Groover Playlist 180 | Keeping It Straight

Enjoy the latest lineup of great new music from here, there and everywhere.

1429

Balbec deliver a mammoth track, Paul Colomb opens the vault, Eunie Keitan comes clean, LeFLOFRANCO doubles up 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.

 


Balbec | Seigneur Mammouth

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Parisian outfit Balbec move around somewhere between post-grunge, cold-gaze and math-pop. Exploring the dystopian ’90s, their latest album confronts pain, fear and bitterness with unwavering rage and toxic electricity.”


Paul Colomb | Vault Session

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The Vault Session marks the link between the EP Bleue by Paul Colomb, released in 2021, and the album Step, for string ensemble and electronics, currently in creation. The five performers generously seize the Indian tones of Bangalore, the restrained emotion of Bleue, the fury of Punk or the techno minimalism of Mirage.”


Eunice Keitan | No More Secrets

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Eunice Keitan’s soulful voice is entrancing. Her international upbringing and her eclectic musical background are unmistakable in this Canadian singer-songwriter’s work, which tastefully blends alternative R&B / soul and world-folk influences. This song draws inspiration from a guzheng (zither) piece that dates back to the Chinese Song Dynasty (960-1279) and combines it with neo-soul. What results is a sound steeped in mystery that leaves the listener yearning for distant lands, but still connected to the harmonic foundations and strong grooves of R&B / Soul. In this track, Eunice explores the fears and complicated emotions around identity as a visible minority. The song describes the process of growth through the changes in seasons with an overarching message of hope and healing. Written during the pandemic and at the height of anti-Asian racism, simply making art which showcased and celebrated Asian identity felt like a revolutionary statement all on its own, and an important reminder to herself that better days were ahead.”


LeFLOFRANCO | On Est Là + #LevelUp

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “A plural identity. A multicoloured sound. Ottawa hip-hop sensation LeFLOFRANCO brings a sound high in energy and heartfelt lyrical content. He wants to take you on a musical journey from modern hip-hop to EDM all the way to the Caribbean Soca, reggae fusion and Haitian kompa. As far as lyrical content goes, he dives into an emotion and explores it while shedding some light onto his personal life, hopes and aspirations. On Est Là is a melodic rap that highlights the artist’s technique. On a New Age hip-hop production by Sonny Black, LeFLOFRANCO shares the reality of his environment. #LevelUp is a nod to the determination of those who always seek to aim higher, to reach new levels regardless of the challenges. This new Afro-banger reminds us of the versatility of the artist who defines his style as multi-colored-urban-pop.”


Sébastien Delage | Qu’est-ce Que Tu Crois

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Do we live our life as we should or as we would like? Are we making the right choices, trying to stay guided by our own morality? How to heal the wounds left by difficult events? In his new single Qu’est-ce Que Tu Crois (What Do You Believe), Sébastien Delage offers his own answers to questions we all ask ourselves. Just like the tattoo that gradually reveals itself in the clip, the song is meant to be cathartic, and allows Sébastien to free himself from his doubts and pains by giving them a concrete form. Qu’est-ce Que Tu Crois (What Do You Believe) is the first extract from his album Rien Compris, due in January 2023.”


Aphyxion | Roll The Dice

HOME BASE: Denmark.
GENRE: Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Aphyxion are not ones to succumb to genre definition and over the past few years the band have been perfecting and pushing their sound far from their death-metal heritage. The release of their third full-length album Void in 2019 marked the switch towards a more contemporary metalcore sound, creating something that already elevated the band to a new level. This band keep moving boundaries — both for themselves but also for their ever-growing followership. They were the youngest band ever to play at Wacken Open Air and have also had the opportunity to support the likes of Metallica, Soilwork and Soulfly, playing  more than 450 shows all over Europe.”


Dead Fox Dead Tree | Slither Away

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Psych-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are a musical duo called Dead Fox Dead Tree. We’re a psychedelic/alternative rock duo based in San Fransisco and Austin. We are beginning a promotional push for the songs off of our debut EP, in advance of a series of singles for an upcoming album later this year.”


Ink Element | Rotten Underground

HOME BASE: Hong Kong.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The ink is what blurs the mind when it comes to decision making. It is the catalyst that divides meaning and chaos, and the beginning of all originality. It defines Ink Element, a conceptual electronic project built on a grounded understanding of synthesis and classic live-electronic instrumentation, through a poetic mix of storytelling and intelligent sound design. Based out in Hong Kong, I am a French producer who takes heed of classic-era house and electronic greats, to draw with local musicians the deeply layered, digital stories that reflect my life as a European living in the East. Rotten Underground is about the pain of being ostracized and considered as a scapegoat in a foreign country. It’s about the hope of a better future and better acceptance of differences, and about recreating balanced conditions of living for lonely souls wandering far away from home.”


Céaile | It’s Alright

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Sailing between lightness and depth in an indie-pop painting of the world of the heart, Céaile takes you on a trip with heterogeneous sounds. To the rhythm of dances or intimate contemplations carried by a unique soulful voice, Céaile takes us to the heart of the complexities of the soul. It is by giving substance to these inspirations that striking melodies are born, with soaring blows and rich vocal harmonies, letting out a singular glow full of emotions with intensity. It’s Alright is a rhythmic indie pop track, tinged with a rock guitar riff and a striking soul voice, entirely produced and performed by Céaile. The clip calls for lifting the masks to leave room for authenticity. This new single introduces an upcoming five-track EP.”


Villeman | Thirty Years

HOME BASE: Switzerland.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Villeman confronts the cold in the world by using his soft voice and organic sounds to strengthen the listener’s vulnerable and empathetic sides. Kidnapped into tender dreamy spheres, accompanied by guitar and synths, Thirty Years asks the central question: What have you achieved at 30 as a person and what is still to come? Perfectly suited to the season, this thoughtful and at the same time forgiving song takes us into the autumn colors of 2022.”


Laroie | Keep Hiding (Way Back)

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Gab Godon was part of Heartstreets before making her solo debut as Laroie. Through her music, she thrives to create songs that have a feel-good vibe and carry strong messages about embracing yourself and connecting with others. She has performed at Osheaga, Montreal’s International Jazz Festival, CMW, NXNE and more. Keep Hiding (Way Back), coproduced by loyal collaborators Gene Tellem, Gabriel Rei and Robert Robert, kicks off an identity and relationship quest. It reverberates with soulful sounds and trippy synths, inviting us to let go. Flawless aesthetics define a musical world influenced by the 2000s, while still feeling incredibly contemporary. The video is the first visual of a series following various characters with intersecting paths. “With this video, I wanted to explore the despair you’re filled with when you’re disappointed with yourself, as well as the ways to avoid it,” says director Maïlis Roy-Lessard.”


L.A.B & Paolo Baldini DubFiles | Rocketship Dub

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Dub.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:L.A.B’s groove blends an eclectic mix of reggae, electronic, blues, funk and rock — all combining to create a sound entirely their own. L.A.B made their name on the stages of New Zealand and won Radio New Zealand’s publicly-voted Best Live Act of 2019. Now they return with a brand new remix album L.A.B In Dub. The 10-track album features an array of dubbed-out L.A.B remixes by Italian producer & remixer Paolo Baldini DubFiles. Eight tracks are also accompanied by live mixdown videos. Each dub has been created live in the studio, with Baldini working live on the stems of each track. These new versions are all created in one take with no overdubs or edits, creating entirely new versions.”


Courcheval | Éoliennes

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Courcheval has been the project of Guillaume Cantillon since 2017. In the video for Éoliennes, director Pauline Bricout takes the matter in hand. The adventure is underway. The second extract from the his eponymous album, this little radio-pop gem, written and composed by Cantillon, began to see the light of day in 2018. At the time, the idea of a song questioning an ultra-consumerist system made people smile. But a few years have passed, accompanied by several hot summers, and perhaps finally there is a general awareness of the urgency of the climate situation. With an upbeat vibe and a catchy chorus, Courcheval makes it clear that he chooses his side without moral lessons but with a smile on his lips, in a soothing tone.”


Thomas Naszalyi | Grandioso

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “French composer Thomas Naszalyi creates wide-ranging and moving pieces from quiet pastorals and melancholic dreams to epic and energizing orchestral spells, and from edgy techno atmospheres to corporate and dynamic electro cues. Thomas’s versatility is found in his classical, jazz, and EDM tracks that are perfect for use in film, advertising, TV, video games and much more.”


Perché | Golden Pistol

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Golden Pistol is a very dynamic and positive sound with non-explicit content. It makes you dance with the its catchy rhythm. The lyrics refer to classic movies and video games: Agent 007 with the golden gun, and GTA San Andreas. The sound makes you want to escape and to enjoy the moment.”


Yoann Paoloni | Per Voi

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Yoann Paoloni is a Corsican singer-songwriter. In 2010, he joined the Impiaghjera group as a pianist. At the end of 2017, he decided to sing with the group Un’Ideale. In 2020, he and Vincenzu Lota, artist and sound engineer at ATOM Studio, decided to collaborate on a Corsican adaptation of Chanter by Florent Pagny. They have continued this collaboration by working on Paoloni’s compositions. He is currently recording his first album in the Corsican language and trying to publicize it with this new single Per Voi.”


Fr3sh Trx | Taipeh (ft. Xedm)

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Electronica.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Fr3sh Trx is the new project from producer, guitarist and label owner Sven Hessel. It is not the first time he has swapped the executive chair for the mixing console and the stage. He already had various dance charts placements with the country-techno project Fortnox in the ’90s and was successful with the power-pop band Hella Donna, who released four LPs and 20 singles from 2004-2014. Taipeh is a future rave / tech house crossover, and a tribute to the hometown of collabortor Xedm.”


Ratito Experience | THC

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Ratito Experience are a flash of avant-garde genius, a shot of dope, the soundtrack to your Twerk class, punchlines with a taste of punch and your best seduction coach. The reggaeton / rap / psychedelic delirium of THC mixes genres and the languages with only one objective: To make us dance and go very far. Behind a devastating and assumed humor lie the seriousness and the quality of a real banger: Top-notch production, sharp flow and a punchline.”


Ash Osh Beat | Ash Osh Ash-Ash Osh (Maraboo)

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Electro-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Take a deep breath before entering into Maraboo. And then … drop me in your playlist!”


Brandon Child | Balaclava

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Just a Canadian dude trying to be a nice person and make music that hopefully people will connect with. I play a few instruments, sing from time to time, and largely don’t leave my apartment.”


Vincent Mai-Lien | Prémices D’Une Bataille

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Here is my last instrumental piece, created on Cubase Pro 12. I studied classical violin at the conservatory and I listen to all kinds of music.”


Patriks Peterson | Your Friends

HOME BASE: Latvia.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Singer, songwriter and producer Patriks Peterson made a name for himself with his first release. Your Friends was written, composed and produced with the help of a few friends along the way. The song is about complicated love — about holding onto something you’re not even sure what it is you’re holding onto, but you’re still doing it and still hoping that the holding on will be worth it eventually, cause no matter how badly they’ve treated you, you still wanna be by their side. But also, it’s about having enough and wanting to get answers. As I said: Complicated.”


Greg Haye | Happyness

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


Ulrich Jannert | On The Way Back To Earth

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Neo-Classical Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This piece is written in a minimalist and soulful style. The music has a repeating four-chord progression that never ends, with the upper voices entering and re-entering with repeating bars for all instruments. The main line in the piano almost never changes at any point. This non-vocal music could be categorized as neo or modern classical music. The style of the track refers to the classical tradition of the past while drawing on clear folk, pop, rock, R&B, soul and contemporary influences, with a circular, enveloping and minimalist sound — meaning this composition is a ‘mix’ of traditional and modern music. It’s supposed to create reflective mixed vibes.”


Månen | Étendues Perdues

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Folk-Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Månen is made up of two brothers in musical creation, and a friend in lyrics and visuals. The group was created in the 2010s and presented its compositions in small concerts in and around Paris. In 2020 the took the step to properly record their compositions. This is the first track of their first album. It was inspired by folk metal but also traditional folk like the acoustic sound of Johnny Cash. Their sound takes you into the epic universe of the time of Viking legends.”


Elliot Levine | Sugar Honey Iced Tea

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Soul-Jazz.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Elliot Levine has toured with Wilson Pickett and Heatwave, and has opened for Brian McKnight, Freddie Jackson, McCoy Tyner and Gerald Albright. He three internationally released CDs which have received extensive airplay and distribution. He has headlined at Blues Alley and the Kennedy Center.”


Radianation | I Believe You

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Radianation is the lifelong music project of Andrew N. Aebersold. The new album Project 2022 is heavily influenced by ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s sounds with a modern twist. Songs combine a mixture of guitars, synthesizers, pianos and traditional orchestral instruments to create something new yet familiar. I Believe You is a song inspired by the ’80s. The deep baseline moves the song along with layers of guitars. The verses are intentionally dark and dissonant, with the chorus written as a sharp contrast. This song was not released as a single, but is a hidden gem nestled in Radianation’s album.”


Megna Kwana | Megna Kwana

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: World.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “To know where you are going, you have to know where you come from. That sums up the artistic universe of Megna Kwana (fka Zeez Afana), a universe that draws its essence from the heritage of the past. African sounds, R&B, as well as the various electronic currents of the ’90s enriched his creativity and pushed him to take up musical composition. Now, Megna Kwana creates its new Kenté-Sens structure, inviting us to awaken the senses. Inspired by the Kenté philosophy, it is a reflection on oneself and what surrounds us, an experience existential, visual and musical. A recipe that sums up the vision of Megna Kwana: Reconnecting us to our past to better understand the present and build the future.”


Techno Westerns | Mystery Man

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Techno Westerns started as a lovingly obsessive personal project for New Zealand frontman Wyatt Hautonga; a personal project that would grow into a four-piece band which takes influence from a wide array of genres. Mixing ’80s pop, indie-rock and a little R&B, Wyatt — now based in Toronto — delivers dry-witted lyricism about interpersonal relationships and mental health as well as the occasional observation on social issues and politics. Mystery Man and is the first single off their upcoming EP. This song was written and meant for Halloween. It was written to feel like someone put one neon sign, two palm trees and a serial killer in a blender, then hit mix and didn’t stop until they got a liquid consistency. Mystery Man is extremely dense both in instrumentation and in how its been mixed, and it creeps up like a stranger in an alley around midnight. Present, ever looming, then suddenly in your face with a knife. This giving this frantic sense of tension to the song that makes your stomach drop a little when the chorus comes around.”


Hanna Kekäläinen | New Earth Rising

HOME BASE: Finland.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Hanna Kekäläinen’s biggest musical influences are The Piano score by Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, Yann Tiersen, preludes by Bach and soundscapes of Debussy. “One day a friend of mine asked if I had ever tried to improvise or compose music myself. I hadn’t even thought about it, but I decided to try what would happen if I just put my hands on the piano keyboards and let go. And wow, what happened! That improvisation session changed my life. I composed my first song from that session and three other songs soon after. I don’t even remember composing those songs, they just literally came through me in a wonderful creative flow. Luckily, I recorded the sessions so I was able to write down the songs I played. Composing has also deepened my connection to music and all other forms of art and to life as art.”


Thierry Lestien | Pas À Ta Place

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Folk-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Passionate about guitar and percussion, Thierry Lestien has always mixed traditional techniques on instruments and sound technologies. He has participated in or created many groups, alongside other experiences and various musical and sound activities ranging from contemporary dance to rock concerts and solo. The challenge since its inception: Reconcile the richness of the music with lyrics in French, while keeping a part of musical improvisation.”


The Carrie Armitage Quartet | Orbit L2

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Jazz-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “An eclectic, artistic mix of soulful pop; an ambient chillout palette with a hint of jazz, scat and spoken word. Orbit L2, from our new release, is dedicated to the team who launched the James Webb Space Telescope.”


Ric Hall | How I Wish I Were A Child Again This Christmas

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “In 1975, to socialize, everyone went out. Singer-songwriters were in every bar and restaurant, making a living at four hours a night. The 45 rpm was still king. Christmas music was a huge opportunity. Every year they played the same old tunes. There was nothing new. So, it was decided that How I Wish I Were A Child Again This Christmas would be worth a huge investment. However, during the recording, one of the violinists turned one of their headphones around so it faced away from their head. The headphone fed back. It wasn’t noticed till weeks later when the records were pressed and the studio was bankrupt. The project died. The records were stored. It was never released. In 2022, it was suggested that modern digital mastering could remove the feedback. It worked! There are hundreds of Christmas songs, with new ones added every year. But none of them delivers this unique message, with such a beautiful arrangement. I’m 79 now. This piece still brings tears to my eyes.”


Eduardo Netuno | Cólera

HOME BASE: Brazil.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Eduardo Netuno is a 29-year-old Brazilian who started his career at a young age and has never slowed down. His sound combines all the musical genres that influenced him — punk, metal, new wave, grunge, power metal, indie, alternative, emo and more.”


Bea Box | Lotus

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Bea Box is a singer, songwriter and producer. She studied traditional percussion with various grandmasters, such as Paul Picard, Giovanni Hidalgo and Harouna Dembélé, and was vocally trained by Catherine Bastarache, Vivienne Deane and Shara Nova. She has used stays in Cuba, India and U.S.A. to train in diverse rhythmic cultures. Her mastery of different percussions, coupled with her unique voice and her handling of electronics, make her music captivating. ​Lotus is the title song of my her album. It reveals indie and dance pop colors and is very rhythmical. This song is based on this idea that we can grow and bloom out of whatever soil, surroundings and emotions that we have available, and then share this growth with others.”


Chris Pellnat | Earth Shaker

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Earth Shaker is from my new album Go and is perhaps one of the most straightforward songs on the album. It has a jangle-rock feel and a generally uplifting sound.”


Ali Diane | Baggage

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am a singer-songwriter in Seattle, working with well-known local producer Jake Crocker. Baggage is one of the most personal songs I’ve written. It based on the insecurities that we all struggle with, the pressures of feeling like we are not good enough and belief that we will never measure up. Baggage describes the feelings that we are unworthy of being loved, because we do not love ourselves. I wrote this song to inspire my listeners that they are not alone in dealing with these emotions. I chose to release this song during Mental Health Awareness Month to try and reach out to those who are at risk and try to inspire hope.”


Now Open Smokes | All Blue

HOME BASE: Sweden.
GENRE: Indie-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Now Open Smokes swing and bend through genres. Coming from different musical backrgounds, the duo create smooth and groovy soundscapes. They joined forces in 2021 and consists of songwriters and producers Vasse Bartziokas and Ludwig Rostedt. They have worked with Mark Needham (The Killers) and Brian Lucey (The Black Keys). All Blue is the first single from their debut EP. It’s a chill and ethereal pop song, emphasizing social shame and compunctions in everyday life. It combines a chewy soul bass with swelly keys and funky guitars in a modern pop structure.”


Lazlo Morphine | Pictures

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Lazlo Morphine is a Canadian musician making emo, trap and alternative pop songs mostly.”


Ahren Merz | Delusional Affection

HOME BASE: Switzerland.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Delusional Affection is the first single of my upcoming EP A Second Before Awakening, inspired by Salvador Dalí’s painting Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. The composition specifically portrays Dalí’s emotions towards his muse Gala, which involve fear, unconditional love and compulsive feelings. The atmosphere of the composition is best described as an eerie landscape morphing into warm waves of sunlight and dust, eventually revealing their purpose — hope.”


Mic Emoji | You Get Me High

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “This song is about that special person that lifts you and elevates you.”


Neno Munitic | Rain Drops

HOME BASE: Croatia.
GENRE: Neo-Classical.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Neno Munitic performs all different styles — from classical, jazz to pop and rock — on classical and acoustic guitar. For the past 30 years, he has been a guitar teacher, professor or lecturer in different music schools in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. In addition to his educational work, he composes pieces for classical guitar as well as for modern and performing music, for soloists, chamber orchestras, pop, rock and heavy metal bands and soloists. Rain Drops is a a sweet little piece for classical guitar.”


TODAY’S PLAYLIST