Groover Playlist 168 | Kicking It Up Another Notch

Freedust, 20 Year Short Break, Dread Hop King & more artists you need to hear.

Freedust take you higher, 20 Year Short Break get heavy, Joséphine Blanc blames you, SuNded play house 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, kick back with these killer cuts:


Freedust | Elevate

HOME BASE: Italy / Sweden.
GENRE: Hip-Hop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “A unique fusion of genres ranging from funk-soul to breaks to jazzy pop to electronica defines Freedust — their sound is layered with loose, lighthearted vocals to create a synthesis as classic as it is new. Initially founded by dynamic Italian composer Daniele Carmosino and Swedish singer Lisa Widmark, the project has gone on to feature a number of accomplished artists around the globe. Freedust create feel-good melodies, irresistibly bouncy beats, and a raw, soulful musical energy with a vintage vibe. Elevate opens with break-beat drums and a groovy double bass line, featuring Lady Gaga-esque vocals inspired by Chaka Khan’s Like Sugar.”

20 Year Short Break | Heavy On My Soul

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Modern Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Rob Miller and Dan Wright met in a middle school band at the age of 15 and were like brothers from Day 1. Little by little, the music and bands got better, but it wasn’t enough for success: Their dream faded, and they both went different ways. Together at a concert in 2018, they rediscovered their dream and decided to create a lasting musical legacy; one that reflects their lives and leaves their children with more than just photos and videos. Rob and Dan’s idea is an artistic intergenerational project that preserves their coming-of-age stories and later life experiences in sincere, truthful songs.”

Joséphine Blanc | This Is What You Make Me Do

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Author-composer-performer Joséphine Blanc writes and produces songs which retrace her life, her experiences and all that she wants to transmit to the world. An album is currently being produced in which she will tackle musical styles and genres that are not alike. Her challenge lies in going where she least expects.”

SuNdәd | House Lovers

THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I’m SuNdəd and this is my latest project. I tried to combine progressive house sounds with old-school house.”

Colm McIntyre | Let The Music Take Control

HOME BASE: Ireland.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: Colm McIntyre lets his music do the talking.

Asher Laub | Atlantis

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Progressive.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Asher Laub’s career began with his first formal concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic at age 13. Since then, his ability improvise across multiple genres has inspired an innovative career as a cutting-edge electric violinist. Asher has played Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, garnered acclaim across four continents and made headlines on major media outlets. Atlantis is from his forthcoming album Neon Dreams. This electronic-classical-hip hop orchestration takes the listener on a sonic odyssey, cycling from an ominous state to one of calm and subsequently to a hopeful climax. This is Asher’s interpretation of life’s many cyclical ups and downs, based on his personal failures and triumphs. Asher believes that if we can focus on the beauty that life has to offer, we can all find joy in life’s beautiful patterns.”

Dread Hop King | Jah!

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Reggae-Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Rising star Dread Hop King is poised to take the recording industry by storm. His distinct sound and clever metaphors, influenced by his love for hip-hop and reggae music, separate him from conventional rappers. Born in the Bronx to Jamaican parents, and raised in Tampa, Florida, D.H.K’s was exposed to a variety music at an early age, thanks to his father’s reggae band. By age eight, Dread Hop King had performed with Ziggy Marley, Sugar Minott, Burning Spear, Cutty Ranks, Yellow Man and more. As Dread Hop King grew older, he started to embrace his love for hip-hop. In 1999 he helped form Evenin Rhidaz, opening up for T.I., Wyclef, Ying Yang Twins and more. EVR still exist, but each member is taking their turn to shine as a solo artist as well. Dread Hop King starts his campaign with a prayer to God to watch over the streets. Poverty is climbing and someone needs to speak on it. World, meet the Dread Hop King.”

Demzen | Watch Your Back (ft. Erisse & Curtisay)

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Reggaeton.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Watch Your Back is a collaboration with Erisse (Argentina) and Curtisay (Jamaica).”

Estella Dawn | Vienna

HOME BASE: United States.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Estella Dawn is a New Zealand-born, U.S.-based pop artist, singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. Her songs are often about empowerment and confidence and span various genres, reflecting the artist’s skill and diverse creative output. Her music has been compared to Pink, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Sia, PVRIS and other strong, independent artists. Yet she manages to be consistently unpredictable — not least of all with this latest release. Featuring the familiar rhythm and optimism of genres past, yet skillfully interwoven amidst a cleanly mixed contemporary pop soundscape, Vienna — an immensely respectful tribute to the Billy Joel song — promises a fearlessly colorful reminder of what’s possible when inspiration and creativity are passionately united.”

Sherry Finzer & VeeRonna Ragone | Mystic Breezes

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: New Age.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Meditative and peaceful, this calm collaboration between award-winning new age flutist Sherry Finzer and harpist VeeRonna Ragone is the perfect track for relaxation, meditation, spa, reiki, yoga, peace and calm. Written to bring comfort, Mystic Breezes ignites the imagination with deep listening and is great for focus/concentration.”

7namez | In The City

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:7namez is an Oakland-born, Denver-raised artist with a worldwide sound.”

Gold Record | New Dimension

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Gold Record is a movement created to bring people together and beget joy throug music and. Currently the artist is working on three unique but lofty projects: 1 | A live album produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, The War On Drugs); 2 | An electronic dance EP produced by Ewan Pearson (M83); 3 | An indie-pop LP produced by Alex Newport (Death Cab For Cutie, City and Colour). New Dimension is the second single from Gold Record’s Volume Two: Collector’s Edition. The song is about coming together when it feels easier to fall apart.”

Erica Knox | Paradise Forever

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Erica Knox from Georgetown, Ont., makes music you won’t forget. From upbeat excitement to mellow nostalgia, her intimate lyrics about love, life, and identity — set to catchy hooks — will remind you of hitmakers like Taylor Swift and Julia Michaels. “I wanted to incorporate my love for organic storytelling with the excitement of modern-day pop sonics, and create a familiar realm for the two to co-exist. Knox has also shared the stage with Virginia to Vegas, Hollerado and Young Empires. She is recording her first album with Toronto producer and musician Tal Vaisman of Kadeema. Paradise Forever is the perfect summer song for a late-night drive, a stroll down the beach or watching the sunset with the one you love. Paradise Forever is for listeners who love life, love love, and crave celebrating it.”

Dynasty Four | For The Cats

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Garage-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Spanning ten years, three cities, and two continents, Dynasty Four are a recently reformed indie rock quintet in Toronto. Glossy guitars and soaring synths meet disco-ready drums in Dynasty Four’s hooky, pop-friendly garage rock. Scrappy but sincere, their high-energy ear-worms deftly blend punk, surf, garage, and house while offering takes on everything from snotty high-school seniors to cross-border politics. Dynasty Four are the latest project from Andrew and Nikkole Couture of First Person Shooter, The Nancy Boys and Jinx Malloy. Originally formed in 2012 in Halifax and relocated to Toronto in 2014, they brought their electric presence to local venues and small festivals throughout 2015 before releasing their album Anachronisms. But less than a month later another move to the U.K. prompted the band to part ways. Fast forward to 2020,, when the expats returned to Toronto and revived the band with new players and new songs. They released the EP Revivals in June, and will release the album Everywheres this year. For the Cats is about keeping it together for the ones who need you. When you’re away more than you’re home, it’s hard on everyone. All we can do is try to keep it all together — for each other, and, of course, for the cats.”

The Artist KcK | Girl

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Established singer / songwriter / actor with over 10 years experience in the film and music industry. Now stepping forth out of the background to gain support and admiration for his much unique sound.”

Mavidaci | Racallo Si

GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Originally from Santiago de Chile, Mavidaci is a French composer, electroacoustician, sound handyman with experience in radio, video and expo-scenography. He is oriented towards electro-ethnic music and for his first EP, he uses old recordings of Indigenous peoples from southern Chile.”

H2SO4 | White Light (BassBears Mix)

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “My relationship with H2SO4 first began when I edited a fanzine down at the S16 studio complex. You’ve heard of Andy Warhol’s seminal Factory? Imagine an English version with an unemployed painter and decorator in place of Warhol, a ludicrous mixture of rapidly aging buffoons in place of The Velvet Underground, and a mad hippy with arty pretensions in place of Nico. I was typing away, desperately trying to avoid eye contact with any of the poseurs, ponces and pretend pop-stars that were lining the walls, when my ears pricked up. The small studio next to the office at S16 was a dark, freezing little whole which housed their small label. They had released one 12”, earning a Pete Tong mix play and a place on a John Digweed compilation, an achievement that made the ghouls of S16 gasp in awe. As I sat there, frozen, and listening intently, I could barely comprehend what was happening. I could hear a preposterously fantastic sound thumping through the wall. I rushed out of the office and crashed through the door. The poor label people looked like Middle East hostages who’d seen daylight for the first time in years. Crouching in the corner were the gaggle of shifty souls I came to know collectively as H2SO4.”

Peter Lake | Acorns + Wipeout

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
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. Of his new song Acorns, he says: “This is the lyric I obsessed over. Sometimes when you read about difficult things happening — war, inflation, people becoming poor — it reminds me to return to my common sense. My grandfather told me just before he died that to be prepared is the price of existence. There are hard times that do not last forever. There are easy times that do not last forever. This is the way of the world. But we must be prepared. Let’s put away our acorns, since it may be a long and cold winter ahead. I should say thank you to Richard Fortus from Guns N’ Roses, who played the guitar and banjo beautifully.” Of Wipeout, he says: “It was spring break at my university and instead of going back to Canada I stayed in New Haven to study. The whole school was quiet because. I kept seeing this group of cooler older students at the library. Eventually we talked. They loved surfing. There was this girl in the group I had never seen before. Her name was Zoey. She had flowers in her eyes and I was convinced I was in love, but I was too nervous to say anything. A few days later, the group invited me to come surfing in Mexico. I don’t know how to surf, but of course I said yes! I met them at the airport. They said, “Where is your board?” I said, “Where is Zoey?” “Zoey is with her boyfriend.” Tragedy. I drove down the coast of Mexico thinking about Zoey and dreaming about being one of these cool confident guys. This is a song about that.”

Hunnid | Congratz

HOME BASE: United States.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Hunnid is an award-winning urban artist, songwriter, producer and engineer. Continuously raising the bar higher, the one-man army is on a mission to be the voice for those who are silenced. Born and raised in Chicago, he acquired the name Hunnid when a friend from a different side of town discovered that he was from an crime-dogged area referred to as ‘The Wild, Wild Hundreds.’ Hunnid’s music has no boundaries and is garnering attention across the globe.”

Nadia Kazmi | Have You Here

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Classic Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn-based Calgarian Nadia Kazmi’s ’80s-inspired single Have You Here is the first single from her upcoming album. A true anthem with her signature powerful vocals, it was inspired by nostalgia for her own youth, along with the enduring power of first love. This song was made for long road trips and blasting on warm nights when you remember the one that got away. Its vintage rock production style brings to mind Patti Smith, Sharon Van Etten and Fiona Apple. Kazmi adds: “The inspiration was first loves or people you still think about years later, but it’s not supposed to be a sad song; just nostalgic. I think everyone has a person or a couple of people they remember fondly or think ‘what if’ about, but in reality, those things were meant to fade away and leave you with memories that get better and better with time (a bit of selective memory).”

Silvertwins of Funk | Funkin All Night (ft. Jenny Silver)

HOME BASE: Sweden.
GENRE: Funk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Silvertwins are producer team Fredrik (Fronkpac) Jahn and Mattias (Guitarman) Adolfsson from Gothenburg, Sweden. They play funk all the way. Jenny Silver, the musical femme fatale, dazzled and grabbed all hearts and souls by just being.”

The All Canadian Soundclash | Be Here With You

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Following his successful debut album Better Late Than Never, Andrew Michelin of The All Canadian Soundclash is back with his second album Lo-fi and Wonderful. Inspired by Daniel Johnston, Lo-fi and Wonderful is an album of songs Michelin had written over 25 years but never seemed to find the right sound for. Finally, in spring 2022, while experimenting in his bedroom studio, he stumbled upon a recording technique that was right for this collection of songs. He mixed, produced and performed everything on the album, which he says was very cathartic in many ways. “To be able to create an album in the comfort of my own bedroom and actually get the sound I’ve been looking for and to release it to the world is quite magnificent!”

QTNT | You Got

HOME BASE: France.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:QTNT, aka Quentin, began his musical journey in 2017 in the house scene, remixing artists. But house is not his only passion. He likes to produce many types of music, incuding synthwave and retrowave, and even pop. A DJ before all, QTNT particularly likes energy and rhythm, so he pays special attention to these points during his process. You Got has a dark energy and a drop that will melt your face.”

Clide | Oops

HOME BASE: Germany.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Clide has come a long a way, musically and personally. At 16 years old he started fiddling with a computer, a microphone and a piano, and hasn’t stopped since. Lo-fi pop is a big source of inspiration. While he also loves writing and singing piano ballads, he’s an aficionado of pop, likes fresh sounds that build bridges between the genres of pop, urban and R&B. You’d probably find his vinyl on shelves somewhere between Post Malone, Alexander23 and James Arthur. Clide knows exactly what adjectives he wants his music to be associated with: Authentic, innovative and raw. He wants to talk about things that move him and are close to his heart. Of course, love is one of those things — but so are questions around his identity, the search for truth, dreams and interpersonal relationships. The young songwriter — usually known for his thoughtful melancholic performances — shows a different attitude in his new song Oops. Usually known for surrendering to inner turmoil and never-ending heartache, Clide draws a very clear line with this one and says goodbye with a raised middle finger to a relationship that hasn’t been good for a long time. “Oops is a pretty poppy song with a little wink, that basically says fuck you to your ex, but in a more playful way and without having hard feelings,” he says. “It’s easy to listen to, got some summer vibes and is definitely very hooky.’

C.Lacy | You Can Do Better

HOME BASE: United States.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Dripping in swagger, pop/R&B artist Cory Lacy isn’t afraid to put his heart on his sleeve. The Dallas singer’s catalog so far is an arsenal of candid lyricism intertwined with undeniable grooves. Garnering millions of streams, the singer-songwriter has made a name for himself as an artist capable of capturing moments with brilliant relatability and delivering them with melodic expertise. You Can Do Better tenderly inspires women not to settle for less. Above all, he explains that his goal is “to bring back that real R&B feel and connect with many out there who enjoy a song that takes them on a journey.”

GLDN | Parasite

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Industrial.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Welcome to the unnerving and rage-filled world of GLDN, where boundaries are pushed and your comfort is NOT paramount! Daring and transgressive, GLDN cannot be contained, nor put into a single musical category — with elements of industrial, metal and crust punk with passionate and furious vocals. GLDN were founded in 2017 in Brooklyn by mastermind Nicholas Golden. A litany of influences fuel GLDN — bands like Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Evanescence, Deftones, Rob Zombie, Pantera, Hole and Puscifer, but also films such as Suspiria. “Parasite is loud and noisy and aggressive,” Golden says. “It’s about metamorphosis through suffering and becoming stronger through pain.”

Laura Lang | Black Sedan

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Black Sedan is full of surprises — just like Laura Lang, a 17-year-old singer-songwriter and storyteller. She transforms inner dialogue, misfortune and her experiences into deeply personal music influenced by Lana Del Rey, Carseat Headrest and Fiona Apple. Born and raised in Memphis, Laura began writing and singing at a very young age. Black Sedan is a stylistic departure from the more organic sounds of her earlier work. It features punchier drum sounds and dissonant chords. Recorded and produced by Colin Pastore and Jake Finch, the song expresses Lang’s disappointment with herself. Laura plans to release her new EP Bad Luck in fall.”