4 Great Road Trip Playlists Data-Crunched from the Crowd

Road Trip Playlists

We counted 111,690 Spotify playlists earlier this month with the words “road trip” or “roadtrip” in their titles — oodles of great music that Spotify users have chosen with long-distance driving specifically in mind.

To channel that sea of music into four playlists you can listen to, we first identified the 500 most popular songs in Spotify road trip playlists. As interesting as it is to know that folks enjoy driving to these songs, this playlist is all over the place, musically speaking. To make sense of those 33 hours of tunes, Ajay Kalia, Product Owner of Taste Profiles at Spotify, first normalized them for popularity, to filter out the ones that were probably included in road trip playlists just because they’re popular, not because they’re particularly great road trip songs.

That gave us a better playlist of 200 essential road trip songs — still over 12 hours of music, from a hodgepodge of styles, so we clustered all of that music using 1255 music genres.

“Starting with the full list, we used artist-similarity ‘clusters’ to create playlists capturing a general style of music, like classic rock, indie folk and pop music,” explains Ajay.

The upshot of all of this human curation, big data music intelligence, and Ajay’s number crunching: four great road trip playlists ready for you to take on your next trip:

Mellow Gold Road Trip reflects the fact that that lots of people like to drive to popular rock from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, plus other music that sounds like that:


Pop Road Trip is where you’ll find popular, familiar music, mostly from the charts, and most of it having been released after the year 2000:


Acoustic Rock Road Trip features singer-songwriter music and rock songs, especially acoustic-influenced songs from harder bands (e.g. Incubus’ “Drive”, Foo Fighters “Everlong” acoustic), which lots of people like to hear on road trips:


Power Trip has the road trip songs from genres that tend to over-index among our power users:


For more road trip fun, be sure to try Road Trip Mixtape, from the legendary Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform for The Echo Nest, part of the Spotify family. This amazing web app lets you enter any two cities, and it outputs a list of music by artists from the places you’ll be driving through on your trip.


(Image courtesy of Flickr/worak) 




Serendipity Visualizes Simultaneous Listening Worldwide


For the past two months, we’ve hosted Spotify’s very first media artist in residence, interactive artist Kyle McDonald, who has built something truly inspiring. His creation, Serendipity, is an animated world map that shows when two people listen to the same song at the same time.

Yes, it’s a mesmerizing piece of art. It’s also true to life, based on real-time data.

In order to show up on Serendipity, two human beings must have started listening to the same song on Spotify within a tenth of a second of each other — basically, at the same time — in different towns, cities, states, nations, timezones, or even hemispheres.

Although they might not speak the same languages, live in the same climates, or believe the same things, they’re playing the same song at the same time. We’ve always known that music brings people together — and now, we can see that togetherness in real time.

“There are so many ways we’re connected to each other, but sometimes we forget, or we just can’t see it,” said Serendipity creator McDonald. “In person, it’s easy to see the features we share, or when we share stories in online discussions. But we’re also connected in more ephemeral ways, and we can extract these relationships with new tools. Even though listening to music can be a very private experience, I wanted to see how often this experience is shared.”

“I’ve heard estimates that half a million people are in airplanes at any moment, forming a sort of city in the sky,” he continued. “Maybe Serendipity shows a similar sort of never-ending worldwide music festival. I hope that when people watch it they feel something that reminds them of listening to music with friends, and they think about what music can do to connect people.”

Serendipity’s beautiful depiction of musical synchronicity between music lovers all over the planet shows us, maybe, just a little, how shared our experience really is.

This is what it looks like when the world listens together.

Spotify’s Media Artist in Residence program is run on an informal basis, but we might do it again. Interested artists can find out more here.





Missy Higgins announces national tour – Proudly presented by Spotify


Beloved Aussie singer/songwriter Missy Higgins has just announced a one-off Australian tour called OZ. These September/October dates will be Missy’s only shows for at least the next 12 months.

The announcement of this special concert series follows hot on the heels of two other major Missy announcements. Firstly she revealed that she is due to give birth to her first child in early January (hence her strictly limited touring plans). Secondly she just unveiled a brand new album of eclectic Australian cover versions and a companion book of essays. Both the album and the book are called OZ.

The concerts will see Missy combining some OZ songs with her own classics such as “The Special Two”, “Scar”, Steer”, “Where I Stood”, “Unashamed Desire” and Everyone’s Waiting”.

Over the last decade Missy Higgins has become one of our most beloved singer/songwriters. Her three previous albums, The Sound of White, On a Clear Night and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, have sold more than a million copies. They’ve each gone to #1 on the Australian charts and each has also been recognised with ARIA Awards.


More info and tickets here: http://www.missyhiggins.com.au/

Sat 20 September       Cairns, Cairns Civic Theatre
Tue 23 September       Townsville, TECC – Auditorium
Wed 24 September     Mackay, MECC – Plenary Halls A&B
Fri 26 September        Caloundra, The Events Centre Theatre
Sat 27 September       Brisbane, BCEC – Great Hall
Sun 28 September      Toowoomba, Empire Theatre
Tue 30 September       Gold Coast, GCAC – Arts Theatre
Wed 1 October            Lismore, Lismore City Hall – Churchill Auditorium
Fri 3 October               Newcastle, Civic Theatre
Sat 4 October              Sydney, Enmore Theatre
Mon 6 October            Chatswood, The Concourse
Tue 7 October             Penrith, Joan Sutherland PAC – Concert Hall
Thu 9 October             Wollongong, Anita’s Theatre
Sat 11 October            Canberra, Canberra Theatre
Sun 12 October           Wodonga, The Cube
Wed 15 October          Geraldton, Queens Park Theatre
Thu 16 October           Perth, Crown Theatre
Sat 18 October            Bunbury, Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
Sun 19 October           Mandurah, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
Wed 22 October          Darwin, Darwin Convention Centre
Sat 25 October            Adelaide, AEC – Theatre
Wed 29 October          Melbourne, Regent Theatre



Connect to some good vibrations.


We can’t get enough of Libratone’s quirky Scandinavian design and innovative approach to sound.

Their network speakers use acoustic-filtering organic wool to fill any room with good vibrations. And they now feature Spotify Connect. Which, of course, is music to our ears.

Feast your eyes on the Libratone Loop and Libratone Zipp. Look out for the update on Libratone’s iOS/Android app to upgrade the firmware and get one of these beauties playing all your favourite Spotify tunes.


Emotional Music


We know that there’s always that song that makes us smile, take us back to an exact moment, or bring us to tears… Music can have powerful effects on our emotions and with this in mind, we worked alongside Jacob Jolij, Professor in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Groningen, to reveal some of the songs that trigger the clearest emotional responses.

  1. Happiness – Katy Perry, Birthday

Happy songs are up-tempo, have strong rhythm, positive lyrics, and are typically in a major key. The up-tempo rhythm of Katy Perry’s Birthday will encourage active movement and dopamine release, which is good for your mood.

Furthermore some research suggests that the major key unconsciously reminds you of a falling pitch – a feature which in both human and animal vocalisations asserts dominance and confidence.

  1. Sadness – OneRepublic, I Need

Sad songs have the opposing features of happy songs: they are slower and in a minor key – with the lyrics generally more negative.

The minor key present in OneRepublic’s I Need unconsciously reminds the human mind of a rising pitch, which is associated with defeat and uncertainty.

  1. Optimism – American Authors, Best Day of My Life

Optimism is what psychologists call a complex emotion – it is not ‘built in’ our system by nature, but it is an emotion we learn to experience over time.

Optimistic feelings require happiness, so optimistic songs will share many features with happy songs: major key, upbeat. However lyrics – such as those in American Authors’ Best Day of My Life – are more important here as they provide the additional context to build optimism rather than purely improving mood.

  1. Anger – David Guetta, Bad

Anger is a basic emotion. It is negative, and as such associated with songs in a minor key. However, as opposed to sadness, anger is what we call an approach-emotion: it involves movement, a dimension anger shares with happiness.

Combine these two and you’ve got a recipe for songs that may help in channelling our angry feelings: up-tempo songs with a strong rhythm, in a minor key, such as David Guetta’s Bad.

  1. Overcoming fear – Coldplay, Magic

Fear is a negative emotion, characterised by a stress response that prepares you for a ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction.

In the modern age, we often experience the same stress responses in situations where the ‘fight or flight’ response isn’t beneficial – such as an interview or presentation. In order to overcome fear, the very first thing you need to do is to minimise your stress response, followed by managing your internal thoughts. Music that can help you to overcome fear therefore needs to be slow, relaxing, but have major chords to evoke positive feelings, and lyrics that deal with your negative thoughts, such as Coldplay’s Magic.

  1. Excitement – Avicii, Wake Me Up

The hormones present in the body when we are described as being ‘excited’ – such as adrenalin and endorphins – mean that excited people crave music that is positive, usually in a major key, yet more up-tempo and with a stronger beat than your typical ‘happy’ song.

And when you’re dancing with excitement to Avicii’s Wake Me Up, the lyrics in excited songs aren’t as important as they are to other moods such as anger or nostalgia.

  1. Nostalgia – John Legend, All of Me

John Legend’s All of Me is an example of a song destined to be a nostalgic hit.

For many the sentimental lyrics will remind them of somebody special, improving the probability of linking the song to other senses – such as sights or smells – meaning the iconic 2014 hit All of Me is a reliable track to provoke nostalgia in listeners for years to come.

Take a listen to the top seven emotion-inducing tracks here and check out more of our mood-focused playlists by surfing the ‘Genres and Moods’ section in the Browse feature.


Miami Horror announce National tour – Proudly presented by Spotify



Miami Horror are back in a big way with new single ‘Wild Motion (Set It Free)’ and a national tour this September. Recently settling in Los Angeles, the five-piece found inspiration in the glowing year-round Californian sun, set up a home studio, and eagerly started experimenting to release singles Real Slow and Colours in the Sky over the Summer of 2013/2014.

‘Wild Motion (Set It Free)’ oozes the recognisably catchy and upbeat vibes which MiamiHorror have taken ownership of since 2009’s debut EP Bravado & hit single ‘Sometimes’. Yet with ‘Wild Motion (Set It Free)’, the band have reached a new pinnacle of their songwriting. The track showcases the ever-growing production talent of the band and producer Benjamin Plant, the huge soothing vocal harmonies of singer Josh Moriarty and a monumental vintage-sounding riff that sets the scene for the band’s new direction.

The new single has been unleashed in conjunction with the announcement of a national tour which will take the band to Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Coffs Harbour,Adelaide, Melbourne, Karratha and Fremantle this September. Tour dates and ticketing details  can be found here.

Wild-MotionTour Poster




American Authors announce Australia and New Zealand tour – Proudly presented by Spotify


Brooklyn-based alt rock band American Authors will be returning to Australia and visiting New Zealand for the first time thisyear to play shows in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.

Band members Zac Barnett, James Adam Shelley, Dave Rublin and Matt Sanchez left the Berklee College of Music in Boston where they met to take their alt-rock, four-part harmonies and infectious pop sensibilities to the Big Apple as American Authors.

Their honest songwriting evidently comes from the diversity that the four members bring to the table. As lead singer Zac Barnett explains the idea behind their name and work ethic: “We’re the authors of our lives, creating music from what we’ve lived, from what we hope for, from what we feel. Every day is different and like everyone, our emotions change according to our personal highs and lows and by the challenges or triumphs that affect all of us…we’re not afraid to be goofy one day and serious the next. We just want to be true to ourselves and share our stories for as long as people are willing to listen” – Zac Barnett (vocals)

The last year has seen American Authors not only dominate the charts, television and movie screens, but also their live presence, having supported the likes of OneRepublic and The Script to being one of the most highly anticipated bands to play at SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier this year, leading to a number of sold out headline shows in the US and UK/Europe.

In the last few months, American Authors have not only proved to be proficient songwriters that have captivated audiences across the world, they have proven themselves as headliners in their own right through their energy and commitment to honing their craft as live performers. If the international response to American Authors is anything to go by, you will not want to miss these guys in action.

General public on sale from 10am local time, Tuesday 22 July

Fri 19 Sep Brisbane | The Hi-Fi (18+)

Sat 20 Sep Melbourne | Prince Bandroom (18+)

Sun 21 Sep Sydney | Metro Theatre (18+)

Wed 24 Sep Auckland l Powerstation (All Ages)


Oztix.com.au | Ph: 1300 762 545

Oztix.com.au | Ph: 1300 762 545

Ticketek.com.au | Ph: 132 849

Ticketmaster.co.nz | Ph: 0800 111 999



Andy Bull announces ‘Sea of Approval’ tour – Proudly presented by Spotify

tour poster (3)

Andy Bull is excited to announce the ‘Sea of Approval’ national tour; in support of the release of his much anticipated second LP, out now via Island Records.

‘Sea of Approval’ is an open and personal body of work. Andy’s distinct voice and acoustic piano is married with synthesizers, samples, glitches and vocal layering. A masterful pop artist, he produces and plays every instrument on the record and has this to say about the upcoming tour:

“I’m happy to be doing the ‘Sea of Approval’ tour – we look forward to making the walls shake and sines and squares waves. I’ll have the full band interpreting my bedroom productions for the rock stage. Come and watch us try to wrangle this wily electronic stallion, and even when it bucks, it’ll be anguish worth coming out for.”

Tickets are on sale now via the links below, be part of Andy’s sea of approval as he takes full band on tour this September, which special guests from Sydney’s indie pop trio New Navy.

For more info and tickets head here: 


Tickets available from http://www.brisbanefestival.com.au | 136 246 | From Qtix Box Office


Tickets available from http://www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets


Tickets available from http://www.bigtix.com.au


Tickets available from http://www.ticketek.com.au | 132 849 | All Ticketek Outlets


Tickets available from http://www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets


Tickets available from http://www.nowbaking.com.au


Tickets available from http://www.rottofest.com.au


Tickets available from http://www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets


Tickets available from http://www.cornerhotel.com | 03 9427 9198 | From the Corner Hotel box office 




For German Music Fans, World Cup Victory Was Cause for Celebration

Yesterday, Germany stunned World Cup host Brazil with a 7-1 victory, breaking records and Brazilian hearts. But for fans of the German side, which will now advance to the World Cup final, the result was cause for major celebration.

And celebrate they did.

As we did for two earlier matches, we looked at how many people were listening to music on Spotify in Brazil and Germany before, during, and after yesterday’s game. The number of listeners in both countries dipped during the action once again, as people tuned in to the big game.

In Germany, we see a big spike in listeners just after the game’s conclusion, representing some late-night celebrating, before listening declined again as the country went to bed.

Even in Brazil, some fans cranked up music on Spotify after the game, as you can see from the rising yellow line after the game ends. However, they listened a lot less than they did the previous night, and several hours passed before Brazilian listening returned to normal.

The following chart depicts hourly listening in both countries, from the day before the match to this morning:

Germany vs. Brazil: A study in listening patterns

See the red spike? That’s Germany celebrating its victory.

Keep in mind that, unlike in our last story about World Cup listening behavior, this one concerns countries in much different timezones, which helps explain why listening drops off in Germany faster than it did in the Netherlands or Sweden following their victories. (In Germany, the game ended at nearly midnight on a Tuesday night.)

It’s also worth noting that the chart shows hourly listening. So while it might appear that the Germans started celebrating before the game was even over, the spike actually shows how much they were listening about ten minutes after the game.

But the takeaway is clear: People in the country whose team won at the World Cup were more likely to listen to Spotify following their victory, while people in the losing country listened less than usual.

To celebrate with the Germans, give our post-game party playlist a listen. Or, to commiserate with the great futebol nation of Brazil after its uncharacteristic loss, try this one.

Update: We’ve also created a couple of new German genre playlists, for those looking to celebrate with some German techno or German metal.

Fishing announce Album tour – Proudly presented by Spotify


Sydney production outfit FISHING, today announce a national headline tour to celebrate the release of their debut album “Shy Glow”. Kicking off on August 22 in sunny Queensland, before heading to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney respectively, the Shy Glow Tour will see the duo step up to the headlining role and bring the eclectic sounds of “Shy Glow” to life.
Hometown fans were lucky enough to get a taste of their new material at theirs  old out album launch at Sydney’s The Basement as part of Vivid Festival just weeks ago. Combined with an impressive light show, FISHING captivated the excitable crowd with their set even calling upon some special guests whom appear on the album. Having previously toured with the likes of Purity Ring, Yeasayer and Hermitude, to name a few, their live show has evolved since their inception in 2010, establishing their reputation as an enthralling live act.

 Friday, August 22 | The Factory, Maroochydore, QLD
Address: Sunshine Plaza, Horton Parade, Maroochydore
Tickets: From venue 

Saturday, August 23 | Bowler Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Address: Coniston Lane, Fortitude Valley
Tickets: From venue
Friday, August 29 | Cats @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide, SA
Address: 142 Hindley Street, Adelaide
Tickets: From venue
Saturday, August 30 | Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Address: 36 Market Lane, Melbourne
Tickets: $12 + bf – www.shebeen.com.au
Friday, September 5 | Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Address: 387 King Street, Newtown
Tickets: $12 + bf – www.newtownsocialclub.com