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!

Spotify Premium exclusive – Alexis Jordan’s self-titled debut album

Alexis Jordan releases her self-titled debut album exclusively to Spotify Premium listeners 3 days prior to its official release on Monday 28th February.

The 18 year old Star Roc/ RocNation signing looks set to be one of 2011’s most explosive new arrivals.

The album, which is packed full of anthemic and soon-to-be classic singles from this year’s defining new pop voice was produced by Stargate, the production team responsible for hits from Rihanna, Beyonce and Ne-Yo. It follows on from the huge success of debut single ‘Happiness’ which entered the UK charts at #3 and the US Dance Chart at #1 and which has sold in excess of 300,000 copies.

Spotify are giving one lucky Premium member a framed and signed Alexis Jordan poster. To enter the competition, simply subscribe to this playlist (competition closes on 4th March).

To find out more about Alexis Jordan visit her Facebook page.

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, 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!

Tinie Tempah Brit Awards Triumph + win tickets to see him live!

Tinie Tempah was the star of this year’s BRIT Awards, winning two BRITS and performing a stunning medley of hits from the last 12 months.

The most nominated artist going into the night and the best selling debut artist in the UK in 2010, Tinie Tempah won the award for British Breakthrough Act and for British Single for his breakout hit ‘Pass Out’. Both awards were chosen by public vote.

Tinie begins his sold out UK tour this week and has announced a very special show for the Teenage Cancer Trust series on 27th March at The Royal Albert all, making his first appearance at this iconic venue.

We also have an opportunity to enter into a draw to win tickets to see Tinie Tempah live at the Hammersmith Apollo on Friday February 25th and meet him backstage on the night! Visit the contest page today, a winner will be picked on Wednesday.

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!

Spotify Premium – Thirteen Senses’ Crystal Sounds

One listen to ‘Crystal Sounds’ makes clear what their previous records only glimpsed. Always good with a melody and unafraid of being seen as ‘mainstream’ the new Thirteen Senses sound is more expansive, more muscular and more experimental.

Always fans of the likes of Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and Pink Floyd, the freedom offered by recording this album by and for themselves has seen the four journey into areas that for many reasons were off limits earlier in their career. With no pressures or expectations on their backs, Thirteen Senses have developed into the fully fledged epic pop band that was promised back at the beginning.

Spotify Premium subscribers can listen now or listen to a playlist from the band.

Spotify Premium UK – Gay For Johnny Depp’s latest album

Gay For Johnny Depp formed in New York in 2004 with the sole mission of healing the wounds of a city that had been rocked to its very foundations. Sexual healing was the method deployed and soon their abrasive sound and deeply spiritual songs about fisting went global. They band are Marty Leopard (vocals), Sid Jagger (guitar), Chelsea Piers as “The Hunter” (bass) and A’rab Diesel (drums).

There 2007 debut album The Politics Of Cruelty gained almost blanket positive coverage in publications such as NME, Q, The Guardian and Uncut, and also received multiple plays on Radio 1 – a triumph given the abundance of curse words and subject matter (Johnny Depp, mainly).
Their latest album, What Doesn’t Kill You, Eventually Kills You, is available now exclusively for Spotify Premium subscribers in the UK.