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!

Syket’s debut album and win tickets to see them live

Today, it’s finally time for Umeå based band Syket to release their debut album ”With Love”. The album is already receive rave reviews by the media. ”Syket has created one of the best albums of the year already” says Sonic and Nöjesguiden defines ”With Love” as ”a illogical exotism that fits right in the heart, and always with a large dose of love” och gives the album highest grade.

A new video to the song ”Let It Heal” also premiered this week, directed by Mattias Montero, the man behind some of last year’s most appreciated music videos (Lykke Li, Basement Jaxx, Kent).

If you are a Spotify Premium user you can win tickets to go and se Syket live at Strand in Stockholm the 25 of March! Visit the contest pageto enter!

Träffa Erik Hassle i Studion

Den 23:e mars släpps Erik Hassles nya mini-album ”Mariefred Sessions”. Albumet innehåller 6 låtar som Erik har gjort tillsammans med Joakim Berg och Martin Sköld från Kent, inklusive den första singeln ”Are You Leaving” som du kan höra på Spotify redan nu.

Vill du och en kompis komma till Stockholm och besöka Erik i studion för en exklusiv förhandslyssning av albumet redan 9:e mars? Allt du behöver göra för att ha chans att bli en av de fem lyckliga vinnarna är att svara på frågan nedan. Senast den 28:e februari behöver vi ditt svar. Läs villkoren och ange i dag.

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.

Roxette are back and bigger than ever!

After massive successes world-wide with hits like It Must Have Been Love, The Look and Listen To Your Heart, Roxette are currently heading out for a world tour promoting the release of their first studio album in 10 years – Charm School.

The smash-hit first single “She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)” is already climbing the radio and Spotify charts and now Roxette are releasing the Charm School EPK – an 8 minute video on the Charm School album with interviews with Per, Marie, photos from the tour and fully loaded with new and exciting Roxette material – exclusively to Spotify. Watch it today!

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!

The Year – Putting classical music on the digital map

World renowned brothers Peter and Patrik Jablonski are recognized as some of the finest concert pianists. Apart from being musicians, they run their own record label Altara – a true classical treasure. Cosmos Music Group/Altara in cooperation with Spotify are proud to present the exclusive compilation “The Year” – 365 classical masterpieces.

The Year is a 365 piece compilation, where each track reflects the current season and day and an excellent addition to our extensive classical catalogue.

Spotify Premium – see Rise Against live in Stockholm

Chicago based punk-rock band Rise Against are playing a show in Stockholm at Annexet on March 19th. Thanks to our friends over a Live Nation we have five pairs of tickets to give away to Spotify Premium subscribers!

To win the tickets make sure your Spotify Premium subscription is up to date and then post a link to your favourite Rise Against track here on the blog. We’ll pick and notify the lucky winners later next week, good luck!