#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

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

We start a new week with beachy indie pop from Santa Monica, California. “A Summer Thing” by “Cayucas”! Cayucas is the latest project for Zach Yudin, who some of you may know formerly as “Oregon Bike Trails”. The song A Summer Thing is taken from Cayucas debut album “Bigfoot” released a few months ago.

We continue with a favorite English/Spanish five-piece; “Crystal Fighters” and their catchy song “Wave”.

Next we have the single called “Laura Palmer” from British “Bastille”`s newly released debut album “Bad Blood”.

And then time for “A Pound of Flesh” by Florida-based “Radical Face” also known as singer/songwriter “Ben Cooper”. Ben is also a member of a band called “Electric President” and next we have a song by them called “Safe and Sound”.

The last song in our playlist this week is a song by an old American indie rock favorite: “Easy/Lucky/Free” by “Bright Eyes”.

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.

Follow Sigur Rós on tour!

What tunes do Sigur Rós listen to before heading onstage? What’s on their afterparty playlist? And how’s the view from the top deck of the tourbus?

The Icelandic post-rockers are touring the globe supporting their acclaimed new album Kveikur – and for the next three weeks you can follow them on the road.

Sigur Rós will be posting exclusive live versions of tracks from Kveikur, special playlists, photos and videos from the tour.

Check it out now!

What should The Rolling Stones play on Glastonbury this Saturday night?

So many songs, so little time… To celebrate their debut Glastonbury performance, the Rolling Stones will be launching their official Soundrop room on Monday 24th June. Users will be able to join the room on Spotify and begin adding the classic songs that they think the band should play that night.

During the performance one question will be asked to the fans in the chat room – the 50th fan to answer correctly will automatically win an official set list!

Click here to join the official Rolling Stones Soundrop room.

Music That Inspires Movements

“From civil rights and women’s suffrage to anti-apartheid and Live 8, protest songs have helped shape history. When people come together and raise their voices, extraordinary things can happen” – ONE.org

Today kicks off an incredible music project that re-imagines some of the world’s most powerful protest songs while reminding us that we each have the power to drive change.

Developed by The ONE Campaign, agit8, is powerful initiative that has brought together dozens of musicians from across the globe to raise an urgent call for action against extreme poverty. In the crucial week leading up to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, this timely effort is set to urge and inspire a new generation to take action in the fight against the injustices of extreme poverty and hunger.

Ed Sheeran aptly says“Music is a powerful tool in galvanizing people around an issue. There’s no better way to get your point across than to put it in a beautiful song.” In this vein, an extraordinary line-up of artists have added their voices to the campaign by recording brand new versions of great protest songs. To name just a few – Angelique Kidjo, U2, Will.i.am, Sting, Rokia Traoré, Kid Rock, Mumford and Sons, Elvis Costello, Green Day, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Ed Sheeran.

To drive the campaign, the immersive agit8 site has a number of experiences on offer:

  • Watch exclusive performances of major artists around the world performing their favorite protest songs, as well as video of pop-up performances taking place on London’s South Bank this week.
  • Listen to protest song performances from new and original artists and access exclusive Spotify playlists.
  • Learn more about the history of protest music, including in-depth background information for each song. Users can easily discover the history of the track, its writers, artist, and lyrics. A video featuring live performances of the song and a collection of alternate performances complete the experience.
  • View beautiful photography – powered by Nokia – with photos from the event in London and images that reflect the power and spirit of the protest song, captured by both members of the public and professional photographers.
  • Create your own shareable artwork on Facebook and Twitter with an innovative lyric cover art creator.
  • Join ONE to unlock bonus features, photo and video content, and vote for your favorite protest cover song.
  • Enter to win a free year of Spotify Premium.

It’s time to turn up the volume. Discover agit8 at http://www.one.org/protestsongs/ now!

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

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

We start a new week with an alternative rock band from Seattle: “Roman Holiday” and their single “Fuel The Fire” released back in 2011. We continue with yet another American favorite: “Creep In A T-Shirt” by Portland based “Portugal. The Man”.

Then time for some dreamy Scandipop! The beautiful “Fool of Me” by “Say Lou Lou” also known as the twins Elektra and Miranda Kilbey.

“White Denim” is a four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas. Next we have their song from latest EP “Takes Place In Your Work Space” released back in 2011.

The last song in our playlist this week is the beautiful single “The Worst Dreams” by Swedish “MF/MB/”

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.

Our Interview with LTJ Bukem

“It doesn’t matter where music comes from; if it hits you, that’s it…”

LTJ Bukem

When the lists of Great Drum and Bass Pioneers is drawn up – and can that day be far off? – the name of Danny Williamson will be on it, only he won’t be called Danny Williamson, he’ll be called LTJ Bukem, for LTJ Bukem is as legendary, as forward-looking and as groundbreaking as they come. In concentrated bursts over the last 22 years, Bukem has been recording, releasing, and DJing a uniquely melodic and textured stream of breakbeat fuelled drum and bass. Now, as he prepares his Good Looking label for a relaunch, Bukem is bringing his entire back catalogue to Spotify.

“We’re embracing the digital world,” he laughs. “We know there are thousands of fans who, over the years, have been asking, ‘what’s Bukem doing?’ It’s been three or four years since I last released something new, so now it’s time to reach out. It’s time to really do this…”

There is something curiously timeless about your music.

LTJ Bukem: That’s been my ethos since the beginning. If I pick up a piece of music to play in a club or to release I want it for life. I want to be able to pick up that piece of music in 20 years’ time, and still enjoy it for what it is.

Tell me a bit about the first music you ever really loved.

Blimey, well, this sounds really weird, but one of the first records I actually bought and got into, was by Bert Weedon! I’ve still got the record somewhere; he was doing Shadows cover versions. I also really liked Scott Joplin and a lot of that ragtime stuff. Then I began listening to The Police and The Jam – Paul Weller heavily influenced me. I think he’s an amazing guy, if you listen to those 70s Jam albums now they’re still amazing.

What was the first gig you went to see?

I would have been 9 or 10 and my piano teacher took me to see Chick Corea, that got me into the whole jazz scene, which became a massive influence and opened up the door to a lot of reggae too. When I started collecting music there was no genres, not for me, I just wanted to hear things that were great, so I got into all sorts of different styles of music. Still now, it doesn’t matter what it is or where it comes from: if it hits you, that’s it.

As a teenager you ran your own Sunshine Sound System – what would we have heard you playing?

Frankie Paul’s Pass The Tu Sheng Peng, Sylvia Striplin’s You Can’t Turn Me Away, Archie Bell and the Drells, Don’t Let Love Get You Down…

Just thinking about those songs is making you smile!

Yeah! Then there’s Loose Ends’ Gonna Make You Mine. We played a lot of that mid-80s funk and soul, but a lot of James Brown too. In fact, I’d play any James Brown I could get my hands on. I played a lot of early hip-hop like Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane too. I used to love those times – that’s why I’m smiling – because in those days you literally could just go to a dance and play for seven hours straight from any style of music that you loved.

People like Kindness, Rhye and Jessie Ware are revisiting that time, that pre-acid house era.

I think there’s a lot of people revisiting that music because there were some ground breaking sounds in there, musicians will always be going to go back to those elements.

Where should people begin with your own music?

You have to start at the beginning, with Demon’s Theme. I’ve always said that was three or four tunes in one, because at that time in drum and bass that’s how it was. You’d have the reggae start, the techno / house middle section, the soul breakdown and off into a mad rave kind of finish! My stuff was more about strings and bells, long intros and drums and promoters would say to me, ‘you’re not going to last five minutes, son! It’s not rave-y enough, it’s not mad enough!’ I was disheartened until I took it to (drum and bass legend) Fabio and Grooverider at Rage one night. They put it straight on and loved it. I played it on dub plate exclusive for a whole year and then thought, ‘Right, I’m going to start a label.’ And that’s the beginning of Good Looking Records. It was what I wanted to hear, records with some melody.

Your label compilation, Logical Progression, was a very big deal at the time.

There was nothing else like it. Nothing! There were compilations, but not an album where someone had put it together as whole piece that was the real start of the label. That got me in touch with London Records and Pete Tong and suddenly we were happening worldwide. I began to bring artists like PFM and Peshay on board. It began to feel real. At the same time I was getting together with Tony who did everything apart from select the tracks for release and gave the label a direction. He still does that now.

You had Photek recording as Aquarius then too?

Ha! Photek, that’s a funny story. I remember when no one had even heard of Rupert. He was still living in Ipswich and I had to drive down to his house to pick up all the DATs off him so I could go and cut the dub plates. Those were amazing times, the birth of it all really.

What record from history do you think, ‘I wish I’d made that’?

I think it would have to be a soul record. If I was allowed a few I’d say, Lonnie Liston Smith’s Voodoo Woman, Chick Corea’s Lenore, Dave Angel’s 1st Symphony, a track called Yeah (Dope Mix) – by Swing Kids and an old tune on XL called Dub War by Dance Conspiracy. Too many to mention

OK, a simple final question: what’s your favourite noise?

Oh man, my favourite noise is peace and quiet.

Do you get much of it?

I’m being serious! And the answer to your question is: no, I don’t, but when I do, it’s like the most wonderful thing ever, because hearing no music for a while really makes me want to hear music again. Sometimes it’s really nice to just sit and contemplate things, to close your eyes and have some meditation time.

That’s what comes of being a grown-up, Danny.


Our Interview with Bastille

“I still find it bizarre that anyone even listens to my music…”

Dan Smith formed Bastille, basically, in his London bedroom back in 2010. Last April they released their debut single, Overjoyed, which was followed, in fairly quick succession by Bad Blood and Flaws before the monstrous great hit Pompeii arrived February. Much of the rest of the time Dan’s been away on tour, but now he’s back in London for two days writing and recording. Oh, and the band supported Muse and Dizzee Rascal at the Emirates Stadium.

What on earth was that like?

Ha! It was as mad as you’d expect and by some way the biggest thing we’ve ever done! It was totally surreal to see the inner workings of an event like that and to see just how big Muse really are. I fist-bumped Dizzee Rascal backstage, that was a first for me on a Wednesday evening.

Welcome to your new life.

No! This is like some mad competition winner’s new life.

You say that, but it could be stadiums all the way from here.

I don’t know. I’m cynical and pessimistic as a rule, so this feels very unreal to me. I’ve not remotely contemplated even the idea of playing our own arena tour. That’s why it was so great to see what this was like; we may never get another chance! At the moment we’re constantly finding ourselves in mad situations. Last night I sound-checked in the middle of a completely empty arena. Then a crowd turned up and we knew they weren’t there to see us, but we got to test the water and try and win people over.

Was it a bit scary – be honest now.

I was terrified, but I wanted to enjoy it too. I kept looking over at the guys and cracking up. They put our logo and artwork on these giant screens, so that was cool. Some fans sent us a few photos and it looks insane.

You’ve been touring on your own for around two years now and hardly done any support shows.

No – just Two Door Cinema Club, really. The one thing I’m pleased about is the Muse and Two Door shows both came from the bands themselves – there were no golden handshakes! You hear a lot of talk about how bands getting on to bills, but that definitely wasn’t us. For the first two years we did everything ourselves, we made all the decisions together and that was fun. Then we signed to Virgin in the UK and they invested time and gave us space to do what we wanted. We’ve never had any hype and so the album took a lot of people by surprise. We’ve not had much acknowledgement from the media, so our fan base is serious, genuine, word of mouth people.

Have you notice things change recently?

Definitely – we’ve had a lot of radio play and people sharing our songs online, that’s all been huge help to us. We actually underestimated the size of our fan base!

They’re the people who’ve made Pompeii such a huge, viral hit.

They are – and it’s a strange thing that song. I wrote it in my bedroom on my laptop, just for fun. I’d been reading about Pompeii and how it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, but also how it was known as a city of hedonism. I was struck by these images of the space left by the bodies when they decomposed and by the people’s movements caught in the ash. It was all so potent, I began imagining what it would be like if those same ashy corpses could talk about their city. To be honest, I still find it bizarre that anyone even listens to my music and I never had any ambitions to be in a band. I always think that people will only share something if they really like it, so it’s a compliment that people are sharing Pompeii so much. It also means wherever we go we have this great song to finish our shows with, as when we play it everyone goes, “Oh, it’s *this* lot…”

Does it feel like you’re starting again in America?

A little, but our ambitions we so non-existent to begin with that we really don’t mind at all. We never imagined we’d ever leave England and we’ve had a sold out set of dates in Europe and we’ve just gone Platinum in Italy. We’ve never even played a gig there. So America is a massive uncharted territory for us. We’ve only been there briefly – we played South By – and we’re excited to give it a go. We just want to see if anyone actually comes to the shows and what those people might be like…

What five records couldn’t Bastille exist without?

Ready Or Not by The Fugees, Only Living Boy In New York by Simon and Garfunkel, Concrete Schoolyard by Jurassic 5, Hope There’s Someone by Antony and the Johnsons and A Punk by Vampire Weekend.

Does the perfect song exist?

I don’t think it does as your taste changes so much throughout your life. But recently I’ve had Bad Religion by Frank Ocean lodged in my brain and the new James Blake album is brilliant too. I just love music, I buy and listen to a lot of new stuff, I don’t tend to dwell on old things.

Where do you look for new music?

Spotify, a bit! My friend’s recommendations mean a lot too. I chat to a lot of people about new music…

Finally – crucially – what’s your favourite noise?

Ah! Well, the silence that comes after a really annoying noise suddenly stops. Imagine a whirring fridge or a buzzing fly, then that deep, deep silence, it’s wonderful. It’s the clarity, it’s like someone’s unplugged your ears.

May Beats presented by @thursplay


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

Starting off on this May Beats by @thursplay [2013] listen to Lana Del Rey’s new single “Young and Beautiful” and let’s all agree: yes, she still got it! Also with new music is Swedish electronic duo The Knife, listen to “Without You My Life Would Be Boring” from their latest album “Shaking the Habitual”. Next, enjoy Dublin-based Irish quartet Kodaline with “High Hopes”, followed by Swedish musician Big Fox with her new single “Girls”.

It gets better: listen to STRFKR groovy song “Malmo”, Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas with “Instant Crush”, new song by Camera Obscura “Do it Again”, This is Head with “Time’s an Ocean”, American group Haim with their new single “Falling” and British singer-songwriter Dan Croll with “Compliment Your Soul”.

Still on this playlist: Lord Huron, Synne Sanden, Walk the Moon, and Still Corners!

What were your favorite releases during May?

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

Our Interview with Lorde

“Someone put a dozen sausages down their throat, just inserted them right down their throat!”

16-year-old Ella Yelich-O’Connor picks up the phone in her studio on the North Shore of New Zealand just moments after she has just released the music video for Royals into the world.

“It was only a few minutes ago,” she says, “so I’ve just tuned into the social networks, perusing things. I’m sitting here fretting about it all, but, so far, people have said really nice things.”

Ella should be getting used to people doing that. Her first EP, Love Club, went straight to Number One in New Zealand and was picked up on and praised by everyone from Grimes to Sky Ferreira. Influenced by James Blake, Lana Del Ray, Lou Reed, Burial, Bon Iver and Drake, Lorde is, clearly, already, a phenomenal talent – as for what’s next, she’s working towards an album and another new music video, for Tennis Court, a song about the town where she grew up and the friends she would (will) hang out all summer.

“We’re still doing the things that we’ve always done,” she says. “But this song tries to capture what’s happened to me in the past couple of months. Things are changing so fast…”

Tell me a bit about where you grew up.

I grew up mostly in a part of Auckland called the North Shore. It’s basically suburbs, and there isn’t really a lot to do. You have to catch a boat if you want to go into the city, so we all kick around and everyone rides bikes everywhere because no one can drive! There’s lots of finding underpasses and tennis courts and places that we make our own! And a lot of house parties…

What would happen at a house party on the North Shore?

Oh my God! I don’t know. I feel like my friends would kill me if I told you! Well, there’s some pretty inventive like games and dares that happen. Many involve eating strange things – like someone put a dozen sausages down their throat, just inserted right down their throat. I said, “I don’t even know what’s happening right now, so I’m just going to go with it”.

I’m hoping they were cooked.

They were definitely cooked. No one’s that intense.

What would I be hearing there?

People are pretty into TNGHT and Hudson Mohawke, so they would definitely be playing. Fantastic Mr Fox too, maybe a bit of James Blake. We listen to pretty good music! My friends have great music taste, and we kind of toss things around. I do find a lot of new music on Spotify.

That’s lovely, I didn’t even prompt you!

I’m just trying to be honest!

Who have you picked up on recently?

I’ve got into this guy called Deptford Goth, who I think is amazing.

That album has been a huge office favourite.

Yeah, I think that’s fantastic. I love Majical Cloudz too and I’m just getting into Prince. Prince is rad!

Tell me about the music that you grew up around, first music you were aware of playing in the house.

My dad’s always listened to Neil Young and lots of soul music like Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. As a young kid my parents seemed to have about eight or ten albums that they had on constant rotation – there was a definite adult contemporary vibe, a lot of David Gray, although I shed that quite fast!

What was the first music that felt like it was all yours?

Ha! I think every young person has a moment where they listen to music that is completely unlike anything their parents would ever listen to and for me that was Animal Collective. I remember thinking, “This is fantastic, Dad hates it!” I never knew music could be like that – so frenetic, but so much fun. Their album Merriweather Post Pavilion was a huge thing for me aged 12 or 13.

By that age you were already writing your own songs?

Yeah, I was. It was all pretty tentative. I’d always been writing – as a child it was short stories – but later I made the transition to writing songs. My mum’s a poet, so I never wrote any poetry, I left that to her! When I was 12 I entered this talent show at school. I sung and a friend played guitar – we did Warwick Avenue by Duffy, which was a big song for us back in the day – and we won. I’m pretty proud of that, to be honest. Somehow, the video of our performance got to Universal and we began talking. It’s strange as I feel like so many musicians have a half-decade or a decade of toil and albums that weren’t picked up or whatever, and I almost feel like that I need to have that to be a real musician, to have that suffering. But I was young and looking for an outlet, so I just grabbed my chance.

What sort of songs were you writing then?

One of the earliest songs I was about a girl in my year that took to drugs and went off the rails – it was kind of like a diss track. I wasn’t happy that she was letting down our year group in that way, she gave us a bad name. I also wrote a song about how I slipped on some rocks in the middle of winter and almost drowned. They were often these sort of strange, melodramatic pieces. But then I was only 13!

Your Love Club EP is a pretty startling collection – there’s a lot of strong emotion in there.

Ha! Yeah, well, that was the time they were written. The title song is about a group of friends that I fell in with that sort of took over my life for a bit. Mid-way through last year I found a group like that and stopped going home so much, stopped caring about the friends that I had when I was young. I mean, this club was awesome – when you’re in it everything feels so perfect – but it quickly became quite intense. Eventually I realised that family and old friends are the way to go sometimes.

There’s a great line in Bravado where you sing, “I was raised up to be admired, to be noticed…”

You see, I’d been listening to Kanye West and there’s a track called Dark Fantasy where he says, “we found bravery in my bravado” and I liked that idea of false confidence delivering real confidence. In reality I’m a super-shy, contained, non-confrontational person, but I was about to step into a line of work – a line of art – where everyone would be watching me, and everyone would want to talk to me and confront me. That song is me coming to terms with having to be a public person.

Does it worry you, having to deliver these very personal pieces to, basically, everybody in the world?

Right now it feels very strange, because my music is very anecdotal – there are hyper-real, hyper-personal details in all my songs. Often I’ll play one to a friend and they’ll say “Oh my God, that was about the night this happened, I spilled that drink on you and now you’ve written a song about it!” Some guy emailed me about the Love Club and said, “This song totally resonated with me”, and that was awesome, the idea that someone else could pin their life to something which was so personal to me.

Royals really takes on that whole over-consumption culture…

You see, at that time I’d been listening to a lot of Lana Del Ray and a lot of A$AP Rocky – because I love rap, that crazy money and opulence and extravagance. But I also know it’s all total bullshit, you know!

Do you think the perfect song exists?

Oh, well, the first thing that came into my head was a Lou Reed track, something like Perfect Day or Heroin – they’re both close to perfect because they have this complete honesty, which sounds clichéd, but Lou Reed is putting his entire soul on the line here, that’s something everyone can relate to. Everyone likes honesty that almost makes you cringe a little bit; Lou Reed taught me that unflinching honesty is a very powerful tool in song writing.

There’s a theory that musicians really ought to be writing music for the future, does that seem sensible to you?

Ooh, yeah! Artists should write like that, but not enough do – half of the crap on the radio these days is too worried about what’s current. Right now I’m listening to this band called The Replacements – they’re from the ’80s or something – and half the songs make me think, “God, I should cover this!”

So, we’re throwing a house party at yours tonight, and you’re DJing at midnight, the peak of the party. What five songs will you play?

OK. I’m going to play Evelyn by Fantastic Mr Fox, Jasmine by Jai Paul, Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side, because it’s the sweetest dance record ever, Kiss by Prince, because that’s the next sweetest dance record ever and I’ll finish with TNGHT’s Higher Ground, that’s like the perfect song to just lose your mind to.

Finally, crucially, what’s your favourite noise?

Oh! I know the answer, I know the answer! I have these monitors called in-ears and when I play live I put in my in-ears a minute or two minutes before I go on stage. So when the microphone is on, out on the stage, I can hear the buzz of the crowd, and I can hear them talking and cheering and getting excited for me to play. And there is no better, cooler, more hyping sound in the world. It makes me so ready to play: I love it so much. So it’s definitely that sound!

Stuck for what to play next? Start Discovering.

We’re excited to let you know that from today, you can start to enjoy an entirely new and personal way of discovering music on Spotify.

The all-new Discover page

Your hunt for the right music is over! Spotify’s Discover page continually seeks out personal recommendations for you.

- Endless recommendations based on the music you listen to.

- New single and album releases from artists you follow.

- All the music and playlists shared by friends and trendsetters you follow.

- Find out when an artist you love is touring near you – the information will just bubble up through recommended shows from Songkick.

Along with the Discover page, we’re also introducing our new Audio Preview feature. You can dip into new music without moving away from the song you’re playing. If you like what you hear, you can save it for later or play it right away. The choice is yours.

The Discover page is available from today on our brand new web player which is now available to all users. Just head over spotify.com on your computer to try it out.

We’ve also started to gradually roll out the Discover page to users on our desktop and mobile apps. When we’re ready to update your account, you’ll receive a notification.

Happy discovering!