Grove // Queer + Black
(Spinny Nights)

If you’ve caught the buzz building around Grove and proceeded to check their music, you’ll know the noise is all justified. For an artist seemingly realising themselves in the process of releasing a salvo of deadly EPs, their degree of creative intent is borderline intimidating. Having grown up in Cheltenham, they moved to Bristol to find a more inspiring scene to call home, and while they’ve already positively integrated with the city it feels like Grove is on a trajectory to somewhere which transcends geography. 

Doing their own production (albeit with a little input from the likes of Robin ‘Giant Swan’ Stewart), they’re presenting a visceral twis’ up on dancehall, grime and straight-up rap which feels like someone manifesting their individuality in a way no one could dare to imitate. Their flows are honest and artful, playing around with rhythmic structure in that unschooled way which suggests no desire to imitate anyone else and simply running on instinct. On ‘Black’, they deliver a clear-eyed run on their heritage and place their racial identity right in the here and now (shouting out the toppling of the Colston statue in Bristol), with a guest spot from Griz-O. 

At times the gnarly, nightmarish strain of dancehall calls to mind some of The Bug’s fiercest work, and they can play with sweetness and savagery in their vocal delivery like Miss Red, but those are only faint impressions. Grove’s power lies in their uniqueness, bringing an undeniable punk energy in their open attitude towards sampling, beat construction and track structure. It’s a high energy rush which peaks with ‘FUCK YOUR LANDLORD’, a bludgeoning protest song which further pushes Grove along the path to more widespread notoriety as one of the most vital young Black voices in Britain. 

Originally published at Juno Daily, reposted with kind permission.