Groover Playlist 142 | Twice As Nice (Part 2)

Tune into some more great new music by artists from all four corners of the globe.

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Dave Kensington is bored, Fran Ray takes heart, Dylan Brunson and The Village Rhythm Company are on the rise and more in the second part of 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, settle in and double your pleasure with these fine finds:

 


Dave Kensington | Paris S’Ennuie

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Dave Kensington’s new single Paris S’Ennuie (Paris Is Bored), comes after six months of intensive rehabilitation following a long Covid and a stay in hospital, where he was placed in intensive care in an artificial coma and feared he would no longer being able to sing. The video is a nod to Mickey & Mallory in Natural Born Killers. For this single, Kensington managed to surround himself with the cream of Belgian arrangers. The title was recorded at the legendary ICP studio in Brussels and mixed by Jules Fradet. Human relations at a distance, speed dating, the loneliness of words and remarks … this is what Kensington tries to address in his lyrics. But even though Paris is bored, the song is is also a feel-good title.”


Fran Ray | Mighty Hearts

HOME BASE: France / United Kingdom.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I’ve written and released two albums in last few years and have had some success with them — but not enough! I’ve decided to release more singles and an EP this year and see how that goes, as I have so much music. My single Mighty Hearts is actually a remix of a single from my last album Scarlett and Black. I had wanted to do a soulful track with R&B undertones but one that addressed some important issues. It’s a song about being together, the power of love and collaboration, the power of us, the people.”


Dylan Brunson and The Village Rhythm Company | Rise Above It

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Blues.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Think saxophone, horns, and organ with guitars and bass — rock and jazz-style chords — high-energy guitar and sax solos. Hope you can dig this track and enjoy the ride.”


Stuart Wilson | Head Up In The Clouds

HOME BASE: Cayman Islands.
GENRE: Reggae.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Stuart Wilson is an artist, who has a unique brand of reggae music. He has been performing and opening for acts such Damian Marley, Beres Hammond, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Morgan Heritage, Third World, John Legend and many more. Stuart has been recording material and compiling songs for an upcoming album. This song is a celebration of life; reggae with a cool and breezy horn section, sweet guitars and a stepping drum line.”


Félix-Édouard | Wrong Side

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “With influences ranging from Coldplay to Smashing Pumpkins, via Louis-Jean Cormier, Félix-Édouard’s music revolves around alternative, folk and pop. He says: ‘This a song inspired by the sound of the ’80s. I’ve tried to put some modern elements to it. If you pay attention to the lyrics you’ll find out that it’s a happy song with deep lyrics. Wrong Side came out with my new album Perceptions on Nov. 26.’ ”


The Watershed Band | Someday

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Americana.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are Tommy and Leon, known as The Watershed Band! We are brothers who formally joined forces in 2018. We spent the next year or so writing and recording our album in our home studios and we are really proud of it! We are currently finishing the recording of our second album.”


Alannah Chapman | Let Go

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Young Alannah Chapman may have been known to occasionally play her sax for the cows in her native Albany (South coast of Western Australia), but it didn’t take long for her raw talent to be recognised by her human peers. After picking up a saxophone at 14, Chapman was accepted into the James Morrison Academy of Jazz, before entering the prestigious Conservatorium of Amsterdam. Chapman now performs on sax with a variety of bands, and is often gracing the stage of local festivals. Here’s her latest track, which has allowed Alannah to express her feelings after a heartbreak.”


DeVaré | Play For Keeps

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Reggae.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This track Play For Keeps has many definitions. It can be about a relationship you’re in, or any situation, for that mater. The gist is such that you never regret your decisions; you make them, then live with the results, regardless. Hence, you play for keeps.”


Liza V | Come On, Dear

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I wrote this song when I moved to New York in 2019. Never expected to actually record and release it. My main goal was to record all instruments — not computer sounds. It’s funny, but the first demo for this song was created on my iPhone. I’m so happy it turned into an official release.”


Stephanie Bernard | Gymnopédie No. 1

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Stéphanie Bernard first played the harp she had just bought in 2018. Little by little, this instrument — certainly one of the oldest in the world — has become an extension of her fingers. It was after watching several videos of Russian harpist Alexander Boldachev that she took the plunge and bought this magical instrument. “I fell in love with the sound of the Salvi harps and I believe that the harp chose me and not the other way around!” she says. Passionate about the music of Devin Townsend (her great musical love), Strapping Young Lad, Pantera, Fear Factory and Rob Zombie, Stéphanie also loves Erik Satie, Claude Debussy and John Powell’s fabulous film scores. She likes to mix heavy styles and sounds with soft melodies. Gymnopédie No. 1 is a tribute to Satie from her album Une Harpe Sous Les Étoiles.”


Poli | Egoïste

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Ever since the first quarantine, nothing is the same. Having lost patience to reopen his club, Poli takes the microphone to express himself in a world where freedoms abandon us. Poli (aka Paul Clergerie) just released his first EP L’Amour. Its five songs showcase very varied musical influences (Afrobeat to funk, the ’80s to modern productions) as Poli takes you into the universe which gives its title to the record: L’Amour.


E.G. Phillips | The Octopus Song

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Jazz.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:E.G. Phillips is a San Francisco songwriter who creates lyric-driven songs with his own special blend of whimsy and cinematic imagery which he uses to give a wry take on dealing with the longings of the heart and the madness of existence. As for the inspiration for his lyrics, he readily admits an unusually outsized influence by long running British sci-fi show Doctor Who. Ducks With Pants is the name of his fake band. The Octopus Song is a jazz ballad which contemplates the nature of consciousness; octopuses. “I once had a show scheduled at the Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland,” he explains. “At the same time a book by the title of The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery appeared on my radar. I thought it would be fun to have a song I could play to promote the event. So I wrote this tune with You’re Looking at Me by Nat King Cole in mind. Anecdotes from Montgomery’s book became the basis for verses, but it was her reference to the Hawaiian Kumulipo that inspired for the chorus. The claim that islanders have a myth that octopuses are the only survivors from a previous world made for a wonderful jumping-off point — it also might be mistaken as another of my references to Doctor Who.”


Pyralid | The End Of Us

HOME BASE: Netherlands.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Pyralid’s music has its own flavour: Feel-good songs with atmospheric sound shaping, catchy melodies, and groovy rhythms at the core. Pyralid aims to take you on a journey by creating a unique and positive vibe for every song. Pyralid, based in the Netherlands, kicked off his music career in 2020. He is always busy writing and producing songs in his little home studio. With frequent releases he is working towards his debut album, planned to release in 2022. The End of Us is a semi-melancholic electronic alt-pop song, co-produced by the Indian duo The Fortune. “The song is inspired by a relationship in which the love of my life closed herself off from me,” Pyralid says. “Will she allow us to reconnect or do I need to end this relationship? Making such a decision can feel really empowering and positive in many aspects. That feeling is also reflected in the music.”


Cherry-Ilex | Love Me

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Stunningly delicate, expressive and breathy vocals meet with the simple strum of an acoustic guitar for this refreshingly intimate, poetic and enchanting new single from Cherry-Ilex. With R&B tones and unique songwriting, alongside a few familiar lyrical threads for relatability, Love Me underlines the clear talent of the songwriter and vocalists at work. Featuring a blissfully meandering melody, with a shift to a gospelesque, choir-touched moment of brightness, the single shines light on a whole new side to the Cherry-Ilex sound.”


DY3-thx12-4432 | Faith In The Atom

HOME BASE: Italy / Japan.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Davide Perico is a keyboardist, bassist, composer of music for films and games, and producer with over 20 years of experience. Yoshimitsu 4432 is a true guitar hero, and being a rock star, nothing is known about him. Not even Davide knows his age, or his face. They are two artists who accidentally met online and it was musical love at first sight. This is the first single from the upcoming album Dark Planet. Everything was created, recorded and produced remotely.”


LVCIVS | Deep Blue

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Alt-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am a French musician. I wanted to share with you my first original song Deep Blue. It’s a song that I wrote a while ago but at the time I was not comfortable with sharing my music as an artist. Now I feel ready.”


Peregrine | Backpack

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are a music collective (sort of) supported by revolving contributors based out of Worcester, Mass. Our music is an effort to reflect how we feel. Lately, we do not feel great. This song is the first single off of our upcoming sophomore LP The Awful Things We’ve Done. The pandemic tore our band apart and caused us to rethink our approach to nearly everything. We feel that, while painful, we’re ultimately better for it. What do you think?”


Seamus O’Muineachain | Foraging For Wild Garlic In A Light Snow

HOME BASE: Ireland.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Seamus O’Muineachain is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer from Belmullet, Ireland. Using piano, synthesizers, and guitars, he aims to create otherworldly atmospheres with simple melodies and textures. His main source of inspiration is rural Ireland. This is a track from his recent album Different Time Zones.”


Tr!C | Like Kante

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Afrofusion.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I’m a genre-bender in training. If I wasn’t that, I’d probably be training to be a water bender. I’m based in Chicago. I’m Congolese and Haitian. I like to call my sound Afro-Caribbean sadboi music. I was raised to a soundtrack of great Congolese rumba artists such as Papa Wemba and Franco Luambo Makiadi and classic Haitian groups like Tropicana. So this is the sound that feels like home but I also listen to a lot of hip-hop and alternative rock, so those sounds all combine to craft my sound. Like Kante blends thumping electronic bass (like Kaytranada) with hypnotic rhythms in guitar and synths, as well as new age, Kid Cudi-inspired vocals. It is a song about not being able to escape a bad situation. You get past situations but in the end they always catch up to you. This is a collaboration with guitarist Tito Monako (Congo).”


The Artist Muneer | Dark To Light

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:The Artist Muneer is an up-and-coming hip-hop artist out of Nashville. His first album Dark To Light was released in December. He does everything for his children. One of the reasons he doesn’t swear in his music and keeps a positive message is so he can share it with his kids. He feels he’s atoning for a tumultuous and dark childhood, but through raising his boys he’s found his way to the light.”


Aboynamedblu | Posh Boys Can’t Do Drugs

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “New music coming soon.”


The Night Owls | The Night Owls

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Created by Simon Arsenault and Marianne Bourgeois, The Night Owls are an indie/folk/rock/country band from Montreal. Arsenault, a professional musician and session player for a variety of artists, was part of the progressive rock band Innerspace. Bourgeois is a self-taught singer-songwriter who has started taking music more seriously over the past few years. As a couple stuck at home during the pandemic, they started writing songs together. In no time they had a collection worthy of an album. Their self-titled debut single is a mysterious, slow-burning folk track.”


Jake Huffman | Meet Me In The Middle

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “At the age of 14, Jake Huffman began his musical journey while traveling up and down the east coast with his rock ’n’ roll band McLovins, sharing the stage with Blink-182, Jack White and Flaming Lips. Jake has also been a composer and lyricist for Sesame Street and written songs for Ed Sheeran and Leon Bridges. He also did a stint leading the house band on ESPN2’s Sports Nation for a season. With years of experience under his belt and an ability to masterfully handle multiple instruments, Jake has created a sound that pulls deep from his rock roots and reaches far into what can only be described as the sound of the ’20s — a sound with the uniqueness of Arcade Fire, the drive of Tom Petty and the honesty of Death Cab For Cutie.”


The Official Christian Rapper, Mr. Raj | Garden Of Sins

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am a born-again Christian! I do my level best to explain issues we all deal with it within our hearts and minds: Sin, OCD, ADHD, depression, pain, anger, sadness, salvation, happiness, love and joy. Garden Of Sins is a quick, upbeat and raw track that tells the tale of the sins of mankind in this broken world. We were in the Garden of Eden, but we are now in Garden of Sins.”


Peter Lake | Shadow Games

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Peter Lake is a New York City singer-songwriter who revels in anonymity. His musical influences include Curtis Mayfield, Motown, Billie Eilish and Rüfüs Du Sol. Therefore, it’s no surprise that he has not stuck to one genre, dabbling in rock, pop, indie, and house. Released earlier this month, his EP Blue consists of three tracks written that explore a few of life’s most precious moments. The second track Shadow Games highlights the songwriter’s jovial side. Inspired by a night spent looking after a precocious seven-year-old child unwilling to go to bed unless entertained, the song finds humor in the child’s demands. “This little girl was a creative genius,” Lake says. “I think we all start that way. I hope I never lose my child-like enthusiasm!”


TODAY’S PLAYLIST