Artists to Watch

This year has already seen a lot of Spotify’s favorite Artists to Watch enter our charts and make the festival rounds. Here’s a round-up of exclusive, live sets from some of our sure bets — many of whom performed at SXSW for us this year as well as Coachella and Bonnaroo. Check out our Artists to Watch exclusive playlist here!

Scroll down to see exclusive photo sets of our Artists To Watch below.

 

Passenger’s Exclusive #SpotifySession + Video

Passenger recently visited Australian shores and, during that trip, hosted a pop up gig for fans on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. The performance was recorded, and we’ve turned that into an exclusive Spotify Session.

The Pixies – like you’ve never seen them before!

During the height of 2013’s blizzard season, the Pixies treated us to a rare, in-studio acoustic performance at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ. Their gig for the night cancelled, they delved into a selection of new tracks and classics. Here’s “Silver Snail,” one of the highlight’s of their just-released new album “Indie Cindy”.

Stream the full album here and Follow the band to be the first to hear their acoustic Spotify Session, coming soon.

Syd Barrett: Pink Floyd’s Madcap Genius – enjoy his solo albums

sydbarrett2png_4e40db1d3ea069ddc296156ad063989e_0_0_730_400

Roger Keith Barrett – the nickname “Syd” first appeared when he was around 14 – was one of the true geniuses of British rock music. Born in Cambridge in 1948, he met his future Pink Floyd bandmate Roger Waters while still at primary school, while David Gilmour was a teenage friend. The talented product of a musical family, young Syd – a fan of jazz and obscure blues – was an accomplished piano player, guitarist, artist and poet even before he moved to London to attend Camberwell Art College. When Roger’s band Sigma 6, which already featured Richard Wright and Nick Mason, suddenly lost two members, Syd joined up immediately and by the summer of 1965 they were known as The Pink Floyd, a name conjured up by Syd and inspired by American blues artists Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

As 1965 became 1966, the fast-developing UK psychedelic music scene gave this new band the chance to develop Syd’s performance-based ideas into something truly unique and by late 1966 Pink Floyd were the biggest underground band in the land. They signed to EMI Records in February 1967 (for an advance of £5000), releasing the brilliant singles Arnold Layne and See Emily Play – both written by Syd – and followed that up with the Piper At The Gates Of Dawn LP – again, mostly composed by Syd – which has long been recognised as one of the greatest ever British psychedelic albums. However, as the band’s fan base grew and grew, it became clear that Syd’s own approach to writing, performing and recording – favouring the spontaneous over the rehearsed – was increasingly at odds with the expectations of a musical scene that was still very conservative, especially outside the Pink Floyd’s London base.

Possibly exacerbated by Syd’s frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs, his behaviour became more erratic. Pink Floyd decided to add a second guitarist for live performances, the idea was that Syd’s compositional genius would survive in the studio, while David Gilmour would step-up for the live shows – but this well-meaning experiment didn’t work and, in January 1968, after a handful of shows as a five-piece, the band chose not to pick Syd up on the way to a Southampton University show. Two months later, he was no longer a member of Pink Floyd.

In April 1969 EMI’s new Harvest label commissioned a solo Syd LP and The Madcap Laughs, featuring both Gilmour and Waters, was released in January 1970. The album was well received and sold reasonably, so a follow-up was called for straight away and in late February 1970, with David Gilmour as producer, Richard Wright on keyboards and Humble Pie’s Jerry Shirley on drums, the album Barrett was begun. Released in November that year, it would be the last official Syd Barrett album. Both albums were popular on American FM Radio in the mid-70s, but by August 1974 Syd had withdrawn entirely from the music industry and returned home to Cambridge where he spent his time painting, creating large abstract canvases.

Roger “Syd” Barrett died of pancreatic cancer in July 2006 and a tribute concert was held at London’s Barbican Theatre the following summer. Curated by Nick Laird-Clowes it featured Joe Boyd, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, Damon Albarn, Captain Sensible, Robyn Hitchcock, Chrissie Hynde, John Paul Jones and more. His endlessly striking creations had, over 40 years, developed a life and a following of their own. As early as 1976, bands like the Sex Pistols and The Damned had been talking about Syd’s influence – indeed, both tried to get him to produce their debut albums. Later David Bowie, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Primal Scream covered his songs, while Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and, most famously, Blur took their love of Syd’s music onwards to whole new generations. And now Syd’s uniquely wonderful music is available on Spotify. Explore it, love it, share it – there’s a whole world to discover here.

According to Anders Fridén: from the Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin

-2

Post by: Anders Fridén, lead singer of In Flames.

Hope you’re well, music lovers. I’m three weeks into the recording of the next In Flames album. We’re in Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin and it’s fantastic. Such a legendary place, so many great musicians and producers have been within these halls. And now, I am a part of that history. Whatever that might mean to others and/or the history of music – I don’t know – but at least for me this is a big deal. I really do feel that it’s affecting us all though. It’s more than just going to a studio and hammering down the tracks. It’s like you want to perform at a higher level, with a new touch, because otherwise David Bowie or Iggy will crawl out of the walls and tell you that you suck. That would be a real mood killer….

So what’s it going to sound like? Honestly, I don’t really know at this point. The music reinvents itself every time each musician puts his hand on it and does his thing. But obviously you’ll know it’s In Flames as soon as you’ll hear the sweet melodies and snappy riffing.

One thing I can say is that I’m a bit tired of German pilsner. I’m in need of some great IPA’s and some heavy stouts, so my mission in the coming days is to find a good store that can help me quench my thirst for this fine nectar.

Since we’re in Germany I’ve had to add some German metal to the list. I’ve also added some of the artists that recorded at Hansa. I warned you that I might leave the metal field a little at some points, but this time it’s more because I rediscovered some of the artists who recorded here. Promise to be back on track next month.

According to Anders Fridén: How It All Began

AccordingTo

Post by: Anders Fridén, lead singer of In Flames.

So where do I begin? When I was just 5 years of age, sitting next to my parents stereo with enormous headphones going through all of their vinyls? When I was 10, begging my mom I could stay up late to watch a live broadcast from Dortmund Westfalenhallen with artist such as Judas priest, Iron maiden, Scorpions, Ozzy and Quiet riot to name a few (this show had a giant impact on little Anders)?

When I was 16 and joined the band that was to become Dark tranquility? When I was 20 and begged the owner of Studio Fredman to give me an internship? When I was 22 and joined In flames? 3 years ago when I decided to start a record company or just a year ago when I joined forces with Razzia records and we started Razzia notes?

All I can say is that I love music, I’m married to music and that is something I will try show you through this playlist the coming months (or however long they want me to roam the net). This first one, I just try to show you where I come from and some songs that inspired me. Also I threw in some stuff from my label, Razzia notes. Artists that I’m extremely proud of.

For the love of music, take a moment…

 

Presenting “According to Anders Fridén” – lead singer of In Flames

Spotify proudly announces a new collaboration with Anders Fridén, lead singer of the world renowned metal band In Flames. On October 30th, Anders will launch his own playlist, “According To,” exclusively on Spotify and also start writing columns for our blog. We asked him to explain a bit more about the project.

anders_730

Hi Anders! What’s this about?

Simply a way for me to share damn good music. I’m a big consumer of all sorts of music, and I myself love to get tips on something new or something that I’ve I missed.

What kind of songs will end up on your playlist?

I think I will focus on rock/metal, but I may also slip in other genres when I get the feeling. That happens a lot.

You will also write columns on the Spotify blog, what will those be about?

I do not know yet, haha! I shoot from the hip. They will obviously revolve around music: how I got where I am today and what life was like when I was naive and didn’t have to think about what was right and wrong. I probably can’t keep myself from writing about beer, whiskey, food and all that other stuff that makes life feel a little easier sometimes.

What’s happening with In Flames in the near future?

Right now we are writing new hit songs, and we will soon enter the studio to make album number eleven…. Number eleven! Holy shit!

What is your favorite song right now and why?

My label Razzia Notes released the debut album from a band called Dead Soul. There are a lot of amazing songs, but one that stands out for me right now is the song Dead Soul – Kill the Past. As a lyricist, I love when the lyrics marry well with the music, and in this case, such great lyrics! Dark and beautiful.

OK Spotifiers…. October 30th, save the date!

We’ll be launching this feature, “According To,” with Anders Fridén! You will find Anders’ playlist and column on our blog.

 

Listen to Eliza Doolittle’s ‘Euston Road’ – Exclusive Pre-release


Eliza In Your Hands Pre-add
The lovely Eliza Doolittle is releasing her second album ‘In Your Hands’ on October 14.  From the sneak preview we’ve heard, we’re expecting big things and a new sound from Eliza, who’s showcasing her matured and soulful songwriting skills alongside her signature energetic bounce.
 
 
 
Spotify listeners can hear album track ‘Euston Road’ exclusive pre-release, and a personal message from Eliza herself.  Take a listen here and follow the playlist to get notified as soon as the album is available.  
 
Enjoy!

 

Introducing Spotlight

Spotlight

This year alone Spotify has created brilliant, exclusive content in collaboration with artists like Daft Punk, Avicii and Kendrick Lamar, but now we’re ready to go further. Say hello to Spotlight, the new home for a whole host of fantastic music, the freshest discoveries and the hottest recommendations right at the heart of Spotify.

Spotlight will show you what’s hot and who’s next, plus there’ll be the coolest exclusives, pre-releases, b-sides and remixes alongside new artist recommendations, playlists, track-by-track commentaries and video interviews.

We’re launching Spotlight with two of the most exciting artists in the world today, Los Angeles’ own HAIM and New Zealand’s Lorde. There’s never been anything like this on Spotify before, so if you’re ready to meet your next favourite new band and discover a world of amazing music then we’ll meet you there.

For the best freshest recommendations and hottest tracks of the year so far, follow our Spotlight On 2013 playlist: