Spotify Landmark: Nas’ Illmatic

Spotify Landmark - our series documenting music’s greatest moments in the words of those who made them – is back. This time around, we bring you the ‘aural history’ of Nas’ Illmatic - considered by many to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. On the occasion of the album’s 20th anniversary reissue, Queens, NY native Nas, his producers and his A&R executive recount the making of this timeless gem.

Uncover the story behind this iconic album with Spotify Landmark here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Lung & Upset New Zealand Tour – Proudly presented by Spotify

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Vancouver punks White Lung are set to release their third full length album “Deep Fantasy” on Friday June 13The band is every bit as confrontational as on their previous records, but they’ve managed to open their sound up just enough to draw listeners in before kicking them in the face (in a good way). It’s part-sweet, part-vicious, snarling, straight ahead punk rock.  The trio’s second LP Sorry won raves from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and Interview for its devotion to punk in its purest form, with lead singer Mish Way’s vocals carrying the listener through the sweetest and most hellish realms of the genre, along with Kenneth William - guitar, Anne­ Marie Vassiliou- drums, they will be joined on tour by Wax Idols’ Heather Fortune on bass as they descend on New Zealand for the first time.
 
Touring alongside White Lung will be the newly formed US punk-rock super-group, Upset. The band is made up of Ali Koehler, formerly of Best Coast and Vivian Girls, Jennifer Prince formerly of La Sera, new addition and Slutever member, Rachel Gagliardi and Patty Schemel, former drummer for Hole (and the subject of the critically acclaimed, and staggeringly honest 2011 documentary Hit So Hard, which chronicles her life and near-death in the early ’90s music scene.) The band released their debut album She’s Gone in October 2013. The two bands will be playing three dates around New Zealand this June. Tickets can be purchased through http://www.undertheradar.co.nz/ 

 

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Rocking 9 to 5

Love to listen to music at work? You’re not alone! Recent research reveals that two in three people (61%) listen to music in the workplace and best yet,  that listening to music at work leads to happier employees and boosts office morale and creativity. 

This month, we partnered with Dr Anneli Haake, an expert on music in the workplace, to conduct research on office listening habits. Here’s some of our fascinating findings:

  • Over a third (36%) of workers find that music helps to get them through the day
  • 20% of workers find that listening to music is a welcome distraction from their “boring” jobs.
  • 16% admitted that they listen to music to drown out colleagues.
  • One in ten (10%) revealed that they have judged a colleague based on their choice of music.

The songs that topped the workplace charts? Our research showed that the most popular genre of music in the workplace is pop/chart music, with over a third (34%) choosing it as their preferred genre, closely followed by rock (29%).

Tell us, what music gets you through the work day? And, if you’re looking for something new, power through your 9 -5 with our ultimate work day playlist.

 

 

Spotify paints it black with new look

New Spotify Look

Today we’re launching the best-looking Spotify ever. Introducing a new darker theme, refreshed typography and rounded iconography, playing your favourite music has never looked so good. We’re not only improving our looks though. We know how much you love playlists, but that you’ve been looking for more ways of managing your music. So today we’re introducing Your Music: helping you save, organise and browse your favourite music the way you want to. All in one place, and across all platforms. Building your personal music collection just got a lot easier.

  • Content is king. Our new design makes accessing your favourite music smoother than ever before. The new dark theme and refined interface lets the content come forward and ‘pop’, just like in a cinema when you dim the lights.
  • It’s Your Music collection. Save albums and browse their beautiful cover art, gather your favourite artists and create playlists for every mood and moment. Found a song or album that you like? Just hit save to add it to your collection. It’s that simple.
  • We know you’ll love it. We’ve listened to all your great feedback to ensure that everything looks and feels just right. You told us you preferred a darker interface – so here it is.

We’re also improving our Browse feature, delivering even more relevant and localised content. So regardless of whether you’re looking for something to fall asleep to, or the perfect playlist to get you geared up for your big night out, finding the right music for every moment is easier than ever. Our new design, Your Music and the updated Browse will roll out gradually to our iPhone, desktop and web users from today, and will soon be available across all platforms. Welcome to the dark side.

 

Listen for the first time to Johnny Cash’s long lost album – ‘Out Among The Stars’

Out Among The Stars

Throughout his five decades in music, Johnny Cash was very strict in his dedication to both sound and style. He always knew exactly what he wanted to do and exactly how it should appear – that dedication meant all the music he created was definitively Johnny Cash music.

However, by 1980, Cash felt that country music had evolved and incorporated sounds that ran against his personal signature. Put simply, his blend of folk and that rolling, “boom-chicka-boom” beat was out of vogue amongst the growing wave of “country-politan” musicians that were becoming increasingly popular. So, in an effort to grow his technique, Cash started recording sessions with people who were enjoying major success with this new country sound. First up, he employed an expanded band, featuring a young Marty Stuart on guitar and fiddle, as well as long-time duet partners June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings, but much of what was recorded on those sessions was locked away. Over the years almost everything was lost, destined never to be heard again.

Until today.

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Discovered in 2012, Out Among The Stars is truly a lost, previously unreleased Johnny Cash album. These aren’t alternate takes or different versions of songs that you’ve heard. These are brand new songs to the Cash canon.

Completed in 2013 by Johnny’s only son John Carter Cash, this is a pivotal Johnny Cash album and only now is it ready to be enjoyed by everyone – because The Man in Black is back.

 

 

Happy International Women’s Day

Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day by crowning Bajan beauty Rihanna as the most streamed female artist across the globe for the second year running.

Chart topping hits including Cheers! Drink to That and her 2013 hit Stay ft. Mikky Ekko, have helped superstar Rihanna claim the top spot. ROAR superstar Katy Perry comes in as the second most streamed female globally and Lana Del Rey, whose next release is from the Maleficent movie, a close third.

Let’s hear it for the ladies! Tune in to this special playlist featuring the most streamed females from across the globe!

 

Coldplay… Back!

The new single – Magic – is live on Spotify now.

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Coldplay, arguably the biggest band in the world right now, are debuting their new single on Spotify. Magic, taken from their new – sixth – studio album Ghost Stories, to be released May 19, is the first new music they’ve revealed since Atlas from the soundtrack to last summer’s Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

A stripped-back track that builds with a subtle power, Magic features a warm, strummed bassline, some crisp, synthetic drums and a tumbling, soaring Chris Martin vocal.

Add a ringing guitar part and a classic Coldplay whoop and you have a piece that is touched by modern RnB and outright radio-melting super-rock all at the same time. Magic points towards a whole new era for the band – where there’ll go next is impossible to say – a fact that only makes it all even more intriguing.

Welcome to our new friends from The Echo Nest

The Echo NestExciting news everyone! Today, we’re joining forces with pioneering music company, The Echo Nest.

The incredible team at The Echo Nest has been on a mission, just like us, to make music listening better for everyone. Together, we’ll be able to improve music discovery by bringing you amazing people to follow, better radio stations, and great playlists from friends and music experts.

Over time, The Echo Nest technology will enhance every aspect of the Spotify music experience.

So here’s to new friends!

For more info, read here

 

 

Avicii’s 200m Stream Bombshell

Wake Me Up is the Spotify’s Most Streamed Track ever…

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Avicii’s Wake Me Up is now the most-played song of all time on Spotify having – just today - gone north of the 200 million streams barrier. Avicii’s monster hit was the fastest song ever to reach the 100 million streams landmark back in September of last year and Wake Me Up reached number one in 19 countries across the world.

“I’m so excited to be the first artist to reach 200 million streams on Spotify,” Avicii said. “I’ve had an amazing year, so a massive thanks to all of my fans!”

In case you’re wondering, the 10 cities the track has been most streamed in are: Stockholm, Oslo, Gothenburg, London, New York, Madrid, Malmö, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, currently at Number Two in the Most Streamed Ever Chart are Imagine Dragons with 182m plays of Radioactive.

 

Historic Venue: The Ryman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 4.27.49 PMWith the release of a brand new live album from Band of Horses, we look back at what has made this Nashville venue the hallowed ground it is now considered to be.

The historic Ryman Auditorium, now 124 years old and going strong, is one of the most iconic venues in the world. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, the Ryman was once home to the Grand Ole Opry, the radio show that many credit with bringing Country music to mainstream audiences. The show remained at the Ryman for more than 30 years, cementing it into music history forever; this momentous time at the venue earned it an impressive nickname: the “Mother Church of Country Music.” Since, the venue has undergone some changes, but it remains one of the biggest stops in the bustling Nashville music scene.

Over its storied history, the Ryman has hosted some of the biggest names in Country music. In it’s beginnings though, the Ryman was known for producing amazing speeches and non-musical performances by the likes of Teddy Rooseveldt, William Howard Taft, Charlie Chaplin, and even Helen Keller.  Up until 1943, the venue rarely hosted musical performances, but this changed in a big way with the arrival of the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1943, the Ryman took on the name the Grand Ole Opry House. From then until 1974, artists such as Elvis Presley, Hank WilliamsEarl Scruggs, Johnny Cash (who met his future wife, June Carter, backstage), Louis Armstrong, and Patsy Cline all performed at the historic venue. The Grand Ole Opry then moved to Opryland USA, which marked an end of an era for the Ryman.

After a period of considerably slowed activity, the Ryman was renovated and by 1992 the auditorium came back into public attention when Emmylou Harris recorded her classic album, ‘Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers at the Ryman‘. Since, the Ryman has been very active, hosting musicians like Dolly Parton, Weezer, and many more. A good deal of whom recorded amazing live albums, including Levon Helm, Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen, Jonny Lang, and, most recently, Band of Horses.

Check out our playlist, Historic Venue: Ryman Auditorium, for some of the biggest music moments in the Ryman’s illustrious saga. Enjoy!