Groover Playlist 155 | May Flowers

Welcome to a new month — and a new crop of great tunes from around the world.

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Ives Electric gets poetic, Queen Marilyn I makes you a believer, Kuf Knotz and Christine Elise share a love story, John Cologon goes with the flow, Christine Valença pops up from Brazil — and they’re just a few 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 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, enjoy this crop of May flowers:

 


Ives Electric | Poetry

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This is the first of three singles and an album to come in the next weeks/months.”


Queen Marilyn I | Something To Believe In

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Experimental.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This song was wriiten during a very traumatic period in my life, and just before its release the pandemic hit, confirming and exacerbating my fears — as evident in the lyrics. It is melancholic but edgy, soft and hard in the right places, provocative with enough energy to challenge us to look for our greater selves, something bigger than us. Please listen for the dramatic twist.”


Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise | rē(ə)l ləv (real love)

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Hip-Hop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “MC / poet / songwriter Kuf Knotz and classically trained harpist / guitarist / pianist / vocalist Christine Elise have combined forces to create a new album. The unlikely pair connected and built the project with a similar vision, wanting to create positive, forward-thinking music driven by a strong message. Both individuals are intrinsically motivated to foster community growth through musical expression.”


John Cologon | Love Flows Through

HOME BASE: Australia.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “John’s music is influenced by bands like Supertramp, The Beatles, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin, to name a few. These early influences have been modified and matured through the effect of the music he has been exposed to over the intervening years, resulting in a unique combination of pop-rock, blues-rock, and progressive rock. John is a multi-instrumentalist with a long history of playing in bands. “I wrote this track after watching The Beatles Get Back rooftop concert, so I suspect it may have been influenced by that,” he says. “The song is about the importance of giving and receiving love — a pretty basic fact of human life, but one that we sometimes seem to miss.”


Christine Valença | Rematilha

HOME BASE: Brazil.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “A singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, actress and dancer from Rio de Janeiro, Christine Valença was born into a family involved in music. Her influences are eclectic and range from Norah Jones, Françoise Hardy and Fiona Apple to Edu Lobo and Djavan. Seeking to create a dramatic and vibrant sound, mixing vintage textures with pop aesthetics contemporary, the artist is preparing to release her first album in 2022. “Rematilha was composed during a period of great crisis, during a love breakup that seemed impossible to happen, and talks about having no option but to reinvent yourself in an attempt to see other horizons when your life has been mixed up with someone else’s,” she says. “It talks about the creative experience itself as a process and discovery, and finally it also talks about the nature of creation. This song is a force in itself, it’s part of the album that’s hot, and it says a lot about what I believe, a little bit of my worldview, because Elísio Freitas, the music producer, managed to capture my references without filter. Talking about the creative process is always a breath for the artist’s heart.”


Ketsmy | Lakay

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Rap.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Ketsmy is an upcoming songwriter, composer, musician and singer born in Montreal in a Haitian family. This cultural mix transpires through his art; his songs have powerful themes, adressing social and racial issues inflicted on the BIPOC community. His message is delivered with a voice with powerful soul, layered atop dancing rhythms that mix R&B, hip-hop, blues-rock and Afrobeat. With his first album expected on May 18, Ketsmy presents his fourth single Lakay (“The House”). In this song of melancholy and assertiveness, pared-down production brings the melodic conversation between the trumpet and the artist’s distinctive voice to the fore. Lakay is an unpretentious and unfiltered invitation to (re)discover Ketsmy and the importance he places on feeling at home.”


Viktoriusz | BLV N-U

HOME BASE: Ukraine / United Kingdom.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Viktoriusz is a collaboration between Ukrainian singer Viktoria and award-winning Scottish-based songwriter/producer MC². Proceeds from the track will be used to help integrate Ukrainian war refugees into the duo’s hometown of Glasgow. It was produced in Scotland by MC² and mastered by Dubmatix at Renegade Studios, Toronto.”


Nicolas Réal | Le Coureur

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “For years, with the complicity of his lyricist friend Laurent B, Nicolas Réal has been working on his songs like miniature films, sometimes borrowing from westerns, film noir or science fiction. By turns surreal, hallucinatory and sensual, his songs are crossed by a vertigo of identity: In the middle of all our doubles and digital reflections, what remains? Behind the obviousness of the melodies, under the shimmering and generous aspect of the arrangements, it is indeed the uncertainty of the current world which always rumbles in secret. After running the Paris Marathon this April, Réal unveils Le Coureur, a hymn to running! With his smooth voice, groovy rhythm and string gimmick, Réal takes us with him throughout his running session. His first album Gommettes will be available June 10.”


F.R.O.S.T. | Mawnin

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Reggae-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I’m a Canadian artist of Jamaican descent. The song and video I’m presenting to you is named Mawnin. I created the song during the world lockdown to help bring some positivity into people’s lives. It is an Afrobeat / reggae song. Feel the energy of it!”


Asher Laub | Dreaming Awake

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Asher Laub began classical violin training at age 2 — leading to his first formal concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic at 13. Since then, Asher’s ability improvise across multiple genres has inspired an innovative career as a cutting-edge electric violinist. He has performed in Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and garnered acclaim across four continents. In 2014, Asher lived a musician’s nightmare when he confronted health challenges that impacted his mobility. Refusing to accept defeat, he rebuilt his musical skills to a new level. This harrowing experience inspired him to reinvent himself as a dancing violinist. In only a few months, Asher learned to merge hip-hop, pop, EDM, rock, and other genres with breakdancing and acrobatic choreography. Asher is currently in the studio finishing up his next original album. Dreaming Awake suggests a different way of looking at the world.”


TheYungJB | Everything Good (About Me)

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This song was a freestyle. I recorded this in South Africa while I was on vacation.”


Entrée Libre | Corps à Corps

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Entrée Libre are a Parisian duo formed in 2019. They create joyful,  spontaneous pop to escape the constraints of the strange days they were born in. The two childhood friends took the first letters of their names to create the name Entrée Libre. With their first EP Avant-Première due May 13th, they unveil Corps à Corps, which blends British rock energy with a global good mood worthy, creating an irresistible desire to move. The funk and electro influence hovers not far from the sharp guitar riffs, the groovy bass lines and the lyrics narrating the movements of bodies approaching and then repelling each other. The single eventually has a rather precise goal: To make people dance.”


Jessica Estelle | Reste-Là

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Passionate about music since childhood. Jessica began singing as a soloist in her college choir. She  participated in many singing competitions in Aquitaine, then was part of a rock group in Poitiers. Pushed by her best friend who encouraged her to show her talent, she presents her first single Reste-Là. This song evokes the wear and tear in a couple’s relationship; how love can be born, then suddenly run out of steam, transporting us from one extreme emotion to another, unceremoniously. In the clip, Jessica is consumed in her relationship with the loved one, begging him not to leave her. Her warm and bewitching voice, and her melancholic melody with pop accents, will undoubtedly touch the heart of whoever listens to her.”


Ydane | EllevoulaitjusteduFUN!!

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Originaly from Paris, I have lived in Switzerland and in Japan, but am now back in France to make music seriously. I’m releasing my album Kanda 2 on May 13 and I just released this second single.”


Henry Aberson | How You Feel + Hang It Up

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Thank you, for taking the time to listen to our work. We want to make music that feels good. Please join us on our musical journey.”


Syki | Nine Lives

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This is my latest release. It addresses a lot of the struggles I have been through in my life. I poured my heart and soul into this single. I hope you like it!”


Alex Krawczyk | Better Days

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am an artist from Toronto, Canada, 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. Better Days is an original song that I wrote about finding joy while waiting in uncertain times. I hope it brings some happiness to you.”


Ghostface Krillen | Préjudice

HOME BASE: United Stages.
GENRE: Folk-Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This is the best metal song I have made so far.”


Clarissa Bruns | Passagem de Ida

HOME BASE: Brazil.
GENRE: Samba.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Passagem de Ida is a love declaration that Clarissa Bruns makes to her daughter Isadora. With a modern and welcoming arrangement for a beautiful melody, Clarissa pays tribute to all the mothers on the planet and to the relationship between mother and child. Fittingly, Dora Marques, Clarissa’s daughter, duets with her at the end of the song.”


Shadow The Archangel | Pillow Talk

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Pillow Talk is a song inspired by real-life events — a failed engagement with a Venezuelan woman in Colombia who got pregnant by another man because of Shadow’s pride and unwillingness to compromise with her ideals of what a man is supposed to be. The song was made as a coping tool to deal with the real trauma of losing someone.”


Le Douze | California Nebula

HOME BASE: France / United States.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh to the scene with a hot summer single, French-American rockers Le Douze (“12”) formed out of a need for creativity and collaboration during their quarantine in France. The number symbolizes rebirth, the beginning of a new cycle. Their new single California Nebula is a stand-out track on their debut album. Drummer David Boutherre doubles as lead vocalist, while keyboardist Frédéric Scamps and guitarist/producer Maxine Lebidois fill out the rich bed of chill sonic lushness that transports listeners to the tropics. “Quarantine created a special place, out of time,” Maxime says. “It gave me a total freedom to express something through music — and through music, create a special connection with David and Fred.” As they developed lyrics, the track quickly took on special meaning to them. “California Nebula is the story of someone who’s been away from home for a very, very long time,” David says, “someone who comes back to their homeland to take care of the ones they love the most and to be taken care of by them as well.” The three spent a lot of time working and recording on the west coast of France, which reflects in the mood of the track as well as the lyrics. “We would sing and then go out to the water; the apartment was just in front of the beach and the sea,” Frédéric says. “We thought about swimming with the dolphins, being back from Babylon after touring for a long time, like Roman soldiers 2000 years ago. We just wanted to stay here, to be with wine and family.”


Mariaa Siga | Sama Nene

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Reggae.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Mariaa Siga, whose real name is Mariama Siga Goudiaby, is a young artist from Southern Senegal. She is a composer and performer. With Sama Nene, a true hymn to maternal love recorded during her pregnancy, Mariaa Siga also wants to show that it is possible to lead her life as an artist, woman and mother without giving up her dreams.”


Will Wood | Tomcat Disposables

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Will Wood is an American singer-songwriter, known for his ever-changing style and difficult-to-decipher public persona. He has released numerous singles and three albums: Everything Is A Lot in 2015; Self-Ish in 2016 and The Normal Album in 2020. The forthcoming In Case I Make It is due in summer. Little is known about the real Wood, and his public image has often been the subject of strange myths, misinformation, and misconceptions. Wood has a disdain both personal and ideological for all platforms of social media and its culture, and does not shy away from making these views public. Unlike many artists in this era, Wood makes the fact that he doesn’t operate any social media accounts clear, openly resisting the way artists are expected to self-promote. Despite his borderline reclusive and private nature, Wood has consistently been open about his past struggles with addiction and mental illness, having entered recovery early in his career and later being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His latest single Tomcat Disposables may be his most accessible yet, with a new indie-folk sound, layering the soft sounds of the baritone ukulele with his fully orchestrated backing band.”


Darity | Worth It

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This is the first single off of our upcoming EP.”


Charlène Juarez | First Love(r)

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We know Charlène Juarez as artist Chat. After an album (Folie Douce, 2009) and two EPs (Le Cœur, 2013; L’Endroit des rêves, 2015), concerts and tours with various prominent artists, Charlène returns to the beginnings of her musical adventures and rediscovers the original instrument of her expression: Piano. Her brother, Pierre Juarez, producer and arranger, recorded her in a two-day session at Motorbass Studio Paris. The pieces come to life on the tape; it’s a new chapter in her life as an artist.”


TR!C | Confused Still

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
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. This is an Afro-fusion dance track inspired by Congolese soukous, afrohouse from Angola, and the Montreal dance scene, particularly afrofuturism like Moonshine/Pierre Kwenders. It’s a little electro, a little afro, and also a little pop. It 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 a relationship between two people that has never been defined. The protagonist doesn’t know whether he is a lover, a friend, or a partner which causes confusion. Even as he tries to let go, he is lured back by the prospect of a meaningful connection, only to be heartbroken again. However, he finds that the confusion with this woman is still better than the loneliness he feels when he is not with her. This is a collaboration between TR!C (producer/vocalist), Stephon Gabriel (backing vocalist, Trinidad and Tobago), and guitarist Tito Monako (Congo). I hope this track makes you dance as much as it made us dance while making it.”


Ephemeral Sky | In The Name Of

HOME BASE: Austria.
GENRE: Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Ephemeral Sky aim for elevation above well-defined genre distinctions and music which evokes deep, primal and often-conflicting emotions. It’s an exploration of humanity’s most radiant accomplishments and most devastating cruelties. It’s a manifest to what was, is and could be. It’s a means to an end; the end being feeling. It’s a spiritual journey of finding strength and faith within oneself. It’s a mixture of heaving-hitting, unnerving hardcore and absolving, ethereal post-rock with that touch of black metal. Mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley from Atomic Garden Studios (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker).”


Organic Mood | Fields

HOME BASE: Ukraine.
GENRE: EDM.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Melodic deep house is perfect for everyday listening. Not the usual combination of baroque vocals and modern electronic rhythms.”


Marilou Nézeys | Hope

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Marilou Nézeys has walked the halls French and European festivals. Under her fingers, the piano sings like a human voice. She has been resident pianist of the Ritz Paris, Four Seasons Paris, Hotel George V and Bristol and Harry’s American Bar. In these Parisian palaces, she enriched her repertoire with film music, jazz standards, international variety, French songs, lounge music, urban soul and pop-rock covers. Her album to come, Earth,  reveals her talent as a composer. Hope for solo piano is a great lyrical flight. A cry that comes from the Earth and from the heart. This classically inspired theme, which soars towards the hope of an ideal, mixes with an accompaniment with jerky rhythms closer to jazz and world music. The theme, very melodious, is thus anchored in the earth, in matter. Somebody kindly said : “It’s a mixture of Rachmaninoff and the modernity of Nina Simone.”

Chronic Mncher | Daybreak

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Daybreak is the closing track on my sophomore EP, released today on So French Records. It’s a driving darkwave journey interspersed with warm french touch.”


Plainfacedgirl | Freak!

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I love this song a lot because it’s fun and you can dance to it, but it also makes you think. Women are not satisfied (in more ways than one). I’m just looking to start the conversation that leads to a future where equality flows naturally. I wanted my lyrics to be shocking so the message can be heard loud and clear.”


Alicia Lov | I’m Sorry

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This song tells a story of mistakes, heartbreak, and regret. I wrote this song during a difficult chapter in my life and this was my way of expressing the emotions and finding closure. I’m Sorry has a beautiful piano instrumental with meaningful lyrics and I hope that listeners can connect and relate to it in their own way.”


TODAY’S PLAYLIST