March music playlist – courtesy of Drowned in Sound

Spring has sprung in London but there are no sheep leaping fences or daffodils bathed in sunshine outside my window. Nope, there’s heavy rain bashing my window pane and high-winds turning umbrellas inside out, so apologies in advance if this isn’t some Balearic beat-riding beast of a playlist and is perhaps more of a sombre plate of dark chocolate biscuits. Unless you’re somewhere exotic reading this (and if you’re reading this on your mobile, cooling in the shade on some beach, please spare us a smug a comment below, thanx!), go grab a cup of lady grey tea, put on some radiator-warmed socks and press play on this month’s playlist by DrownedinSound founder Sean Adams.

1) Sparklehorse ‘Rainmaker’

Mark Linkous was a genius. On March 7th he shot himself in the heart (News story) and in doing so his legacy was finally heralded by all corners of the mainstream press. If you haven’t heard Sparklehorse before and like this track, I thoroughly recommend you explore Mark’s entire heart-rendering catalogue of fuzz-drenched, sun-drunk, pop hits from a parallel universe. Rest in Peace.

2) Elliott Smith ‘Thirteen’

Alex Chilton of the hugely influential Big Star also died in March 2010 (News story). This is a Big Star cover by the also deceased Elliott Smith, who has some posthumous remasters out in April via Domino Records in the UK and the Kill Rock Stars label in the US (info).

3) Broken Bells ‘The Mall & Misery’

Here’s a new project from two living legends, James Mercer from The Shins and Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse, who you may also know as one half of Gnarls Barkley. This synthesis of James’ lyrical prowess, melodic wonderment and Brian’s beats and next-level production coalesce beneath the swirls of post-Beatles psychedelia and swirly 70s LA-rock. Their self-titled album came out earlier this month (9/10 Review) and DiS caught up with them (somewhat jet-lagged) in Paris to talk about the record and the collaboration, which you can watch by click-clacking here.


Spotify for iPhone v0.4 now available

Last week we told you that we’d submitted a new version of our iPhone app to Apple for approval. The approval process has been super quick and today we’re happy to announce that the update is now available in the app store.

What’s new in this version:

  • scrobbling.
  • The ability to open and play Spotify links e.g. straight from your Facebook app or browser.
  • Save time and space by using tracks already stored on your iPod in your playlists – there’s no need to sync those track anymore.
  • Save and find your favourite tracks and albums with the Starred playlist and Star buttons (also coming to the desktop version soon!).
  • Support for listening at 96 kb/s for more efficient streaming on slow connections.
  • Spotify remembers when you were when you quit and starts up at the same location.
  • The ability to sync your purchased Spotify tracks over Wifi.
  • A new look for albums and playlists.
  • The ability to set playlist as collaborative or not.
  • The ability to search in playlists.
  • The ability to create a new playlist from the Add to Playlist view.
  • Playlists named “-” show up as separators.
  • Album reviews added to album view.
  • Volume slider uses system volume.
  • Volume normalization option added

Note: The ability to sync purchased tracks to your iPhone will be available in the next update of the Spotify desktop client. This will enable users who have purchased high-quality tracks to transfer and use those higher bitrate tracks rather than stream the song from Spotify.

If you experience any issues with the new version please do let us know and we’ll try and address them as quickly as possible. Enjoy!

Decca, the home of classical on Spotify

If you look at the Spotify Top lists you usually see the standard hit makers like Lady Gaga and Beyonce, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll quickly find that Spotify has a lot more to offer than just the standard top forty.

One area we take great pride in is our classical section and a large part of that genre comes from the catalogue of Decca Records which we recently finished adding to Spotify. Decca Records combines a large number of releases from its own label along with music from Universal Classics & Jazz and the extremely popular Deutsche Grammophon and Decca label.

Now, many of our users might not know where to start with such a large selection so the good people over at Decca have gone ahead and put together a series of playlists for you to check out. For the beginners we’ve got Mozart for Dummies and Classical for Dummies and for the more advanced check out Classical for Experts.

A few more specific playlists include Favourite Mahler, Trumpet Favourites, Best Beethoven and Handel Hits and if you’re in the mood for something a little more relaxed check out Classical Chill Out.

Spotify Premium, Here Lies Love

Here Lies Love is a double-disc album, conceived by David Byrne and composed by Byrne and DJ/recording artist Fatboy Slim, about the rise and fall of the Philippines’ notorious Imelda Marcos. Originally envisioned as a musical theatre piece, the album includes performances by the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Roisin Murphy and Martha Wainwright.

The album is set for wide release next week but starting today all Spotify Premium users can listen to Here Lies Love in full.

Spotify iPhone app update coming soon

It’s been a little while since we first released our iPhone app to the public and many of you have been wondering when you’re going to see an update. Well, we’re happy to announce that earlier today we submitted a new version to the nice people over at Apple for approval.

Along with a number of fixes to the app we’ve added a range of great new features. Some of the additions include:

  • scrobbling.
  • The ability to open and play Spotify links e.g. straight from your Facebook app or browser.
  • Save time and space by using tracks already stored on your iPod in your playlists – there’s no need to sync those track anymore.
  • Save and find your favourite tracks and albums with the Starred playlist and Star buttons (also coming to the desktop version soon!).
  • Support for listening at 96 kb/s for more efficient streaming on slow connections.

Stay tuned to our blog for more news in the coming weeks.

A selection of playlists for March

Today we have a new feature to bring you some of the more original playlists created this month and submitted to ShareMyPlaylists is one the largest Spotify playlist sites, they have over 14,000 playlists and 16,000 members it has a very active community of music fans. The site also offers many other features such as fan groups and a free blog available to all users, so they can share their passions of music.

So check out some of this months more interesting playlist submissions and feel free to share your favourite playlist for the month.

Alan Pownall’s Top Male Musicians
With his debut single ‘Chasing Time’ out on 19th April Alan Pownall shows us his favourite male singers. There’s a lot of big voices: Elvis, Paul Weller and even Little Richard, this makes for a fun listen. There’s no surprises here, but the inclusion of Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” lets you argue with your friends about whether The Red Hot Chilli Peppers intentionally nicked this classy song or not.

One letter, one band, one song
A fun game you could try at home when going through your music collection, as the results here show you can get a wild mix. From old school classics in Zep’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Queen/Bowie’s “Under Pressure” to more modern tunes in Radiohead and The Verve via Kings of Leon, Unkle and Nick Cave. Try it yourself, see what you get and show it off to the world.


Spotify supports the launch of Music Matters

We wanted to let you know about a great initiative which starts today that we’re excited to be a part of, Music Matter. Music Matters brings people together from across the music industry for the first time, to highlight the profound value of music and to educate consumers on how to identify legitimate music services.

Allowing the music to speak for itself, Music Matters comprises a series of short animated films about inspirational artists who have dedicated their lives to music and contributed to our cultural landscape. The films, including the stories of artists such as Sigur Ros, the Fron Choir, Blind Willie Johnson, The Jam, John Martyn, Nick Cave and Kate Bush, will be carried on supporting artist and organisation websites, with further films scheduled for roll out later in the year.

There are a lot of great video so be sure to visit and watch them all.

Spotify Premium, Nomy’s Disconnected

We’ve got a great pre-release for all premium users to tell you about – for the next two weeks you’ll be able to listen exclusively to Nomy’s new release, Disconnected.

Nomy is a great example of a DIY artist who’s achieved huge success. He records all his own music in his modest home studio which set him back about $2200, with this he became one of the top artists on Spotify last year. So check out his new album on premium for the next two weeks and also give a listen to his back catalogue, all available on Spotify.

More than 300,000 new tracks added

A couple of days ago we updated the music catalogue, and this time we added about 300,000 tracks. This update includes releases such as:

You can check out this longer list of latest releases, which is automatically updated and only displays albums released the last seven days.

As with every update not all albums listed may be available in your country and some tracks previously available may no longer be playable due to regional restrictions.

Enjoy, and do drop a link to the best music in this release!

Amy Macdonald gig exclusive on Spotify

Great news this week for Amy Macdonald fans (we know there are lots of you out there!). As of today, and for all of this week, you can catch an exclusive performance from the Scottish songstress in what marks a video first for Spotify.

Spotify Free users can head to our home page to watch Amy perform five live tracks taken from her second album ‘A Curious Thing’, which is out this week before she kicks off her European tour at Inverness Ironworks in Scotland on March 28th.

The gig, recorded last month in Berlin, will be showcased within Spotify’s video lightbox and will feature five tracks from the upcoming album, including ‘Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over’, ‘Spark’ and ‘Love, Love’.

You can also watch Amy’s pitch-perfect performance here on the blog. This is the life, eh?