Father John Misty On Love and New Music

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Father John Misty is an intense musician. Or, at least, very complicated. The project of ex-Fleet Foxes member Josh Tillman, the second LP, I Love You, Honeybear, was just released this past Tuesday. The album takes a broad, although at times unsettling close, look at love; all in Tillman’s cynical, mostly tongue-in-cheek tone.

Josh on his new album versus his debut, Fear Fun

This album was definitely harder because I had to overcome my intense fear of being sentimental. This one is a lot more intense, a lot more vulnerable.

The album cover really articulates what the new album is. It’s an encounter with intimacy and what comes from that… what qualities manifest. Here it was a lot of jealousy and neediness. I kind of turned this woman into a sacred object instead of letting her be a human.

On “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.”…

You have these two pretentious, misguided people. One of which is me. Obviously. It’s really important to me that this song isn’t a figurative kind of thing. No, this is about a thing that happened. What am I doing there? What did I want? Really I just wanted my narcissism and vanity fed. I wanted to be around people who didn’t demand any intimacy out of me.

On “Bored In The USA”…

If nothing else it’s a way for polite, white liberal people to point at a straw man version of the grotesque American. If you can’t see yourself in any part of that song then it’s not a good song.

On love and his wife, Emma…

Intimacy and love is not a passive, consumer experience. You have to make it for yourself.

 

 

 

 

NERVO Drop Exclusive Single on Spotify

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It feels like NERVO is on top of the world. Or maybe that’s just the effect of their huge, new House anthem (aptly called “It Feels”). The Australian duo, made up of sisters Mim and Liv Nervo, just released the track for an exclusive two week pre-stream on Spotify.

We asked the endlessly busy group to sit down and respond to our pressing questions about their life, such as, “What’s it like DJing next to your sister every night for the past decade?” They were kind enough to give us some answers…

Liv: Mostly it’s nothing but positivity and having good time. Though sometimes, it can get a bit sticky. We have slight arguments about what to play next, but we pretty much love it… We usually plan the beginning and the end of every set, then in the middle we just play whatever the crowd is vibing to the most!

What differences do the two of you have, in terms of musical taste?

Liv: We both generally like and can see the beauty in most music, from a range of genres. Though Mim might bring me something from the deep house world, that I love and have never heard, or vice versa. Mim tends to lean towards the deep house world, while I like more of the tech house grooves.

Check out NERVO’s brand new single, exclusively here on Spotify: 

 

Grammy Winners of 2015

 

Beck for Grammys

The night was surely unpredictable but also, unforgettable. From Beck’s huge win, performances that ranged from Hozier to Paul McCartney and everything that makes Music’s Biggest Night always a must watch.

Beck came home with Album of the Year and is already at 18 million streams and counting… The list of winners includes the best of the best with another well-known star showing up numerous times: Sam Smith. Whether it was Pharrell’s symphonic rendition of ‘Happy’ or Katy Perry’s emotional performance, the evening surely lived up to the hype.

Record of the Year: Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Song of the Year: Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Album of the Year: Beck – “Morning Phase”

Best New Artist: Sam Smith

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera – “Say Something”

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – “Cheek To Cheek”

Best Pop Solo Performance: Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Pop Vocal Album: Sam Smith – “In The Lonely Hour 22 Things We Learned Hanging Out With Sam Smith”

Best Rock Performance: Jack White – “Lazaretto”

Best Rock Album: Beck – “Morning Phase”

Best Rock Song: Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”

Best Alternative Rock Album: St. Vincent – “St. Vincent”

Best Metal Performance: Tenacious D – “The Last In Line”

Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Eminem Featuring Rihanna – “The Monster”

Best Rap Song: Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Best Rap Album: Eminem – “The Marshall Mathers LP2″

Best R&B Performance: Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

Best Traditional R&B Performance: “Jesus Children” – Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Best R&B Song: Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

Best Urban Contemporary Album: Pharrell Williams – “Girl”

Best R&B Album: Toni Braxton & Babyface – “Love, Marriage & Divorce”

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer – “Bass & Mandolin”

Best Dance/Electronic Album: Aphex Twin – “Syro

Best Dance Recording: Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne – “Rather Be”

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: “Frozen” – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Tom MacDougall & Chris Montan, compilation producers

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Alexandre Desplat, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media: “Let It Go” – Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Idina Menzel)

Best Country Album: Miranda Lambert

Best Country Solo Performance: Carrie Underwood – “Something In The Water”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: The Band Perry – “Gentle On My Mind”

Best Country Song: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” – Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond, songwriters

Best Bluegrass Album: “The Earls Of Leicester” – The Earls Of Leicester

Best American Roots Performance: Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best American Roots Song: Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best Americana Album: Rosanne Cash – “The River & The Thread”

Best Folk AlbumOld Crow Medicine Show – Remedy

Best Music Video: Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Music Film: “20 Feet From Stardom”

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Max Martin

Best Instrumental Composition: John Williams – “The Book Thief”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: Pentatonix – “Daft Punk”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals: Billy Childs – “New York Tendaberry”

(Official list provided by Rolling Stone)

Spotify’s own Sessions playlist including many nominees available right here.

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Touch Preview. A better way to preview any song, album, artist or playlist.

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Ever find yourself endlessly browsing through playlist after playlist, looking for the perfect music? “Teen Party” or “Party Hits”… how do you decide without listening?

Well, good news. Now, with Touch Preview, you can quickly get a sneak peek of any playlist, song, album or artist before you hit play. Just hold down your finger to the screen – you’ll instantly hear the music start.

And you can now save tunes you like to Your Music with one quick left-swipe. Building your collection of favourite songs has never been easier or faster.

It means less time looking for the perfect music, and more time actually listening to it.

Oh look, here’s a nice video we made.

Both Touch Preview and our new swipe gestures are available to iOS users from today, and will soon be rolled out across other platforms.

Spotify paints it black with new look for Windows Phone

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Today we’re bringing Windows Phone users the best-looking Spotify ever. With a darker theme, refreshed typography and rounded iconography, playing your favourite music has never looked so good. 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.

We also know that you’ve been looking for more ways of managing your music. So today we’re bringing Your Music to Windows Phone: helping you save, organise and browse your favourite music the way you want to. 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’re also bringing you our updated 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 to all Windows Phone 8 users starting today.

 

15 for ’15!

15-Million-Thank-YousWe had an amazing 2014 at Spotify and owe it all to you, the music fans who listen, discover, share and celebrate music and artists with us every day of the year.

And before 2014 turned into 2015, we reached 15 million subscribers and 60 million active users!

So as we set off into the new year, we want to send a giant thank you to all of you. We can’t wait for the year in music ahead!

 

 

Introducing Top Tracks in Your Network

Overview

One out of every five Spotify streams comes from a user listening to another user’s music. Every day, millions of listeners find, discover and share music on Spotify – but a great recommendation from someone you trust is something special.

What if you could tap into all these moments of discovery and see what your friends have been listening to?

Today we’re launching new discovery features that make it easier than ever to tap into your friends’ latest music picks.

Top Tracks in Your Network is a new chart showing the most played songs among the people you follow. The more popular a song is with your friends, the higher it is up the chart. Refreshed daily, the new chart can be found in the Browse section under Top Lists. A drop down list of the people listening to the song can be found next to the track details.

Now, when you go to an artist or album you’ll see who’s been listening – a great way to discover which of your friends share your taste in music.

Top Tracks in Your Network begins rolling out today on iOS and Android platforms, and to desktop soon. 

 

 

Velkommen, Rammstein!

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I dag ønsker vi Berlins store sønner, Rammstein, velkommen til Spotify med sine seks fantastiske studioalbum. For å komme i stemning, her er 14 fakta om bandet du kanskje ikke har hørt før..!

  1. Rammstein oppstod i Øst-Tysklands punkmiljø.
  2. De er oppkalt etter det tyske ordet for rambukk – og en by uheldigvis kjent for en flyshow ulykke i 1988 der 70 personer ble drept.
  3. Bandet har proklamert: ”Alt vi ønsker er å underholde. Med flammekastere”.
  4. Under live-fremførelser av ”Bück Dich” pleide vokalist Till Lindemann å dra av seg buksene for å så avsløre en stor dildo mellom bena, som igjen sprutet en hvit væske over publikum på første rad.
  5. Rammsteins debut singel, ”Du Riechst So Gut” (”Du lukter så godt”) dukket først opp i en parfymert CD-utgave.
  6. Billettene  til Rammsteins legendariske opptreden i Madison Square Garden i New York ble utsolgt på under 30 minutter.
  7. Lindemanns  andre mest kjente rekvisitt på scenen er hans 63 kilo tunge metallfrakk som blir smurt inn med brennbart stoff for å så bli satt fyr på.
  8. Den verdenskjente filmregissøren David Lynch brukte to Rammstein-sanger i sin film ”Lost Highway”.
  9. De er det eneste tyskspråklige bandet til å virkelig knekke det amerikanske markedet.
  10. Sangen ”Mein Teil” (”Min del”) er inspirert av saken om en tysk kannibal som trykket en annonse som søkte etter en frivillig til å bli drept og spist.
  11. Rammstein ble Grammy-nominert for beste metal-opptreden i både 1999 og 2006.
  12. Den tidligere sjefen for plateselskapet deres beskrev dem som ”teater for millenniumsgenerasjonen: metall-techno poserende med bisarre sadomasokistiske elementer…”
  13. Passende nok er bandets eget motto ”Gjør din egen greie, og overdriv det!”
  14. Keyboardisten ”Flake” uttalte en gang at ”vi ønsker at publikum virkelig skal ta til seg musikken vår, så hva venter dere på?”

Your Ride. Your Music.

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Big news everyone! We’ve teamed up with our friends at Uber to let you choose the soundtrack for your ride.

When you request a car, you’ll be able to choose the music you want to hear on the journey. When your ride arrives, it’ll be your tunes on the car’s speakers.

So how does it work?

 

  1. Connect your Spotify account from the Uber Profile screen or sign up.
  2. Request a ride in the Uber app. If you get matched with a music-enabled Uber, the music bar will appear at the bottom of the Uber app.
  3. Tap the music bar and select music from our ready-made playlist, your playlists or search for something new.
  4. If you want you can wirelessly control the music from either the Uber or Spotify apps until you arrive at your destination.
  5. Sit back and enjoy the soundtrack to your ride.

The new Uber and Spotify integration, available to all Uber and Spotify Premium users on iOS and Android (with a limited feature set), starts rolling out on Friday, Nov. 21 in our 10 launch cities. The integration will continue to roll out globally over the coming weeks.

To kick off our exciting new partnership, Spotify and Uber are giving fans a chance to connect with some of their favourite artists in 10 global launch cities:

– Participating artists include: Andrew W.K., The Sam Willows, Ximena Sariñana, Ansiktet, Professor Green, Diplo, Matt and Kim, Ricki Lee, Kevin Drew and Jake Owen. 

– 10 global launch cities include: London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto.

These special events for Uber and Spotify users – including artist ride-alongs and exclusive live sessions in five of the 10 cities – will take place on Friday, November 21. Stay tuned for additional details.

$2 Billion and Counting

A blog post written by Daniel Ek (@eldsjal)

Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. Quincy Jones posted on Facebook that “Spotify is not the enemy; piracy is the enemy”. You know why? Two numbers: Zero and Two Billion. Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then. And that’s two billion dollars’ worth of listening that would have happened with zero or little compensation to artists and songwriters through piracy or practically equivalent services if there was no Spotify – we’re working day and night to recover money for artists and the music business that piracy was stealing away.

When I hear stories about artists and songwriters who say they’ve seen little or no money from streaming and are naturally angry and frustrated, I’m really frustrated too. The music industry is changing – and we’re proud of our part in that change – but lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist. As I said, we’ve already paid more than $2 billion in royalties to the music industry and if that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that’s a big problem. We will do anything we can to work with the industry to increase transparency, improve speed of payments, and give artists the opportunity to promote themselves and connect with fans – that’s our responsibility as a leader in this industry; and it’s the right thing to do.

We’re trying to build a new music economy that works for artists in a way the music industry never has before. And it is working – Spotify is the single biggest driver of growth in the music industry, the number one source of increasing revenue, and the first or second biggest source of overall music revenue in many places. Those are facts. But there are at least three big misconceptions out there about how we work, how much we pay, and what we mean for the future of music and the artists who create it. Let’s take a look at them.

Myth number one: free music for fans means artists don’t get paid. On Spotify, nothing could be further from the truth. Not all free music is created equal – on Spotify, free music is supported by ads, and we pay for every play. Until we launched Spotify, there were two economic models for streaming services: all free or all paid, never together, and both models had a fatal flaw. The paid-only services never took off (despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing), because users were being asked to pay for something that they were already getting for free on piracy sites. The free services, which scaled massively, paid next to nothing back to artists and labels, and were often just a step away from piracy, implemented without regard to licensing, and they offered no path to convert all their free users into paying customers. Paid provided monetization without scale, free reached scale without monetization, and neither produced anywhere near enough money to replace the ongoing decline in music industry revenue.

We had a different idea. We believed that a blended option – or ‘freemium’ model – would build scale and monetization together, ultimately creating a new music economy that gives fans access to the music they love and pays artists fairly for their amazing work. Why link free and paid? Because the hardest thing about selling a music subscription is that most of our competition comes from the tons of free music available just about everywhere. Today, people listen to music in a wide variety of ways, but by far the three most popular ways are radio, YouTube, and piracy – all free. Here’s the overwhelming, undeniable, inescapable bottom line: the vast majority of music listening is unpaid. If we want to drive people to pay for music, we have to compete with free to get their attention in the first place.

So our theory was simple – offer a terrific free tier, supported by advertising, as a starting point to attract fans and get them in the door. And unlike other free music options – from piracy to YouTube to SoundCloud – we pay artists and rights holders every time a song is played on our free service. But it’s not as flexible or uninterrupted as Premium. If you’ve ever used Spotify’s free service on mobile, you know what I mean – just like radio, you can pick the kind of music you want to hear but can’t control the specific song that’s being played, or what gets played next, and you have to listen to ads. We believed that as fans invested in Spotify with time, listening to their favorite music, discovering new music and sharing it with their friends, they would eventually want the full freedom offered by our premium tier, and they’d be willing to pay for it.

We were right. Our free service drives our paid service. Today we have more than 50 million active users of whom 12.5 million are subscribers each paying $120 per year. That’s three times more than the average paying music consumer spent in the past. What’s more, the majority of these paying users are under the age of 27, fans who grew up with piracy and never expected to pay for music. But here’s the key fact: more than 80% of our subscribers started as free users. If you take away only one thing, it should be this: No free, no paid, no two billion dollars.

Myth number two: Spotify pays, but it pays so little per play nobody could ever earn a living from it. First of all, let’s be clear about what a single stream – or listen – is: it’s one person playing one song one time. So people throw around a lot of stream counts that seem big and then tell you they’re associated with payouts that sound small. But let’s look at what those counts really represent. If a song has been listened to 500 thousand times on Spotify, that’s the same as it having been played one time on a U.S. radio station with a moderate sized audience of 500 thousand people. Which would pay the recording artist precisely … nothing at all. But the equivalent of that one play and its 500 thousand listens on Spotify would pay out between three and four thousand dollars. The Spotify equivalent of ten plays on that radio station – once a day for a week and a half – would be worth thirty to forty thousand dollars.

Now, let’s look at a hit single, say Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’. In the months since that song was released, it’s been listened to enough times to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for his label and publisher. At our current size, payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalog) are on track to exceed $6 million a year, and that’s only growing – we expect that number to double again in a year. Any way you cut it, one thing is clear – we’re paying an enormous amount of money to labels and publishers for distribution to artists and songwriters, and significantly more than any other streaming service.

Myth number three: Spotify hurts sales, both download and physical. This is classic correlation without causation – people see that downloads are down and streaming is up, so they assume the latter is causing the former. Except the whole correlation falls apart when you realize a simple fact: downloads are dropping just as quickly in markets where Spotify doesn’t exist. Canada is a great example, because it has a mature music market very similar to the US. Spotify launched in Canada a few weeks ago. In the first half of 2014, downloads declined just as dramatically in Canada – without Spotify – as they did everywhere else. If Spotify is cannibalising downloads, who’s cannibalising Canada?

By the same token, we’ve got a great list of artists who promoted their new releases on Spotify and had terrific sales and lots of streaming too – like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and alt-J. Artists from Daft Punk to Calvin Harris to Eminem had number ones and were on Spotify at the same time too.

Which brings us back to Taylor Swift. She sold more than 1.2 million copies of 1989 in the US in its first week, and that’s awesome. We hope she sells a lot more because she’s an exceptional artist producing great music. In the old days, multiple artists sold multiple millions every year. That just doesn’t happen any more; people’s listening habits have changed – and they’re not going to change back. You can’t look at Spotify in isolation – even though Taylor can pull her music off Spotify (where we license and pay for every song we’ve ever played), her songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, where people can listen all they want for free. To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark. And sure enough, if you looked at the top spot on The Pirate Bay last week, there was 1989

Here’s the thing I really want artists to understand: Our interests are totally aligned with yours. Even if you don’t believe that’s our goal, look at our business. Our whole business is to maximize the value of your music. We don’t use music to drive sales of hardware or software. We use music to get people to pay for music. The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you. We’re going to be transparent about it all the way through. And we have a big team of your fellow artists here because if you think we haven’t done well enough, we want to know, and we want to do better. None of that is ever going to change.

We’re getting fans to pay for music again. We’re connecting artists to fans they would never have otherwise found, and we’re paying them for every single listen. We’re not just streaming, we’re mainstreaming now, and that’s good for music makers and music lovers around the world.