Groover Playlist 150 | Music For Your Monday (Or Any Other Day, Really)

More magnificent musical milestones from near and far.

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Ivy Gardens get close, Am Samstag have something to ask, Kirane works from memory, Danny Starr can’t see straight 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 200 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, say hello to these artists:

 


Ivy Gardens | Close Calls

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Ivy Gardens is made up of friends Joe (drums/vocals), Andrew (guitar/vocals), and Sebastian Hogg (synths/keyboards). The group formed in 2014, playing shows and releasing albums under the name Viscosity. In 2020 they restarted from scratch, naming the band Ivy Gardens after the street where they learned to be a band. The songs on their self-titled EP came together from jamming in the basement. The first few minutes of their lead single Close Calls is the sonic equivalent of a panic attack. Heavy chugging guitar and hallucinogenic organ are complemented by warpath drums as the vocals sing of self-destructive tendencies. There’s a lot of anger on this EP and why shouldn’t there be? Constant ridicule and distrust are in the air, while paranoia runs rampant. It’s like a scene out of a dystopian film, only this is real life. “We wanted the highest energy, most honest songwriting and the heaviest, pummeling riffs we could possibly deliver.”


Am Samstag | Do You Wanna Have Fun?

HOME BASE: Switzerland.
GENRE: Grunge.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Am Samstag (Saturday in German) hail from the land of Yodel, but the Swiss band play a dirty and savage grunge, tinged with punk and sprinkled with pop. Comprising of bassist Stephane Grand, drummer Baptiste Maier and guitarist/vocalist Gabriela Varela, the trio formed in 2018 in Lausanne. In early 2020, Am Samstag went to Seattle to record with Jack Endino at Soundhouse Recording. Benefiting from his solid experience and invaluable advice, the compositions oscillate between slow and adrenaline-filled tempos, between strongly distorted riffs and clear and melodic lines, sometimes almost psychedelic. Dualism was produced, recorded and mixed by Endino (Nirvana, Screaming Trees, L7) and mastered by Chris Hanzsek (Soundgarden, Melvins).”


Kirane | Memory

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Kirane has kept the essence of his classical style: A minimalist piano oscillating between gymnopedia and trip-hop, as if the spirit was born from the fingertips. Urban lands spring up an organic beat-box, classy scratches that mingle with electro with precise textures, sensitive strings that play with conventions, voices that whisper, fly away, multiply in echo. The sadly poetic lyrics escape from the literary to join everyday life. They reveal doubts, loneliness, love, death cultivating double meaning and paradox. Close to the sound of Beth Gibbons, the exalted inspiration of Agnès Obel or the obsessive path of Camille, this recording lets interiority, depth and melancholy soar. Music for emotional souls.”


Danny Starr | Losing Sight

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “British songwriter Danny Starr mixes the raw, heartbreaking emotion of Amy Winehouse and Ben Howard with the fine songwriting of Passenger or Arctic Monkeys. His blend of indie-rock and acoustic songs with witty and sensitive lyrics hits the spot again on his new single. Co-written in hours with Charlie from Weird Milk (one of the most exciting indie bands out there), Losing Sight is a hard-hitting track where Danny’s powerful and emotive vocals and guitars dominate, exploring venturing into new avenues outside of his comfort zone. This track marks a milestone in the Londoner’s career.”


Quay Global | See More

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Reggae-Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This is a melodic song about living your life and praying to see another day. It’s a moody inspirational track.”


Actes et Fractures | A La Folie

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Reggae-Punk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The different backgrounds of the members who make up the group allow their music to free itself from any stylistic framework. Loup (singer), Max (guitarist), Fly (bassist), Alex (drummer), Nico (trumpet player) and David (keyboard player) transport us in their universe. This song represents well the energy that they want to transmit.”


Ingrid St-Pierre | Les Émerveilleurs

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Through her airy and candid songs, Ingrid St-Pierre has quickly become a beloved figure in the public eye, receiving numerous awards and nominations along the way. As a self-taught artist, she soars through her imagery and dreamy melodies, inviting whoever will into her vibrant and lyrical universe.”


Fily Leela | Break The Mold

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Fily Leela is an artist, author, composer and performer. Her music lives in a pop universe with a mixed atmosphere of electro and soul sounds, under intimate, fragile and deep melodies. Her songs are reflections on the emotional world, experiencing feelings and tell us sometimes complex stories: The human being and its emotional complexity are at the center of his pieces. Fily Leela wants to reach her audience by reminding them how important they are to evolve in harmony with what makes us vibrate, how important it is to be yourself, even if it means sailing against the current sometimes. Her third single Break The Mold dares you to be yourself while its electro-pop mood makes you want to move!”


Taxi 404 | Amoureux

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Taxi 404 are back with the first single from their album, which has been in preparation for almost a year. Amoureux has a very French-pop sound straight from the 2000s, gently distilled in a mix of jazz, indie-rock and (of course) pop inspirations.”


IGI | Lift It Up

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:IGI sings and plays all the parts — guitarist, keys, drums. Everything is an influence of sorts, starting from a girl playing the piano on street to some person playing on Youtube, along with anything from The Beatles, Queen, Coldplay, Erykah Badu, Eminem, Ed Sheeran and more. All his music is recorded and produced at IGI‘s small home studio. Lift It Up is basically a positive vibe expressed in a song. We are the human kind. So the idea is to live up to our name and be kinder. Kinder is also German for kids. Simply remember what it was like being kids and all will be alright.”


Raüm | Cursed By The Crown

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Räum are a four-piece post-black metal project that offer you a path through our hopes, vices and decadence. This project was created in 2020 by Geoff and Xavier, who were quickly joined by Olivier and Dina. All four members were already known in their local scene through project like Face The Truth, Dawnbreath and Kiss The Goat. Their first LP was recorded under the supervision of Gilles Demolder. It will be released this summer.”


Mario Lento | Obsédé

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Here is my first extract from an original song. I’ve also written parodies that are on YouTube, along with other originals.”


Alex Métivier | Dens Ta Lumière

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Alt-Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Dans Ta Lumière is the title track from Alexi Métivier’s new EP arriving on April 8. Featuring experienced musicians — Jean-François Lemieux on bass (Daniel Bélanger, Jean Leloup) and Marc-André Larocque on drums (Louis-Jean Cormier, Vincent Vallières) and Amylie on co-production — the two-part song reveals the realizations the singer-songwriter made during the pandemic about his personal relationships. The opening in the second part demonstrates hope and features a bass master class by Jean-François, Marc-André’s groovy, dreamlike guitars and Alex’s vocal harmonies.”


Angie Lenoir | Dark Clouds

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Angie Lenoir is a rising electro-pop/ R&B songstress from Quebec with a penchant for creating relatable and enchanting hooks. Dark Clouds was inspired by the constant negativity in the music industry and its effect on personal growth for a musician. “Basically, I had a meltdown and got tired of everyone being negative around me and was just bothered by it so I wrote a song,” Angie says. Lenoir has been a DIY pop artist from the beginning, writing, mixing, and producing all of her music. Dark Clouds begins with a minor clean electric guitar and quickly morphs into an anthemic pop ballad. The inspiring track is meant for dance and not caring what society views you as. The message is to do things for no one but you. “Every dream is worth having and every effort is worth the risk,’ Angie says. “I learned that the hard way, but now I can say that dreams are definitely worth having, so just go for it.” Dark Clouds is the first part of an upcoming project Angie is working on, her biggest one yet. Expect more music from Angie this year.”


Phantom Busker | Notice

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:David MacGregor worked as a touring jazz guitarist for the last 15 years, though he grew up playing and writing rock music. Throughout the pandemic, he spent more time in the studio recording different styles of music that led him back to his roots. The song is a rock ballad that he wrote 25 years ago when her first starting playing.”


Timothy Ivan | Calme

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I’m a New York singer-songwriter using piano and voice. I released my debut LP in March 2020. It’s a nine-song album produced by Andy LeMaster (Michael Stipe, Bright Eyes) of lyrics and music about the state of a being. Each song is partly about others I’ve met, mixed with unknown voices speaking from the rarely explored corners of this city I live in. Calm features Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) on drums and percussion and Jeff Berner (Psychic TV) on guitar and synths.”


Gold Record | Defend Your Love

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Gold Record is a movement created to bring people together and beget joy. Music and art are the mediums for this movement. Currently the artist is working on three unique but lofty projects. One: A live album produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, The War On Drugs) Two: An electronic dance EP produced by Ewan Pearson (M83). Three: An indie-pop LP produced by Alex Newport (Death Cab For Cutie, City and Colour).”


Alex Krawczyk | Remember (ft. Dione Taylor)

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am from Toronto, and have been writing for several years after the traumatic loss of loved ones in my family to violence. With my writing and music, I hope to bring healing, peace and hope to others who are struggling with my writing and music.”


Kalifa Officiel | Oxygéné Love

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Official Kalifa from Mayotte has released two projects that talk about love.”


Aradia | No One Can Stop You (Slaphouse Remix)

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: EDM.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Often likened to Robyn, Empire of the Sun and Marina, Aradia is a Brooklyn-based self-produced recording artist who brings something with originality and depth to the world of alternative pop and EDM. Her anthemic, fist-pumping style artfully blends nu-disco, ’80s guitar-rock and modern electronica, creating powerful songs that elicit visceral responses from toe-tapping to tears. Her music is an invitation to show up, shine, and dance. The retro synthpop multi-instrumentalist and producer is back with a reinvigorated dance remix of her song No One Can Stop You. “I wanted to put out a remix of one of my existing songs, and No One Can Stop You definitely got a lot of positive responses the first time around,” Aradia says. “I think people vibe with the empowering lyrics and upbeat feel, so a dance remix felt like the right thing.”


Liquid Legacy | Intruders

HOME BASE: Brazil.
GENRE: Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “My name is Gabriel Bonzanini, and I recently recorded my first album Red Pills. I did all the production, recording guitars, bass, lead and backing vocals, and hired a drummer. I just want to see how far I can go with my music, reaching as many people as possible. I’m in it just for fun, not money.”


Flinstone | Ahh Change

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This record is a positive cool vibe, with strong vocals to capture emotion, in hopes that it will touch the hearts of people.”


Greg Haye | Travel

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Greg Haye is an atypical artist, sensitive and generous, on an unusual journey inspired by David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Sting, Neil Young, Ed Sheeran and Ronan Keating. His first goal was to become a professional footballer, but health (or fate) made him stop this promising career, though he retains a mental strength which allows him to pass life’s tests.”


Mel Fine | Alone Together

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Mel Fine is a captivating singer-songwriter and producer who fuses soulful vibes with folky acoustic pop to create honest and lush music that sucks you in. Their goal is to create music for the feelings that are hard to put into words. The Boston artist’s sophomore single Alone Together is an emotional yet catchy story of love and yearning, detailing the insecurities of a long-distance relationship. With its infectious melody, honest storytelling, and masterfully positioned melodic hooks, the song brings new meaning to being alone together. The song demonstrates crafted layering of sweet melodic harmonies, falsetto runs, and perfectly placed background vocals. It brilliantly cascades through the emotions reverberating from one coast to another, on a love which won’t fade despite the great distance between them. It is a wonderfully produced track, full of complex vocal harmonies and layers of delicate and dynamic instrumentation, and transitions of smooth and effortless falsetto runs, which support the epic chorus.”


Sacha Menny | Too Loose

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “With a background in classical and jazz, Sacha Menny mainly composes pieces for solo piano. His musical influences are Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Keith Jarrett and others. Sacha records his songs at the famous Studio Guillaume Tell in Suresnes, with his sound engineer and friend Denis Caribaux. His piano music is melancholy but never sad.”


Camil | Down The Line

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Based in Paris, I’m an independent author, producer and sound engineer at the renowned Studios de la Seine. I spend my life in the studio with numerous artists. My new song is about me struggling to end a relationship with someone that I love, struggling to know what I want and what’s better for my mental health.”


David Ruther | Bita Baby

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Jazz-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I’m a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer. I write in various styles, all with an underlying jazz aesthetic. My track Bita Baby was inspired by my love of artists like The Police and Adrian Belew, and the sophisticated and unusual voicings and textures they bring to concise song writing.”


Seki | Need A Moment

HOME BASE: Thailand.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Taking influences from Tears for Fears, The 1975 and The Strokes, Seki creates a shoegaze-inflected indie-pop sound, rich with layered harmonies and instantly-memorable melodies. Although a newcomer, Seki  has deeply embedded roots in Thai musical history. His mother was guitarist for Bird Thongchai, one of the most successful singers in Thailand’s history, having sold over 25 million albums. His father regularly took him to the local flea market to scour for second-hand cassettes that helped him develop his love for singing, influenced by artists like The Bee Gees, Tears for Fears and Psychedelic Furs. Seki channels these retro influences into a simple yet meticulously crafted sound, developing sparse arrangements into an indie-cinematic sound where each musical part plays its own distinctive role, overlaid with lushly layered harmonies.”


Dinh VZ | Héroïque

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Dinh VZ was born in Vietnam and left his native country at the age of two with part of his family. He comes to us with a magnificent song written for his mother. Sung in French and Vietnamese, the electro-pop track’s poignant lyrics pay tribute to the woman who heroically left Vietnam with her 13 children (Dinh VZ is the youngest) after the war.”


Ismatricule | All Night Long (ft. Walid)

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Funk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We’re two French artists in Bordeaux who bring a fresh, unique funk energy! All Night Long instantly creates a groovy atmosphere, with an unusual intro influenced by big brass bands and a catchy chorus that won’t leave your head (sorry about that). Ismatricule, the producer, plays the keys, the bass, the saxophone, the drums and the guitar, while Walid bends the limits of funk, soul and R&B with his unique and strong voice.”


Leadback | Irish

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: EDM.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Leadback (real name: Jérémy) was born in Toulon, where he has lived his passion for music since his adolescence. In 2003, he went to Paris to improve his skills in scratching with DJ Eanov as a teacher, then went on to win the French DJ Championship. In 2008 he created a DJ school where he teaches the basics of the mixing, scratching and more. In 2012, he released his first album. In 2020 he collaborated with Mike Louvila (singer of are beautiful panzer Flower) on a moonbhatoon track and developed a new style of music.”


Didier | Hands Off Ukraine

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Alt-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Born in Montréal, he sailed the seas in the Navy for almost 30 years, bringing back music, poems and songs inspired by the world and the sea. He likes to mix genres from indie-folk to pure rock and funk. “This is a quick song composed for the people of Ukraine,” Didier says. “It’s not very well mixed but I wanted to keep it like that, with urgent, deep emotion.”


Director Level | Dream A Little More

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Director Level are a London-based music duo. Dream A Little More is an electronica / downtempo track.”


Tiphanie Doucet | Joe Le Taxi

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Tiphanie Doucet was a child actress on French TV and started recording music after she moved to the U.S. After the success of her 2018 LP Under my Sun, produced by Simone Felice and David Baron (Lumineers, Bat For Lashes, Jade Bird), she her ethereal EP Painted Blue, an introspective five-track offering featuring her seductive vocals and sophisticated imagery. Her EP Re-Imagined, with various titles which she carefully re-arranges, paints the sweet picture of her pop musical influences. Her version of the Vanessa Paradis song Joe Le Taxi opens the door to a new electro-pop influence that the artist will unveil in 2022, leading up to a new album in September.”


Bubba Brothers | No Name Song

HOME BASE: Portugal.
GENRE: EDM.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This track was meant to be and sound different.”


Rumia | Everything I Did, I Did It Just For You

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Everything I Did, I Did It Just for You is the second single from Berlin indie-pop artist Rumia’s upcoming album. The song reflects on a toxic, unreciprocated love. During a night out, Rumia tries to forget how miserable she feels with the person she is in love with. Should love be this hard? Featuring hypnotic rhythms and captivating vocals, Rumia walks you through a dark, hazy love song that many will feel identified with. Not all love stories are perfect.”


Walter Longscott | Thoughts And Prayers

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This is a song about politicians who, whenever there is a disaster, are quick to send us their thoughts and prayers. However, when it comes to taking action, suddenly it’s silence everywhere…”


TODAY’S PLAYLIST