Groover Playlist 156 | A Spring In Your Step (Part 1)

Durcel Haze, Hanna Hush, Emanuela and more great new artists from near & far.

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Durcel Haze share their confusion, Hanna Hush gets a hold on you, Julie Sevilla Fraysse goes big on Haydn, Emanuela takes you to heaven 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, spring into your day with these fine finds:

 


Durcel Haze | Unleashed Confusion

HOME BASE: Austria / Germany / Hungary.
GENRE: Punk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “A German, a Hungarian and two Austrians walk into a bar … ” If you’re waiting for the punchline, be patient — this is not a lame joke, but the exciting start of a band. Durcel Haze smash the rock zeitgeist, keeping a decent distance from traditional genres like heavy metal or German rock. The mandatory break of the Corona pandemic was used creatively and productively. Their debut album Down The Rabbit Hole is in the pipeline with the support of producer Reinhard von Wegen. Unleashed Condition is their latest preview. “Everyone knows the feeling of being lost,” bassist Janos Suba says. “Life is an endless struggle in which we sometimes forget what our goal is. Whatever happens, we must move forward and find the meaning of our own existence. It frees our spirit, lets do to us what we want and eventually makes us indestructible.”


Hanna Hush | Hold On Me

HOME BASE: Finland.
GENRE: Rockabilly.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Helsinki’s Hanna Hush plays rock ’n’ roll music with deep soulful lyrics and hot tight rhythms! You can hear the influence of roots styles like rockabilly, country, blues and psychobilly. Hanna writes all the songs and the band — Henri Jokinen (guitar), Ville Niska (drums) and Juha Kujanen (upright bass)  — help give the songs their final shape. Her debut single Hold On Me is basically a love song. It’s a rockabilly song about the contradiction between being by yourself and being in a relationship. It’s about meeting the right one in the moment, when you have planned to be by yourself. It’s about the person who walks into your life and sweeps you off your feet.”


Julie Sevilla Fraysse | Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 & 2

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Julie Sévilla-Fraysse is one of the world’s foremost cellists and a promising talent for the young generation of classical music artists. Considered a new phenomenon, she embodies classical excellence with French elegance and modernity. A blend of a genuine, humble and sophisticated musical approach, JSF touches her audience through a unique energy, enhancing the vision of and opening minds to the global scope of classical music. Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 & 2 is her orchestral debut album. She joins forces with conductor Eric Zorgniotti and the Paris Virtuosi Orchestra for a fantastic recording of these iconic pieces for cello. Together they play with great engagement and excellent dynamics. This is a debut that sounds like a confirmation.”


Emanuela | Made In Heaven

HOME BASE: Israel.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Emanuela is an artist and performer with a passion for appealing yet intelligently crafted music. She is not afraid to stand out and speak out, not only in terms of her lyrics, but also in terms of the edgy, risky element she brings to her music. Her most recent release Made In Heaven is an album featuring 10 tracks. It opens with the title track, which quickly morphs from an angelic, ethereal landscape into a busy, glitchy electronic beat with synth blips that are reminiscent of retro games and old-school samplers. This track is a perfect example of what it’s like to produce great electronic pop music with a contemporary twist and an experimental edge that never deters from the pure appeal of a good pop hook. The vocals sit perfectly on top of the mix, showcasing Emanuela’s personality and upfront attitude, sultry, enticing, and melodic at the same time.”


Jocelyn & Chris | Run Away

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Volume: Loud. Hair: Long. Apologies: None. Think rock is dead? Meet Jocelyn & Chris: Two analog souls hell-bent on inciting a new rock revival. The siblings, both recent graduates of Harvard University, have balanced college with performances coast to coast and recording seven records featuring special guests including Cory Wong (Vulfpeck), G. Love, Byron Isaacs (Lumineers), and Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis. Run Away is the second single from their upcoming album Favorite Ghosts. It features driving guitar, magnetic vocals, and uplifting vibes to blast in the getaway car with the windows down.”


Sika Rlion | Tas De Ruines

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Reggae.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Sika Rlion was born in the west of Reunion Island. Lulled by the sounds of Mayola and traditional Reunionese music, she then discovered rap, dancehall and soul. It is at the crossroads of Bob Marley, Danyel Waro and Kenny Arkana’s music that she builds her own. Sika walks in the footsteps of her brother Lando Shadow, who, strong of his local reputation, opened the way of the singing. In 2012, what was a hobby became professional and she released her first song and video Bad Girl. Sika uses her music as a vector of strong values; it is important to her to express herself on societal issues in both French and Reunionese Creole. Moving between rap, reggae and dancehall, Sika does not intend to make artistic concessions and wishes that her music embodies all the influences which built his universe.”


Bongo Man | Quand Reviendras-Tu?

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “After a few years away from the boards, Bongo Man is finally releasing new material. It’s pink rap. Poetic hip-hop. It’s Nelligan and Cyrano de Bergerac in a Bieber envelope with the conscious and articulated look of Diam. Because we all want to have the butterflies of the first days back in our stomachs.”


K!ra Oji | Bouteille À La Mer

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Rap.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Born in Angoulême in 2001, K!ra left France for Montreal at the dawn of adolescence. Aware of the effect of his words and expressions, he attracted attention as much as trouble. Inspired by Orelsan, Nekfeu, Guizmo and XXXtentacion, he conceives his rap as a massive purge, a way of sublimating hatred and anger. With his accomplice, the producer DJ Kleancut, he made his first EP Protagoniste. The track Bouteille À La Mer (Bottle In The Sea) marks the beginning of the adventure. The young artist aspires to make his music travel beyond the borders of Quebec to the country of his roots.”


Dario Margeli | Sacred Mandala

HOME BASE: Italy.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Dario Margeli taught himself songwriting by studying the work of artists such as Prince, Chic and Brass Construction. Then he taught himself Pro-tools and music production. In 2011, he released his first single. The following year, one of his songs became a viral hit in Italy. In the second half of the decade, Dario became interested in Buddhism and other spiritual teachings. Since then, his songs all have positive and encouraging messages. The music reflects that by being neither aggressive nor dark. “My songwriting process takes weeks because I work hard to create original vocal melodies,” he says. “These melodies are discovered by working on the piano or guitar. I investigate musical scales and do everything to make sure my melodies are original. This is in contrast with many people releasing material today where the song is basically a nursery rhyme or a tune that is just a rehash of the song they’ve heard before.”


Rosina B. Solomon | Kick It

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Rosina B. Solomon is a Canadian-Ethiopian singer-songwriter in Toronto. She has been writing songs since she was 11, being inspired by watching MTV, MuchMoreMusic and BET and listening to her parent’s wide selection of CDs. Though her sound is rooted in soul, Rosina is a fan of melodic rock music like Pearl Jam, Steely Dan and Santana. With her signature ad-libs, reflective songwriting, and eclectic blend of musical influences, she has cultivated her own sound. Rosina’s debut EP Intro provides listeners with warm mellow tones and subtle grooves, as well as uplifting, rhythmic beats.”


The Madame Vega | No Doubt

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “My name is Megan Strom, lead singer of The Madame Vega, a five piece funk/R&B/reggae/rock/punk/pop group. We have been working very hard to create some lovely tracks for music lovers. We have recorded six original songs at a studio in Atlanta, and have released one so far. We are extremely dedicated to our music and wish for it to be heard.”


Chaosbay | All This Beauty Can’t Be Real

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Metal doesn’t have to be full of destructive negativity. Chaosbay demonstrate that with their alternative metal. All This Beauty Can’t Be Real is characterised by a floating atmosphere that carries the listener in word, sound and image over tons of thundering riffs. The virtuoso harshness that Chaosbay inject into their skilful songwriting acts as a counterpoint to the melody-driven thread, as an energiser and catalyst for the spirited courage that lies in this vision of human togetherness. Singer and lyricist Jan Listing adds: “It’s a song that seems naturally aggressive because of its energy. We love this combination of hard riffs and hopeful melodies. It’s been long enough that metal has always stood for negative themes and conflicts. This song and its message should — especially in the current times — make clear how beautiful the coexistence of all people can be, if you listen to each other, support each other and have more understanding for your counterpart. With these pictures and this message, we try to contribute our small part to the peaceful coexistence of all.”


The Used Notes | Pain

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Based in Kent, England, The Used Notes are a mystery band focused on delivering powerful music. The mystery behind the band is that there is no face to connect to the artist — just a focus on the music and the meaning behind it. The Used Notes focus on delivering modern-sounding soul music.”


Your Youngs | Real

HOME BASE: New Zealand.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Your Youngs are a genre-bending father-and-son duo creating fresh flavours of pop, alt/indie and electronic with a splash of dirty guitar.”


Kid Prexy | Stay Away

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Kid Prexy is a talented powerhouse who is making a name for himself in contemporary pop, hip-hop, alternative and acoustic music. Born in Baltimore, the 14-year-old prodigy grew up and lives in Edmond, OK. He recorded his first EP, Broken Promises in June 2021, inspired by the likes of Juice Wrld, Post Malone, Xxxtentacion, Kid Laroi, Lil Peep and Machine Gun Kelly. Stay Away was the bonus track to his EP. “I wrote this song to help people overcome the pain and sadness of going through a breakup,” he says. “Stay Away is my most popular song to date.”


The Arctic | I Want It That Way

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Luke Vandevert, the musician and producer behind the mysterious and ethereal alternative indie project The Arctic, never set out to make a cover of the Backstreet Boys’ 1999 hit I Want It That Way, but the result turned out more powerful than he ever could have imagined. The song was created after it won a cover contest for The Arctic’s Instagram page. “When it won, I had a great chat with my creative and wise sister on whether I should parody the song or do it seriously,” he says. “She said ‘if you’re going to do it seriously, there are only two ways it will work. 1. You blow away everyone with your talent’ — I laughed and said that wasn’t going to happen. But then she said “ 2. You make it dark and command attention” and that struck a chord with me.” This version is a darker, alternative take about an untold love story. The magic really happens as singer Mandy Singleton harmonizes with Vandevert, shifting the atmosphere to one of regret. Who knew a dance song, with lyrics even Backstreet Boys admit mean nothing, could be so dark?”


Stereonoon | Matter Of Geography

HOME BASE: Italy.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Stereonoon are a modular collective. Stereonoon are on a relentless quest for sound. Stereonoon are about letting your mind wander around a lockdown until you find a way to break the silence. Stereonoon began with Anna Polinari, undiscovered voice of Verona, and Max Tozzi, brains and brawn of the band Cinemavolta.”


DatKid Smoove | Bag Brother

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:DatKid Smoove, founder of Hard2Reach Entertainment, returns after a two-year music hiatus with his latest album Last Year Was Hard 4 Me. It’s like he never left.”


Magon | A Night In Bethlehem

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “French-Israeli songwriter Magon unveils the single A Night in Bethlehem, the title track to his upcoming fourth album. After the sublime Halley’s Comet in March, this second extract is more psychedelic than ever. With a video that take a hypnotizing journey through shapes and colors, the track explores the frontiers of mysticism without losing its catchiness. The guitars and the rock arrangements have never sounded so sharp, shaping a delightful modernity tinged with classical references. A music which takes bits from the past but turns towards the future, the sky and the stars: That’s the recipe of Magon to renew himself perpetually.”


TEHJ | No Me Provoques

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Reggaeton.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago artist TEHJ began writing music at 16. Fast-forward 10 years and the composer has found his way to fruition as a unique and promising force in music. Heavily inspired by artists such as J Dilla, Pete Rock, Gramatik, Griz, ZHU, Kanye West and Travis Scott, TEHJ continues to evolve and incorporate traditional jazz, funk and electronic synth elements in his music. He says: “My song No Me Provoques was made to hold depth within the authenticity and vibrance through rhythm.”


Almwaya | Je Veux Je Peux

HOME BASE: Lebanon.
GENRE: World.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Almwaya are a project by Maya Aghniadis and Wael Sami Elkholhy, two composers with their own musical languages. Aghniadis is a producer and multi-instrumentalist from Lebanon who resides in Greece. As Flugen, she has released several albums, blending downtempo electronic beats and soulful melodies. Elkholy grew up in a musical family in Dubai and was raised in Cairo, where he established himself as a singer and actor in the Arab cultural scene at a young age. After moving to Switzerland, he released two albums of music on the border between the Orient and the Occident.”


Sohlo | Libertine

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Born and raised in Toronto, Sohlo is an independent artist who has been creating his own music since 2015. His music is a time capsule; each song is a memory of an experience in his life, bringing authenticity to his work. Drawing inspiration from a vast variety of genres & artists, Sohlo writes, records, and produces his own music in a basement studio he built with his father. Sohlo hopes that one day his passion will inspire people to follow their dreams and never give up because nothing is impossible in life. His debut EP After Love is due in May.”


Phouille | À Ma Place

HOME BASE: Switzerland.
GENRE: Folk.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The song À Ma Place (In My Place) is representative of the general spirit of my first album ‘Esquisses.”


David Bertok | Never Too Late

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Composer of the award-winning feature films Peace by Chocolate and Botero, David Bertok writes for film, TV and the concert hall. After graduating from music college in Germany, David enjoyed a busy career as a live musician, touring Europe with progressive rock bands opening for acts such as Scorpions and Saga. His band Subsignal reached the German album charts twice during his tenure. In 2012, he relocated to Los Angeles on a Fulbright Scholarship to the famed Scoring for Motion Picture and Television Program at USC. Whether scoring for a full orchestra or creating an intimate piece with a single piano, David has the spectral ability to tap into a project’s soul and lift it off the screen into your memory. Never Too Late is reflective music in which a gentle mood build into a full orchestration of woodwinds, brass and strings over which a gentle vocal is humming.”


TODAY’S PLAYLIST