines dark pop-rap and more technical flows. With four EPs already available and a project for January, he is particularly active. Ikkem’s new single Dans Tes Bras, adds a new page to his romance novel. This sound, synonymous with hope in love, is meant to be catchy and create a sweet memory of a happy past for two.”


JayJay Brass Dance | Éveillés

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Jazz-Funk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Created in 2018 in the South of France, The JayJay Brass Band evolved on stage and street corners. To begin with its repertoire was made up of covers from New Orleans brass band standards, but the group quickly added compositions with funk and hip-hop accents. JayJay performed in 2017 and 2018 in New Orleans and repeatedly shared the stage with Leroy Jones, Kermit Ruffins, Kevins Louis, Kirk Joseph. Radio Funk, an album of compositions with hip-hop singer Loïs Hammel was released in 2020 under the name of JayJay Brass Dance.


Oof | Métaphysique

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Dub.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Oof, aka Jaïs Frédéric Elalouf, is an eclectic Parisian director, VJ and DJ whose musical influences encompasses acid rock, jazz-funk, Cumbia and ’90s raves. His work is based on sound-noise-image synchronization and dance-floor video immersion. A pioneer of DVJing in France since 2003, he has given more than 500 performances in 40 countries and produced 70 music videos (mainly mashups). This track is an invitation for the people to connect to themselves and each other to the unity of the ‘Great All’ in a psychedelic awareness.”


Caro MM | Trêve

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Hip-Hop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Caro MM lives by and for poetry, in Brittany. She loves words, beauty, reflections, their contemplation. Caro MM, whose real name is Caroline Morlat Mialaret, is a writer. She loves music and sounds fill her daily life almost permanently. Its only guide is beauty in words. The one she seeks, the one she finds, the one who surprises her, the one she discovers while writing. The rest comes with the meetings.”


Kekko Fornarelli | Anthropocene

HOME BASE: Italy.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Kekko Fornarelli is an Italian pianist, keyboardist, composer and producer. With six albums over the past six years, Kekko Fornarelli is one of the most original artists on the contemporary scene. He has developed a unique style, characterized by the attempt to create music to observe, more than just to listen to. It is a peculiar and personal way to tell stories, to express emotions and paint situations. His music is a mellow combination of modern northern European ideas and neoclassical lyricism, filtered by a sight on the most contemporary rhythmics styles and, naturally, by his warm and extremely personal Mediterranean background. Anthropocene is an introspective and creative journey, in which Fornarelli observes the human being and his relationship with his apparently perfect world. It is a perfection that shows, however, all its limits and its damages. A world at first sight beautiful, taylor-made, ideal, but which hides all its fragility , creaks , as if it is on the verge of self-destruction.”


The Maestro Jay | In The Rain

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Electro-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This song is called In The Rain. It features Tess Delphin on vocals. I’d call the genre electro-pop. It’s got an ’80’s new wave kind of feel. I make, produce and master my own work and believe I’ve finally mastered my sound.”


Den Paq | Douze

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am an author, composer and performer. Welcome to my musical universe. Breathe breathe, I feel your pain, but it’s not time to scream your blame.”


Liza Flume | Hurt Me (Delon Remix)

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “With over 25 years of experience, Greg Delon is a complete artist. Producer, DJ, label manager and president of a festival association, this self-taught electronic music lover transforms each of his productions into a gift he shares with his audience. After hearing Melbourne singer-songwriter Liza Flume’s Hurt Me on a series, Delon set about working the record through his studio to deliver a stunning rendition fit for the dance floor. Delon melts deep, brooding soundscapes around the subtitles of the original for a euphoric take designed for those twilight moments.”


Losange | Temple

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I would like to present my title Temple, which is the last born of the technique that I am developing: A purely computerized music in which every tonal detail is quantized/underweighted, like an equation to be solved, but always at the service of the emotion conveyed, the melodic narration of the piece. My credo is to marry the harmonic richness of classical music with the sounds of electronic music. The difficulty of my project is that it does not follow the canons of electronic music, because I don’t want to give in to the loudness race: There is no mastering like in classical, where the sounds are as pure as possible, so that the whole merges in the most natural way, each instrument  sculpted in such a way that the whole merges to create a meta-instrument, and there can be some magical passage where they seem to create a natural and unbreakable binder/continuum between all the paths, without having to use mixing tricks.”


Guitapapa | Fou De Toi

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “My name is Eric and I am a singer-songwriter from Belgium but I’m also a sound engineer and producer. Music has been part of my life for a pretty long time, and will be until I die (hopefully not today or tomorrow lol).”


Phil Di Noia | I Heard You

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Phil Di Noia is a singer-songwriter who sings in English, French and Italian. An experienced actor, he has worked with Robert Hossein, then executive producer for artists such as Jean Michel Jarre . He has always kept this passion for the show.”


Filolari | Inversity

HOME BASE: Italy.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Filippo Lari is an Italian neo-classical and electronic composer. When he was eight years old, his uncle, a violinist, gave him a digital keyboard. He started to use an audio sequencer on a personal computer with virtual instruments and plugs when he was 13. At 16 he discovered the Roland Jupiter 6 vintage analog synthesizer. Then he built his first home studio to arrange and produce electronic music. His favourites modern composers are Ludovico Einaudi, Fabrizio Paterlini, Hania Rani and Nils Frahm. The pianist and composer side let him create solo piano smooth emotional songs and modern acoustic experiments, jumping from improvisation to complex compositions. His last songs are the expression of his state of mind and the results of days spent in studio to improve the mood and character of his recordings.”


_telemaque_ | Rapture

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Based in the South of France, _telemaque_ creates sensitive and energetic pop. A guitarist and composer since childhood, his influences are multiple — folk, indie rock, hip hop, jazz, contemporary classical and electronica seem to coexist in his compositions. He spent several years refining his approach to composition, arrangements and his guitar playing. With his first EP June, he makes us discover an intimate universe to which he lends his voice. Rapture is a taste of the album he recorded in 2021.”


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