Christopher Spotify Session

Fredag den 8.februar 2013 kommer den danske popstjernen Christopher til å spille en intimkonsert hos Spotifys hovedkontor i Stockholm. Ved å delta i denne konkurransen kan du være en av de heldige som får være publikum på denne konserten!

Alt du må gjøre er å lage en egen spilleliste som inkluderer dine fem favorittlåter med Christopher – og to sanger du skulle ønske han kunne gjøre en cover av! Del listen på din Facebook-profil, og få dine venner til å stemme på deg.

Vinnerne med flest stemmer blir plukket ut onsdag 4. februar.

Stay Motivated with Workout Playlists

January traditionally kick starts the ‘get fit’ season as millions of us hit the gym to work off festive over-indulgence. With this in mind, we analyzed workout playlists on the service to reveal the top tracks that motivated our users to get moving this January.

The list of the ten most streamed tracks is dominated by upbeat dance music, with Die Young by Ke$ha clocking in as the number one workout track for January 2013 by US Spotify users. Check out the full list based on the top tracks chosen by users here:

The Science Behind Workout Music

Dr. Costas Karageorghis from Brunel University in London, a global thought leader on the use of music in exercise, said: “Music and exercise make for a winning combination. Our scientific research has demonstrated how exercisers lock into the rhythmical elements of music, which gives their workouts a significant boost through a process known as entrainment – in essence, the body gradually aligns its movement patterns to the musical beat. This also reduces perceptions of effort, lifts mood and ultimately results in people sticking to their exercise routine.”

Who else is working out with Spotify?

Fitness trainer and star of Work Out, Jackie Warner shared her top work out tracks exclusively with us. She said: “Here is what I’m listening to now but next month it will be something else. It’s important to change up your playlist regularly. Listening to new music keeps me motivated to exercise and excited about going to the gym!”

Get motivated with Jackie Warner’s fave workout tracks here!

Pop starlet and fitness fanatic Ellie Goulding also shared her motivating training playlist – Music To Run To – she said: “Music and working out go hand in hand. The beat of a song or the perfect playlist can always carry you through a tough workout. My number one workout track is Heartbeats by The Knife, it keeps a really steady beat which is ideal and I love the vocal.”

Michelle Obama’s workout mix is packed with tons of great tracks to get you moving. Put on your sneakers and check it out here.

Meet Vela and bring Voice Control to your Music

We love fantastic apps that make listening to music even easier and more fun. A recent standout is Vela, an iPhone app that brings voice control to music.

Just tell Vela (Voice Enhanced Listening Assistant) what you want to hear – a song, artist, album or track – and it plays! The perfect hands-free companion while on the road, you can voice request songs in as little as 3 seconds. The app connects with your Spotify making sure that your perfect Road Trippin’ playlist is with you at all times.

Today the SXSW Interactive Festival announced Vela as one of their 8 finalists out of hundreds of technology start-ups for the 2013 SXSW Interactive Accelerator. In the competition, Vela joins the ranks of companies like (now Apple’s) Siri, which won the SXSW accelerator in 2010. We’re so excited to see one of our community of developers getting recognition for innovative uses of Spotify’s open platform and helping further the future of technology and music.

What you waiting for? Get Vela for your iPhone today and stay tuned for other devices soon!

Some sweet stuff from Music Hack Day Stockholm!

Last weekend we hosted a Music Hack Day in Stockholm bringing together programmers, developers, musicians and designers to conceptualize, build and demo the future of music. Over this period of 24 hours, a ton of interesting stuff was developed and we thought we’d share of the some highlights!

One of the standout apps was Orly, which enables you to check if the track you’re currently playing on Spotify samples, borrows from, or even covers another track. Fun!

Some other great stuff born from the event includes:

  • Floor Filler – an app that can detect if the crowd is dancing, and will change the song for you when they don’t. No better way to keep the party going!
  • Extendify – a Google Chrome Extension that adds Spotify Play Buttons on sites with information related to music (artists, playlists, tracks…)
  • Joggify – a mobile musical experience designed to give you maximum motivation and energy while running. The iOS app plays a curated Spotify playlist while keeping track of your movements using accelerometer data. If you happen to stop, your music will grind to a halt too! A genius way to keep motivated while training!

For the first time ever, this hack day also got its own soundtrack via a dedicated Soundrop room. Tune in here to check out the the tunes that the coders listened to while working on all this awesome stuff.

The sounds of January courtesy of Sharemyplaylists.com

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

40 Years hits

We’re often extolling the virtues of the recent wave of Swedish pop stars. But it’s no new thing. This playlist proves that Sverige has been a bastion of superb music for a long time. Created by SMP user 50Hz, it’s a mixtape that takes in everyone from Lykke Li, Acid House Kings and the Soundtrack of our Lives, to Jose Gonzalez, Peter Bjorn and John and First Aid Kit. Right up our street, this one.

Inaugural Ball 2.0 – Chicago Style

Our resident house music connoisseur ñ and the user responsible for some of the most lyrical playlist descriptions we’ve ever received ñ has done it again. This time, Reggie Prim is celebrating Barack Obama’s inauguration with 44 “positive and inspiring house jams.” It’s a collection of Chicago house ñ and Chicago house-indebted ñ classics: from Frankie Knuckles, Kerri Chandler and Todd Terry to Smoove, the Shapeshifters and Fax Yourself. Great stuff.

Ubercool Lazy Jazz

“A little collection of great songs that remind me of a smoke-filled, seedy jazz club,” says *AJLW. It’s a description that grabs our attention ñ just as his track selection holds it. It’s a superb mix of old and new, here, a consummately put together mixtape that features SMP favourites Tricky and Count Basic, the timeless Rose Rouge by St Germain and the party-starting Felix Da Housecat’s Heavenly House Mix of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman, to name just a few. Simple and classy. A must-hear.

Tipped For 2013

We’ve had the soaring Nothing Arrived by Villagers on repeat for weeks now; Thom Yorke’s sumptuous, leftfield take on bass music, new Atoms for Peace track Default, is a must-hear; while we still have a recalcitrant distrust of Andy Burrows ñ call it a Razorlight hangover ñ we must admit, his solo stuff is … Well, it’s awful ñ listen to the superb Where Da Money Go by Jim Jones Revue, instead. Tipped For 2013, courtesy of the reliably brilliant [PIAS], is the indispensable mixtape for new music in the coming year. Over five hours of essential bands.

The Best Workout In The WorldÖEver

Right, hands up, whose new year’s resolution is to get fit, get ripped or at least be able to summit the stairs without rasping for breath? Yep. Same. How’s it going? Yep. Same. SMP user Ian Wright has created a playlist to help keep you motivated ñ “40 tracks of pure 128 BPM energy for you to work that body to!” he says. Helping you get buff: Calvin Harris, Martin Solveig, Swedish House Mafia, Benny Benassi and more. Good luck.

House Music 2013

We do have a penchant for house music, here at SMP. Deep and groovy, dark and techy, uplifting and jackin’ ñ 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. We hit the ground running, with scintillating productions from the underground and the mainroom alike, by everyone from Luciano, Maya Jane Coles and Steve Lawler to Nicky Romero, Avicii and Tiesto. Don’t forget to subscribe.

American Roadmovie

It’s the sound of Jack Kerouac and Dean Moriarty, searching for ‘it’. It’s hitchhikers and diners, motels and gas stations. It’s Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It’s Midnight Run. It’s Sideways. It’s the sound of Captain America and Billy, gunning their engines. It’s the sound of Route 66. It’s the sound of cinematic vistas and endless freeways. This playlist is the sound of Peter Kleinw‰chter’s month-long roadtrip across the US. The SMP user has put together all the tracks that helped him along the way on this superb mixtape.

Domino Best of 2012

From tracks by established greats ñ John Cale, Spiritualized, Dirty Projectors ñ to those by some of 2012′s best new artists ñ Petite Noir, Melody’s Echo Chamber, the Child of Lov ñ it’s been another stellar year for London-based independent record label Domino. Add tracks from Dan Deacon, Animal Collective and SMP favourite Villagers, and you have a must-hear mixtape. A super retrospective from a consistently brilliant indie imprint. Over two hours of the best new music from the past 12 months.

Vocoder 4tw

Thanks to the likes of T-Pain, Akon, Lil Wayne and their ilk, the vocoder’s legacy has been somewhat tarnished in recent years. SMP user Jake wants to rectify this. He’s put together a playlist that includes 55 tracks ñ spanning over seven hours ñ of classic tracks which feature the weird little machine that does odd things to vocals. Some of the best examples of the vocoder’s worth come from Beastie Boys, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, Air, Super Furry Animals, Nicolas Jaar and New Order, to name just few.

The Soundtrack to January 2013

Pop perfection from Haim with Don’t Save me; SMP favourite Grizzy Bear with the brilliant Simple Answer; an electro monster from Drums of Death, Life in the Machine; Pelican, the scintillating new production from Julio Bashmore … Here we go with “50 tracks to listen to while you break every resolution,” courtesy of SMP superuser Phil Wilce. He’s starting 2013 in much the same way he ended 2012 ñ with lashings of new music. A must-hear, as always.

January Beats presented by @thursplay

thursplay

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

2013 starts in full music mode! On this January Beats by @thursplay you can listen to: “The Archer” by Swedish duo The Deer Tracks; “Saucer Eyes” by Brooklyn five-piece indie pop Snowmine, Seattle based Deep Sea Diver with “You Go Running” from the album “History Speaks”.

Still on this playlist: Yo La Tengo with “Well You Better” from their just released album “Fade”, The Little Ones with the single “Argonauts”, Swedish José Gonzalez with his latest release “Far Away” and another 9 handpicked indie tracks for you to enjoy this month.

What were your favorite releases during January?

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

App of the Week: Earache Metalizer

Having had both ears to the ground for the past 25 years, Earache Records knows a thing or two about uncovering new music – and now they’ve created a Spotify App that will help you uncover new metal tracks.

The Earache Metalizer App is dedicated purely to metal music, helping you navigate the myriad metal sub-genres like a pro. Use their playlist generator sliding the bars on the mixing desk to choose whether you want your playlist to emphasise Metal, Thrash, Death or Grind – or any mixture of the four – the Earache Metalizer then generates a playlist with the mix you did on the metalizer.

The songs fed into the Metalizer are not restricted to Earache tracks – you’ll find everything from Spotify’s newest big-name sign-ups, Metallica, all the way through to Pig Destroyer, Bring me the Horizon and Guns N’ Roses. And of course, once you’ve tweaked and perfected your heavy metal playlist, you can share it with your friends via Facebook and Twitter, before doing it all over again.

If you’re on your computer, click here to launch the Earache Metalizer App on Spotify.

Our Interview with Villagers

“I thought Radiohead were aliens…”

Conor O’Brien, the singer and songwriter at the heart of Ireland’s very excellent Villagers, recently realised he uses his songs as therapy. He will take a thought, an idea, a phrase and then spend a huge amount of time building a reason for that thought, that idea, that phrase to live on in someone else’s life. “The songs are like broken fragments,” he says. “They’re aspects of my personality, but they’re not diary entries – that’s boring.”

Villagers’ new album – {Awayland} – was recorded after Conor suffered a bout of writer’s block brought on by the seemingly endless tour around their debut record, Becoming A Jackal

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“I was feeling quite cynical about everything,” Conor laughs. “I tend to binge-write. I’ve not written a song for months now as I’ve been so involved in this record. I write when the pattern takes me. You’re constantly in fear of never writing another song. But that’s normal!”

Just to be clear, is that you, “Naked on the toilet with a toothbrush in his mouth”?

Ha! That’s someone cracking up, having a breakdown and I’ve experienced that – been on the verge of it every now and again. I had a vision of someone else’s face when I was writing that line. That song is quite theatrical.

So, unlike the person in the song, you never actually traveled back in time?

No!

OK, what was the first music you were ever aware of?

Music in films. I saw An American Tail and I remember singing the melody for a long time after that. I was obsessed with it and I was only three or four. Then there was The Jungle Book and all the Spielberg movies with John Williams’ music. They were slightly schmaltzy pieces but with these great string arrangements.

What was the first music that was all yours?

Beck’s Mellow Gold – I bought it on cassette. I’d heard Loser and I thought it was just preposterous, so raw and smart. Plus it head bad language, which made it cool. I heard The Kink’ Lola when I was 8 or 9 and, again, it was the rawness of the chords, but Lola had this amazing melody and structure. It felt like heaven listening to it over and over again. Later I saw Green Day on TV when I was about 12 and they were fantastic. Basket Case was a great song.

What five records made you who you are?

OK Computer. Obvious choice, but Radiohead was my first gig when I was 14 – my brother took me. I’d literally spent the last few weeks in a shed learning every part of every song then they played this outdoor gig in Dublin to 38000 people and it really was the greatest experience of my life. It was insane, I thought they were aliens. Radiohead turned me onto books and art and they still have that hold. (‘Head guitarist) Ed (O’Brien) came to a show once and sent me some nice emails.

Did you meet him?

Yeah – and I acted like a total, ridiculous fanboy! It might have been through Radiohead I found Elvis Costello. I bought his album Blood And Chocolate when I was about 16 and that’s all I listened to for so long. Then there’s Blood On The Tracks was one of the first Dylan albums I got, his songs were so raw and strange, but so beautiful. And Portishead! Dummy was a huge deal for me, as was their second record. The one I’m listening to right now is Floating Into The Night by Julee Cruise. It’s so strong in its resolve, it charts the feeling of a relationship, from the early beauty to the breaking down and crumbling. Everything is so warm and comforting, then it just falls apart…

Who has your ear at the moment?

I’m listening to a lot of Harry Nilsson, but for new stuff I’m loving Monolake, they create this great textural music, it’s not meant to carry any meaning, it just sounds amazing on headphones.

Does the perfect song exist?

If it does it was probably written by Cole Porter. If you had to choose one of his songs I’d say Miss Otis Regrets. It’s about the absolute emotional destruction of someone, but you only very slowly discover all that – it’s masterful. Especially when Ella Fitzgerald sings it.

How would you describe your music to a maiden aunt at a family party?

Hmmm, how old is she?

She’s 72.

Oh, wow. Well, I suppose I’d tell her I’m a musician and she’d say, ‘What do you play?’ And I’d tell her I play a lot of instruments, but mainly acoustic guitar. ‘Like that Bobby Dylan?’ she’d ask and I say, yes. I wouldn’t attempt to get into any sub-genres with her!

What life lessons has being a professional music taught you?

I think I’ve become less precious, less serious. When you’re constantly on the move – singing to new people every night – you learn the absolutely arbitrary nature of everything. You become quite fickle as you can run away from everything. These days I’m a road dog, I’m only at home when I’m travelling.

Finally – crucially – what’s your favourite noise.

A baby laughing? Maybe I’m getting broody. I love natural sounds manipulated by man, so maybe the sound of a baby laughing run through a FX unit…

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Time to kick of a new week and a new playlist! We start with “Dragging Your Feet In The Mud” by Arizona’s indie pop-rockers “Lydia”. We continue with Max McElligott`s beautiful vocal. Next track this week is “Back To Back” from “Wolf Gang”‘s debut album “Suego Faults” released back in 2011. We follow up with another London based favorite: Time for “Bretón” and their catchy song “Edward the Confessor”.

“Dog Is Dead” are a five-piece indie pop band from West Bridgford, Nottingham and the next song in our playlist is “Teenage Daughter” from their latest album “All Our Favourite Stories”.

“Pale Seas” are a Southampton four piece known for their ability to craft stunningly beautiful folk pop songs. Next song is “My Own Mind” released in 2012.

Last song in our playlist this week is the dreamy song “Beach” by the Australian four-piece indie pop favorites “San Cisco”.

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.