When we declared Grove a ‘New Sound of 2020’, we weren’t anticipating the sound of 2020 to be the sound of social distancing, punctuated by birdsong and people banging pans on their doorsteps at 8pm on Thursday nights. As you’ll hear from the track ‘Lights’ below, Grove’s sound suits the after-hours ambience of the club, bristling with charged emotions. Where does all that lyrical intensity and pent-up energy go during lockdown (genuine scientific question…)? Grove sent us these messages, and chose five songs that have had a significant effect on them (in more ways than you might expect):

“When we said lock off the dance, we didn’t mean it literally…

“As of writing this, I’m in lockdown in Australia with my brother, his partner and my beautiful three-year-old niece, with all my recording equipment and nothing but time. First and foremost, I’m allowing myself to do nothing, to spend quality time with loved ones, to eat loads and to reconnect with activities I enjoy aside from music. Then when the time is right, I use the energy stored up to go about creating and recording new tracks. I’ve been focusing on a project with Samur-I Sounds, a dub/roots reggae one, all recorded remotely between musicians, which has been fun to create for, keep an eye out for it!

“Prior to this lock-off madness, I was performing about Bristol – with the focus being really honing in on stagecraft. Then at the start of February, left for Australia, performing at Adelaide Fringe Festival in a beatbox, hip-hop remake of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Since then, I’ve been visiting family and practising a lot of self-care with intermittent breaks of song-writing and production.

“I don’t really know what the rest of 2020 holds, and being an overall chaotic person, I’m alright with it. I’m confident in the music and wider community to pull through this together, and hopefully learn more about ourselves and our resilience along the way.”

See the video for ‘Lights’ here:

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Grove’s ‘In Five’ Song Selection

Eva Lazarus X Mungo’s Hi-Fi – Babylon Raid

Non-stop respect for Eva, always bringing razor-sharp lyricism, big badgyal energy and the effortless combo of melodic vocals and BARS. She has inspired confidence in nearly every aspect of my music-making process. This track in particular with Mungo’s has big phat bass, the baddest bars and goes off anytime it’s dropped in a DJ set. That is the goal.

Shygirl – Gush

The first time I heard this track, I fell in love with its genreless and sensual-but-clubby vibes. I can hear hip-hop, club and pop influences which I felt I really resonated with the music I was making, just nowhere near as slick. Shygirl’s laid-back vocals, lyricism and flow totally captured me and, combined with Sega Bodega’s production, is the best wiggly air about.

Sevdaliza – That Other Girl

This is like the audio equivalent of having an orgasm, NO LIE. Sevdaliza is an artist who really specialises in this kinda energy, and this track’s minimalism up until the point of its peak is masterfully done. I feel there’s a lot of tracks out there that represent dudes’ sexuality, so having stuff out that represents more feminine sexuality, and it represented sonically more than with words, is great.

FKA Twigs – Give Up

FKA Twigs holds a very similar type of inspiration that Sevdaliza does. It’s worth mentioning the way they both incorporate movement with their music. I think it adds a whole other dimensional layer to how their message is conveyed and compliments the stellar, ethereal production they both have going on.

Lauryn Hill – Ex-Factor

I was lucky enough to catch the force of nature, the divine Ms. Lauryn Hill at The Downs Festival last year, which even further solidified my admiration. Her words and melodies hold a power that’s unparalleled, her ability to pick out the most powerful harmonies and the growth between her early work with The Fugees to this fully-realised album are all huge influences. This song in particular brings all my favourite things about her together and is a constant reference point.

Listen to Grove on Soundcloud here and follow them on Instagram here.

Featured Image by Maya Belle Photography