#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

We start a new week and a new playlist with the sound of “Someplace Beautiful” by the Norwegian pop duo “Alfred Hall”. Someplace Beautiful is taken from their debut album “Wilderness” released in the beginning of March.

Next we have an amazing female vocal: American Laura Pergolizzi aka “LP” and her beautiful song “Into the Wild”. We continue with yet another American. This time a electronic music duo; “MNDR” and their song “Stay”.

“Yukon Blonde” is a Canadian indie rock band. “Six Dead Tigers” is a single off their latest album Tiger Talk (with a b-side “Love Is Gonna Change You”).

Then time for a band describing themselves as a Rock n’ Roll band with Southern California soul. Los Angeles based “The Mowgli’s” and their “The Great Divide”

Last song in our playlist this week is “Where The Kids Are” by the brother-and-sister duo Bruce and Erica Driscoll also known as “Blondfire”.

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.

World Water Day 2013

Every year March 22 is the United Nation’s World Water Day – 24 hours that help to focus attention on the importance of freshwater for all. The idea is simple, cooperation for peace, prosperity and sustainable development and to that end there are over 750 different events and happenings taking place all over the world. You can get involved here – and while you’re at it, here’s our Clean Water For All playlist…

Start following now!

We’ve been busy rolling out some of the exciting new features we announced in December. From today, we’re able to bring artists and fans closer than ever before. It’s time to start following!

Now on Spotify, you can follow all the people who turn you on to the music you care about. Find out what friends and artists are listening to in real time, and check out the music that matters to the trendsetters in your life.

Want to hear Obama’s playlist as he prepares for a big speech? Or check out what David Guetta is listening to this week? Now you can.

Build your following

Share your soundtrack with the world, and people will follow you too. Post your playlists on your social networks and be part of the discovery revolution.

What’s changed?

• Followers instead of subscribers: We’ve moved from “subscribers” to “followers.” Follow people you find musically interesting, playlists you love, and artists who suggest great music for you.

• A more curated Activity Feed: You’ll only see activity from the people you follow on Spotify, as well as recommended people you may like to follow.

• A more useful Follow page: We’re actively finding some of the most interesting people using Spotify–from the A-list producer to the hometown hip hop hero–and introducing them to users across the community. To make this easier to understand, we’ve changed the “People” page to a “Follow” page.

• A more personal Profile page: See recent listening, new playlists, and sharing activity, as well as all of your own followers.

• Better Artist pages: See all your favourite artists’ activity on Spotify–songs they share, playlists they create, and their catalogue.

• Notifications for new releases: You’ll receive a notification every time an artist you follow releases new music. Never miss the latest release from your favourites.

You’ll get notified automatically when an update is ready for you. Otherwise head over to our Download page to get the latest version now.

Happy following!

Want to try our new web player?

Here’s a treat for you! Now you can try our brand new web player at spotify.com

The web player will be a real bonus if you can’t – or don’t want to – download our app. So whether you’re at the office, or round at a friend’s house, simply log in to your account and hit play.

Spotify on your browser

You can play the entire Spotify catalogue directly from any supported web browser. Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer are all included.

Our web player includes many of the great features from our desktop app, including:

• Search for artists, albums, tracks and playlists.

• Radio – sit back and let us bring you the music.

• Access and edit all your playlists and create new ones.

• Browse our ‘What’s new’ section to find all the latest releases.

The web player is available to all users, whether you’re Free, Unlimited or Premium.

Just point your browser to spotify.com to get started.

March Beats presented by @thursplay

thursplay

Here’s what you’ll listen to on this March Beats by our friends at @thursplay :

Exciting new music releases this month! On this March Beats by @thursplay you can listen to alternative folk band The Trouble With Templeton’s song “Six Months in a Cast”, new single by Cayucas “High School Lover”, Devendra Banhart’s song “Won’t You Come Over” from his just released new album “Mala”, Dallas based band Air Review with “Young” and “Safe and Sound” from Alfred Hall’s album “Wilderness”.

Still on this playlist: American duo The Peach Kings with “Do for Me”, Swedish band Shout Out Louds with “14th of July” from their latest album “Optica”, legendary singer David Bowie with the song “(You Will) Set The World on Fire”, new single by Phoenix called “Entertainment” and more.

What were your favorite releases during March?

Share them with us today on Twitter using the hashtag #thursplay.

Music For Change

As President Obama begins his trip to the Middle East we decided to partner with Heartbeat.fm to create a collaborative playlist from a Palestinian music expert and an Israeli music expert to show the world how music can bring people together.

The result was “Heartbeat: Set For Change” a playlist featuring some of the best music from Israeli, Palestinian, Eastern, African and Western artists.

“Set For Change” was curated by Guy Gefen, a 21 year-old Israeli singer-songwriter, DJ, music producer and concert promoter based in Rehovot, Israel; and Tamer Omari, a 28-year-old Palestinian musician and dialogue facilitator who performs as a bassist, percussionist and oud player with many leading ensembles in the Palestinian music scene.

Guy and Tamer gave us their description of the collaboration:

“We invite you to step inside…and listen. We are Palestinian and Israeli musicians. We come together through Heartbeat, an organization that unites Israeli and Palestinian youth musicians to build trust and transform conflict through the power of music

These are songs that we like. Some of them we perform together. Like a DJ set or a collection of stories, we recombined the songs to present a full message. This playlist is about what happens when we join things together. Yes, many of these songs are from the Arab and Jewish cultures, but our love for these songs forms a shared Israeli-Palestinian culture. These are songs to get us to ask more questions and to help us understand basic truths: that we are equal and we seek the same essential freedoms. From here we can build.

This music has taught us so much. At first some of the sounds seemed so different. At times they even made us feel uncomfortable, but when we really listened, we saw beauty.”

See the full “Heartbeat: Set For Change” playlist here!

App of the week: Nick Cave

At last an app to make sense of the stylistic mayhem of my back catalogue. My sensational all-new “mood” app.” – Nick Cave

With 20 albums and a career spanning four decades, Nick Cave is a true artist and a prolific songwriter. In the brand new Nick Cave Spotify app, explore the vast collection of his music via different “moods” representative of his songs. Carefully selected by Nick himself, these moods range from Sex, Comic, Heart Break, Blasphemy, Confessional, Murder to Mayhem, Classic, Love, Spiritual and Super Dark.

If you’re just discovering Nick Cave for the first time you have a guided tour of Nick’s musical career, whilst avid fans can get a brand new insight into the music. The app also features a selection of playlists hand-picked by artists or famous fans that have worked with, or been inspired by the music of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Grinderman, The Birthday Party and more.

Check out the Nick Cave app here.

The sounds of March courtesy of Sharemyplaylists.com

We present you the music selection that our friends from Sharemyplaylists have handpicked for this month.

SXSW 2013 Picks (sxpicks.com)

SMP user Matthew Averkamp is the man behind this year’s consummate guide to SXSW. The music, film and interactive conference and festival is held in Austin, Texas, every year – with 2013 boasting a stellar lineup of new and emerging bands. This playlist takes in 60 of those artists, and features everyone from alt-J, Everything Everything and Haim to lesser-known but equally brilliant acts such as Wildcat! Wildcat!, Bastille and So Many Wizzards. Super stuff.

Produced by Dan Auerbach

We’re all familiar with Dan Auerbach’s work, right? He’s the absolutely lethal guitarist, howler and man with a great beard from the Black Keys. But did you know he’s also a top producer? Auerbach has sat behind the mixing desk for everyone from Dr. John, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Hacienda, to JEFF the Brotherhood, Buffalo Killers and Brimstone Howl. A brilliant playlist for Dan fans and newcomers alike. Great stuff from SMP user Katie Hamre.

Miami WMC Warm-Up

The word “conference” just doesn’t seem right. A week-long party, featuring the best DJs in the world, held at prosperously glamourous locations, brimming with beautiful people … WMC is the electronic music “conference” held every March in Miami Beach, Florida. Our press passes seem to have gotten lost in the post, this year, so we’re making do with this mixtape put together by SMP user SamA. It features 50 tracks – spanning almost 10 hours – by many of artists taking part. If your tickets were also lost in the post, this one’s for you.

March’13 Acid Jazz Hispano

You’re a fan of real music – proper singer-songwriters, killer musicians, unique voices. But you have eclectic tastes – from hip-hop to house, from blues to jazz, from funk to soul. Well, we’ve got just the ticket for you … March’13 Acid Jazz Hispano joins the dots between all the musical genres that matter, throwing together everyone from the Brand New Heavies, Emperors New Clothes and Black Market Audio to Miles Davis, Nas and 4hero. Superb, as always. A bona fide must-hear mixtape.

Weekly Top 50 Tracks

Harlem Shake back to back with Greyhound. Urban Photograph into Thrift Shop. David Guetta lining up next to Skrillex. Ever wondered which songs SMP users listen to the most? Wonder no more. Every Monday we publish a chart of the 50 most popular tracks from the previous week – this playlist contains all of the songs from that chart. It’s updated weekly – and always full of surprising new entries – so don’t forget to subscribe.

Fat Daddy’s Groove Bag

This mixtape is a winner on all fronts: it has a killer title, Fat Daddy’s Groove Bag; it features nifty playlist artwork, we think you’ll agree; and, most importantly, it’s brimming with incredible music … Yes, what we have he is over 70 tracks – spanning over seven hours – of the finest, grooviest funky soul and jazz instrumentals from the 60s and 70s. A veritable feast of cool tunes. Well played, Michael Sean. Hit shuffle and see what you discover.

The Soundtrack to March 2013

It’s a big, big month for new music. And who better to guide us through the riders and runners than SMP superuser Phil Wilce, and his playlist staple the Soundtrack to… March’s edition features, “50 tracks of the finest fresh meat,” Wilce says. “100% Guaranteed.” He gives a nod to Jagwar Ma, Laura Mvula, Bowie and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, while we’re all over tracks by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Waifs & Strays, Junip and Gold Panda, to name just a few. Ignore the naysayers, this mixtape is a thoroughbred.

Django Unchained Mixtape

When we first saw this Django Unchained mixtape, SMP user Sándor Békési had our curiosity. But once we listend to it, he had our attention … This is no original soundtrack, either. It’s a collection of, ‘Songs that fit in the atmosphere and style of Django Unchained.’ Feature here: everyone from Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Bob Dylan to the Toot Toot Toots, Slow Joe & the Ginger Accident and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

Feel Better…Now: Uplifting Rock

Nothing – absolutely nothing – makes the heart sing quite like Elbow’s One Day like This. Feeling blue? Bruce Springsteen’s the Rising will perk you up. For a musical shot in the arm, you can’t beat a bit of Joe Cocker’s Feelin’ Alright. “We all need some encouragement throughout our busy and stressful lives,” says SMP user Chris Junkin. “Regardless of the circumstances, the right music alone can improve one’s disposition.” We couldn’t agree. Nice idea; good, solid, feel-good mixtape.

House Music 2013

We’ve only gone and given our in-house house mixtape a touch-up … As regular readers will already know, we do have a penchant for dance music, here at SMP. Deep and groovy, dark and techy, uplifting and jackin’ … if you can dance to it, we’re all over it. Which is why we’ve put our heads together to come up with a weekly mixtape full of best new house tracks around – and it’s just been updated. If you’re looking for a soundtrack to your weekend misadventures, look no further. Play loud!

Our interview with Brett Anderson

“It’s amazing that bands stay together for as long as they do…”

The very brilliant Suede have returned to save us all. The band’s new album, Bloodsports, is their first for 11 years and arrives a full 20 years after their immaculate debut. What’s more, their singer, Brett Anderson, will be hosting his own Soundrop room and playing some of his most loved music live in the Spotify office at 5pm on Tuesday, March 19. Here Brett talks about the “elegant” way the band reformed, the pressure and pleasure of writing new songs, growing up with a classical music obsessed father and the music that made him the person he is.

It’s 11 years since the last Suede album – how do you begin all over again?

Brett Anderson: Well, it was quite a long kind of journey! It started off when we first got back together in 2010. Our first thought wasn’t to make a new album; it was just to do one gig, thinking that would be a cool thing to do.

And then disappear again?

Yeah! We thought it would be really elegant, there’s something quite Suede-ish about it. The gig was, inevitably, kind of amazing, and we couldn’t leave it. It was like picking a scab, so we carried on playing and really, really enjoyed it. We felt energised, hungry for it again. We’ve genuinely loved playing together for the last couple of years. But, every band that reforms and plays their old material, will eventually come to the point where they say, “Right, how are we going to move forward with this? What are we going to do next?”

A band has to be a living entity.

Exactly. You can’t just play the songs from 20 years ago and expect people to still respect you and expect to respect yourself. The only choice you’ve got is split up again or make a new record so we thought, let’s give it a shot. We wrote for a long time before it started feeling right again, getting back on the same wavelength was tricky. It was a tricky record to make, for lots of reasons. We had loads of songs that we rejected – at least a couple of albums’ worth. I wanted to have that kind of mindset where we weren’t a complacent sort of band who’d had success and assumed that anything that they could commit to CD was going to be amazing. Eventually there was a tipping point. We wrote Barriers and For the Strangers at quite a similar time, and the record began to make sense.

Musicians often say that two good songs can help shape a whole album.

Exactly. A key song can have almost everything hanging off of it, can’t it? For me that song is was Barriers, that’s the heart of the new record.

Can you deliberately ignore your baggage? When you’ve created so much music already, how do you escape your past?

You have to both, and that’s exactly why it’s so tricky. You have to have respect for what you’ve done before; you have to reference it. It would be a crazy for a band to come back after being away for eleven years and to completely reinvent themselves and sound nothing like they sounded before: it just doesn’t make any sense. We have to sound like Suede, but we had to sound hungry, the record had to sound exciting and contemporary and it had to tick all of the boxes. That was why we rejected lots of songs and that’s why the writing process took such a long time, because there’s a sweet spot, a very, very narrowly defined space in the middle in this continuum between these two points. And we had to hit that space to make it work. We knew we had to compete with the songs that we’d already written and equal them or even better them.

When your first album came out – 20 years ago this month – you were battling it out in American with bands like Goo Goo Dolls and Primus and Alice in Chains. What do you remember of that time?

It was very exciting, that whole period, 1992 and 1993. Suede, I felt, were really out there on our own, completely peerless. There was no such thing as Britpop, there was no big gang of bands that were like trudging along laboriously together. We felt like we were cutting our way through the forest with machetes all on our own. Then, as you say, we went to America and we stuck out like a sore thumb!

That’s good for a band though?

I hope so, because we always have done – that’s the nature of our chemistry. We’ve always been a bit confrontational.

Tell me about the first music you were aware of.

Oh, classical music. My father was an obsessive classical music fan. It was actually beyond obsessive. He used to drive in his old Morris Minor to Franz Liszt’s birthplace every year; a town in Hungary called Raiding. He would bring back soil from his birthplace and wear it round his neck for the next year. So I grew up with Liszt, Berlioz, Beethoven, I was force fed classical music, and inevitably, as is the rite of all teenagers, you kind of rebel against what your parents like, and so I got into bands like Crass, very violent post-punk bands.

You went as far as you could go in the other direction?

Yeah! We used to live in this council house down in Sussex and my Dad had his big, hand-made music system down in the lounge and I had this crappy little stereo up in the bedroom. So he’d be downstairs playing Liszt and I’d be upstairs playing Sex Pistols. I would stand on the stairs and soak up this really bizarre mixture.

Do you think the perfect song exists?

I actually think there are lots of songs that are perfect. I think Vincent by Don Mclean is a fairly perfect song. There’s something so moving and beautiful about the melody and the words, it strips music down to the barest essentials.

What five albums created the person that you are?

Definitely Never Mind the Bollocks, that’d have to be number one. Then Hunky Dory, without a doubt. Bowie was obviously a huge influence, in fact it’s possibly overstated with Suede, because the reference points seemed to be close, but to be honest, for me and for Simon, who plays the drums, we were huge fans of the Pistols, so the Pistols are probably a bigger influence, really. Then I’d go for The Queen is Dead, I suppose you can’t really ignore The Smiths, they were huge for me when I was, you know, 14, 15, 16, that kind of age, the imagery about adolescent confusion resonated with a confused adolescent, you know, it seemed to sort of work!

Then probably Music for Airports by Brian Eno. If I had to listen to one record for the rest of my life, it would be that. Finally, Kate Bush, The Hounds of Love, I love the whole journey of it. It’s such a beautifully conceived album, and these days, when the actual art of making an album is under fire, it’s even more important that people should listen to it all the way through from start to finish. The second side of it, the Ninth Wave side, it’s unbearably beautiful.

Is there one you’d nominate as the greatest record ever made?

That’s Never Mind the Bollocks, in a funny sort of way. There’s something so perfect about it, and it sums up the vitality and the importance of rock music.

What life lessons have you learnt as a professional musician?

That’s an interesting question. I think it would be about maintaining your relationships, that’s an incredibly important thing. To not be complacent. There are so many parallels between family and your band, and you have to have respect for them all. When we split up in 2003, we’d all got a bit bored with each other. There’s so much downtime spent shuffling around airports with people, it gives you a twisted view of what people are like. We’re willing to work on our relationships a lot more now.

I’m always surprised more people in bands don’t end up killing themselves or each other.

Yeah! It’s throwing people into a pressure cooker, isn’t it? A pressure cooker that lasts for years! It’s amazing that bands stay together for as long as they do.

OK – here’s my simple – but crucial – final question: what’s your favourite noise?

OK, so that’s an interesting question too. Well, birdsong in the morning is a beautiful sound, isn’t it? I like the sound of cicadas as well. We have a little house out in Spain that’s out in the middle of the Spanish countryside, just completely surrounded by nature and hundreds of thousands of cicadas. There’s something lovely about the noise. In fact, I don’t know why it isn’t irritating, because it’s almost deafening.

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

We start a new week with a song called “Six Months In A Cast” by Australian singer-songwriter Thomas Calder, also known as “The Trouble with Templeton”.

We follow up with yet another Australian. This time a four-piece indie band from Sydney: “The Jezabels” and their beautiful song “A Little Piece”. I love Hayley Mary’s vocal!

Then time for some English indie pop! Next song is “17″ from Being There’s debut album “Breaking Away” released back in 2012.

We continue with two Swedish favorites. First singer-songwriter: “Henrik Skanfors” and the song “Eve” from his third solo album: “The Sleep of Adam”. And then: “Shout Out Louds” and their song “14th of July” from their latest album “Optica”

Last song in our playlist this week is “Darling” by London-based “Babeshadow”.

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.