Mauve Grove – Five Questions With

Toronto’s Mauve Grove fuses psychedelic prog and hip hop-jazz in “Say Her Name”

Toronto, ON-based psychedelic-experimental-hip hop-jazz, group, Mauve Grove has unveiled their first single of the year, “Say Her Name.”

Blending a cornucopia of emotion and genre, Mauve Grove carves their sound from the junction between atonement and catharsis. “Say Her Name” embodies a ferocious dismantling of feelings toward the failures and shortcomings of the modern social world. This ferocity flies in tandem with the neck-breaking pace of the backing instrumentation, and the end result is nothing if not pure cathartic energy.

Beginning with a spitfire drum fill and a few hallucinatory guitar chords, “Say Her Name” sets a stage for brutal honesty through visceral poetry. Lyricist CJ Hall is a wordsmith who swiftly finds meaning in his abstract one-liners that beg for a second listen.

“I mostly write for my own mental health and to help process emotions when they feel overwhelming. Writing is a way for me to get heavy burdens off my chest; I get a lot of catharsis through my art and through music in general” CJ says.

The “her” in the “Say Her Name” chant is a call and response for Breonna Taylor, a woman shot and killed by police in a false forced-entry operation. Some of the lyrics are from the perspective of Breonna’s then-boyfriend.

“As a black man who’s lived in America for 10 plus years, I would say it’s hard to narrow the inspiration for the lyrics down to a single event,” CJ says. “When I see situations on the news like George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, and countless others, it reminds me of my own encounters and close calls with racists and bigoted people.”

Mauve Grove is following up “Say Her Name” with another single entitled “Creepy Crawlies,” early in July.

Check out “Say Her Name” below, and find out more about Mauve Grove via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

We’re Mauve Grove, a hip-hop/alternative/experimental band from Toronto. Our music is an intersection between introspection and extroversion, something you can sink your teeth into through a pair of headphones just as you can head first into the mosh pit.

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

We just released a single, “Say Her Name”, a visceral perspective piece about the social issues and shortcomings seen and felt prominently over the past couple of years. The “her” in the “Say Her Name” chant is a call and response for Breonna Taylor, a woman shot and killed by police in a false forced-entry operation in 2020. The track itself was stylistically written to subvert traditional structures and cadences, throwing odd meters around to mix things up without going off-balance, and the result is a rapid-fire beat with this vivid psych-jazz instrumentation painted all over it.

When it comes to the global pandemic, how are you keeping yourself out in the public eye while not being able to perform?

We were fortunate enough to be able to find ways to practice and write new songs throughout the past two years, which helped keep us sane. We have all these ideas constantly sprouting up and are always looking for new ways to try and mix things up stylistically. These get hashed out in our studio, where we cut everything out that doesn’t add to the emotional vibe we’re trying to create with these songs. From a visibility standpoint, we share our ideas with our friends on the local scene and go back and forth on different beats, riffs, lyrics, etc., so we were all still connecting online when everything went indoors, and then we were able to start jamming and connecting in-person later on. Things like working on content strategies and figuring out our niche/what worked for us online have improved because we’ve had the time to try new ideas we hadn’t considered before. Now that performing has started to come back, we’ve been taking our songs to jams and open mics to test out in a real-world setting. It’s been a great way for us to see if what we’ve been working on in the studio actually makes sense live.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so if you were able to work with ONE fellow Canadian artist, alive or dead, who would you choose?

It has to be Shad! Definitely one of the greats. Jessie Reyez, Daniel Caesar, or Charlotte Day Wilson if we’re keeping it in Toronto.

What’s your goal for 2022?

Bring what we’ve been working on these past many months to the stage and turn some heads, drop our 3rd full-length record and get back on the road.

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