Drowned in February playlist

Here’s February’s selection of playlists from Sean Adams, founder of Drowned in Sound, a UK-based music blog and irreverent community of music lovers.

Drowned in February 2011

Here we go again. Another month whooshed on by but with more great releases condensed into it than any month in recent memory. There were of course the big guns like Gaga and Radiohead dominating conversations on the web but February wasn’t all about them, especially as it saw the return of some of my favourites. There was those shoe-ravin’ Aussies Cut Copy with the sound of summer, the strangely textured sound of war-documenting from PJ Harvey, a sci-fi folk record from Bright Eyes and a gigantic robotic beast of an album from Mogwai. That’s not to mention February’s bevvy of new music including the debut album from the much-hyped James Blake, delightful Canadians Braids or the throb of Austra. …listen here.

Also be sure to check out the top February playlists put together by the DiS community.

2011 Picks by DrownedinSound.com

Our community are slowly compiling their favourite records of the year (so far!!!) in this thread and I’ve been picking albums loved by them and by our reviewers in this playlist.

Two other playlists I made this month:
Songs That Sound a bit like ‘Born This Way’
DiS does Valentines

Magic Chairs by Efterklang wins first IMPALA European Independent Album of the Year Award

Efterklang’s third full-length album, Magic Chairs, has won the first IMPALA European Independent Album of the Year Award from a shortlist of 21 albums from across Europe.

Magic Chairs is the Danish band’s first album on the UK’s seminal 4AD label, who released the record globally in February 2010, with the band’s own label, Rumraket, releasing the album in Scandinavia. The record was mixed by Gareth Jones, famed for his work with Depeche Mode, Nick Cave and Grizzly Bear.

Magic Chairs has been described as “exemplary escapism” (BBC Music Review), containing “subtle tension and lurking drama”, combined with “heartbreaking melody” (The Guardian). Their “arresting, wistful songwriting style” (Mojo) has captivated audiences throughout Europe, making this orchestral masterpiece truly deserving of the title “Album of the Year”. Other exceptional artists that were up for the award included Caro Emerald, The National, Delorean and Agnes Obel.

Congrats!

R.E.M.’s signed guitar and Sonos giveaway

R.E.M. is set to unveil its latest album, Collapse Into Now, and Spotify listeners can check out a 5-track sampler for a taste of what to expect from the new album.

Additionally, we’re running a competition, giving all Spotify users a chance to win:

  • A Fender Squier Stratocaster guitar, signed by Michael Stipe
  • A Sonos S5 – a high-performance wireless music system
  • A signed photograph of the band
  • A special Spotify playlist compiled by the band, which will be automatically added to their Premium account

Spotify users can enter the competition by visiting the contest page today.

UPDATE: Big congrats to jammie443 for winning the big prize!

IMPALA European Independent Album of the Year Award

The new European Independent Album of the Year Award is a Mercury-style award which celebrates the musical talent and diversity of independent European releases, aiming to promote exceptional artists and the independent sector alike.

The winner is selected, regardless of sales figures and publicity, from a shortlist which is compiled based on a national and non-national album nominations from European territories. A jury of Impala board members choose the winner based on musical merit alone. The criteria for nominations and the selection process may well evolve with the progression of the award.

The nominated albums for the 2010 edition of the award are listed here, along with the label and nationality. The winner will be announced 28th February in Brussels.

To support the award we’ve teamed up with IMPALA to make a playlist so you can judge for yourselves in advance of the big day.

Get into the mood with our Valentine’s Day playlists

Monday is Valentine’s Day and to ensure that you have enough music for an entire weekend of romance we’ve compiled a series of playlists from our label friends.

Also don’t forget to check out our Valentine’s Day e-cards which are the perfect gift alongside flowers and chocolate.

Have a lovely weekend!

Drowned in Sound’s Highlights Playlist

In this month’s playlist post from Sean Adams, founder of Drowned in Sound, he’s been scraping the ice off 2011′s windscreen before gazing onto a whole new world ablaze with excitement for the months ahead. January’s playlist features an hour of returning heroes (Bright Eyes, PJ Harvey, …Trail of Dead, Dr Dre) and exciting new acts (How to Dress Well, There Will Be Fireworks, ANR, Jamie Woon, Girl Unit). However, the playlist opens in tribute to Trish Keenan of the absolutely brilliant Broadcast, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

Click Here to listen/subscribe to this playlist

This month’s bonus playlists:

Music for Office Workers – a 3hr playlist of electronica pianos, post-rock and wordlessness that creates an aural backdrop to help you concentrate.

Winterwave – a wintery themed playlist featuring the likes of Talk Talk, Cocteau Twins, Jeniferever and 20 other tracks with an icy-chill.

DiS Winter Playlist – an even more wintery playlist, compiled collaboratively by the DiS community

DiS at the Gym #1 – an hour of music to assist your beer-belly busting.