June Beats presented by @thursplay


Here’s what you’ll listen to on this June Beats by our friends at @thursplay :

Closing the month of June with 15 awesome hand picked songs on June Beats by @thursplay [2013]: listen to Kisses with their very catchy “Funny Heartbeat”, Husky Rescue has new music out, check out “Treehouse”! Also with new music is Swedish group Club 8, listen to “Into Air” from their latest album “Above the City”.

What else? Oh yeah, listen to brand new music from American indie rock band The National with “Don’t Swallow the Cap”, Rhye with their ever so smooth sound with the song “Last Dance”, British singer Sivu with “Better Man than He” and Vampire Weekend with “Unbelievers”.

Still on this playlist: When Saints Go Machine, She & Him, Laura Marling and a beautiful song by David Lynch & Lykke Li.

What were your favorite releases during June?

Share them with us today on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #thursplay.

Listen to Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ – remixed by Daft Punk. Only on Spotify!

There’s no doubt that 2013 belongs to two French DJs in masks. When electronic music pioneers Daft Punk released ‘Get Lucky’ earlier this year, it broke the Spotify record for most streams on a track’s release day. It’s already become the soundtrack to the summer, so we’re very excited to bring you a special surprise…

‘Get Lucky’ has been remixed by Daft Punk themselves – and from today you can listen to it on Spotify! These guys rarely do remixes of their own songs, so check it out now and lose yourself to dance!

The Eagles have landed!

They’re one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, with seven number one singles and six chart-topping albums over 30 years.

So we’re thrilled to announce that the Eagles’ albums are now yours to stream on Spotify – from debut classic ‘Take it Easy’ to their signature hit ‘Hotel California’. Listen now!

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

We start a new week with beachy indie pop from Santa Monica, California. “A Summer Thing” by “Cayucas”! Cayucas is the latest project for Zach Yudin, who some of you may know formerly as “Oregon Bike Trails”. The song A Summer Thing is taken from Cayucas debut album “Bigfoot” released a few months ago.

We continue with a favorite English/Spanish five-piece; “Crystal Fighters” and their catchy song “Wave”.

Next we have the single called “Laura Palmer” from British “Bastille”`s newly released debut album “Bad Blood”.

And then time for “A Pound of Flesh” by Florida-based “Radical Face” also known as singer/songwriter “Ben Cooper”. Ben is also a member of a band called “Electric President” and next we have a song by them called “Safe and Sound”.

The last song in our playlist this week is a song by an old American indie rock favorite: “Easy/Lucky/Free” by “Bright Eyes”.

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.

Follow Sigur Rós on tour!

What tunes do Sigur Rós listen to before heading onstage? What’s on their afterparty playlist? And how’s the view from the top deck of the tourbus?

The Icelandic post-rockers are touring the globe supporting their acclaimed new album Kveikur – and for the next three weeks you can follow them on the road.

Sigur Rós will be posting exclusive live versions of tracks from Kveikur, special playlists, photos and videos from the tour.

Check it out now!

What should The Rolling Stones play on Glastonbury this Saturday night?

So many songs, so little time… To celebrate their debut Glastonbury performance, the Rolling Stones will be launching their official Soundrop room on Monday 24th June. Users will be able to join the room on Spotify and begin adding the classic songs that they think the band should play that night.

During the performance one question will be asked to the fans in the chat room – the 50th fan to answer correctly will automatically win an official set list!

Click here to join the official Rolling Stones Soundrop room.

Music That Inspires Movements

“From civil rights and women’s suffrage to anti-apartheid and Live 8, protest songs have helped shape history. When people come together and raise their voices, extraordinary things can happen” – ONE.org

Today kicks off an incredible music project that re-imagines some of the world’s most powerful protest songs while reminding us that we each have the power to drive change.

Developed by The ONE Campaign, agit8, is powerful initiative that has brought together dozens of musicians from across the globe to raise an urgent call for action against extreme poverty. In the crucial week leading up to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, this timely effort is set to urge and inspire a new generation to take action in the fight against the injustices of extreme poverty and hunger.

Ed Sheeran aptly says“Music is a powerful tool in galvanizing people around an issue. There’s no better way to get your point across than to put it in a beautiful song.” In this vein, an extraordinary line-up of artists have added their voices to the campaign by recording brand new versions of great protest songs. To name just a few – Angelique Kidjo, U2, Will.i.am, Sting, Rokia Traoré, Kid Rock, Mumford and Sons, Elvis Costello, Green Day, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Ed Sheeran.

To drive the campaign, the immersive agit8 site has a number of experiences on offer:

  • Watch exclusive performances of major artists around the world performing their favorite protest songs, as well as video of pop-up performances taking place on London’s South Bank this week.
  • Listen to protest song performances from new and original artists and access exclusive Spotify playlists.
  • Learn more about the history of protest music, including in-depth background information for each song. Users can easily discover the history of the track, its writers, artist, and lyrics. A video featuring live performances of the song and a collection of alternate performances complete the experience.
  • View beautiful photography – powered by Nokia – with photos from the event in London and images that reflect the power and spirit of the protest song, captured by both members of the public and professional photographers.
  • Create your own shareable artwork on Facebook and Twitter with an innovative lyric cover art creator.
  • Join ONE to unlock bonus features, photo and video content, and vote for your favorite protest cover song.
  • Enter to win a free year of Spotify Premium.

It’s time to turn up the volume. Discover agit8 at http://www.one.org/protestsongs/ now!

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

We start a new week with an alternative rock band from Seattle: “Roman Holiday” and their single “Fuel The Fire” released back in 2011. We continue with yet another American favorite: “Creep In A T-Shirt” by Portland based “Portugal. The Man”.

Then time for some dreamy Scandipop! The beautiful “Fool of Me” by “Say Lou Lou” also known as the twins Elektra and Miranda Kilbey.

“White Denim” is a four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas. Next we have their song from latest EP “Takes Place In Your Work Space” released back in 2011.

The last song in our playlist this week is the beautiful single “The Worst Dreams” by Swedish “MF/MB/”

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.

Our Interview with LTJ Bukem

“It doesn’t matter where music comes from; if it hits you, that’s it…”

LTJ Bukem

When the lists of Great Drum and Bass Pioneers is drawn up – and can that day be far off? – the name of Danny Williamson will be on it, only he won’t be called Danny Williamson, he’ll be called LTJ Bukem, for LTJ Bukem is as legendary, as forward-looking and as groundbreaking as they come. In concentrated bursts over the last 22 years, Bukem has been recording, releasing, and DJing a uniquely melodic and textured stream of breakbeat fuelled drum and bass. Now, as he prepares his Good Looking label for a relaunch, Bukem is bringing his entire back catalogue to Spotify.

“We’re embracing the digital world,” he laughs. “We know there are thousands of fans who, over the years, have been asking, ‘what’s Bukem doing?’ It’s been three or four years since I last released something new, so now it’s time to reach out. It’s time to really do this…”

There is something curiously timeless about your music.

LTJ Bukem: That’s been my ethos since the beginning. If I pick up a piece of music to play in a club or to release I want it for life. I want to be able to pick up that piece of music in 20 years’ time, and still enjoy it for what it is.

Tell me a bit about the first music you ever really loved.

Blimey, well, this sounds really weird, but one of the first records I actually bought and got into, was by Bert Weedon! I’ve still got the record somewhere; he was doing Shadows cover versions. I also really liked Scott Joplin and a lot of that ragtime stuff. Then I began listening to The Police and The Jam – Paul Weller heavily influenced me. I think he’s an amazing guy, if you listen to those 70s Jam albums now they’re still amazing.

What was the first gig you went to see?

I would have been 9 or 10 and my piano teacher took me to see Chick Corea, that got me into the whole jazz scene, which became a massive influence and opened up the door to a lot of reggae too. When I started collecting music there was no genres, not for me, I just wanted to hear things that were great, so I got into all sorts of different styles of music. Still now, it doesn’t matter what it is or where it comes from: if it hits you, that’s it.

As a teenager you ran your own Sunshine Sound System – what would we have heard you playing?

Frankie Paul’s Pass The Tu Sheng Peng, Sylvia Striplin’s You Can’t Turn Me Away, Archie Bell and the Drells, Don’t Let Love Get You Down…

Just thinking about those songs is making you smile!

Yeah! Then there’s Loose Ends’ Gonna Make You Mine. We played a lot of that mid-80s funk and soul, but a lot of James Brown too. In fact, I’d play any James Brown I could get my hands on. I played a lot of early hip-hop like Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane too. I used to love those times – that’s why I’m smiling – because in those days you literally could just go to a dance and play for seven hours straight from any style of music that you loved.

People like Kindness, Rhye and Jessie Ware are revisiting that time, that pre-acid house era.

I think there’s a lot of people revisiting that music because there were some ground breaking sounds in there, musicians will always be going to go back to those elements.

Where should people begin with your own music?

You have to start at the beginning, with Demon’s Theme. I’ve always said that was three or four tunes in one, because at that time in drum and bass that’s how it was. You’d have the reggae start, the techno / house middle section, the soul breakdown and off into a mad rave kind of finish! My stuff was more about strings and bells, long intros and drums and promoters would say to me, ‘you’re not going to last five minutes, son! It’s not rave-y enough, it’s not mad enough!’ I was disheartened until I took it to (drum and bass legend) Fabio and Grooverider at Rage one night. They put it straight on and loved it. I played it on dub plate exclusive for a whole year and then thought, ‘Right, I’m going to start a label.’ And that’s the beginning of Good Looking Records. It was what I wanted to hear, records with some melody.

Your label compilation, Logical Progression, was a very big deal at the time.

There was nothing else like it. Nothing! There were compilations, but not an album where someone had put it together as whole piece that was the real start of the label. That got me in touch with London Records and Pete Tong and suddenly we were happening worldwide. I began to bring artists like PFM and Peshay on board. It began to feel real. At the same time I was getting together with Tony who did everything apart from select the tracks for release and gave the label a direction. He still does that now.

You had Photek recording as Aquarius then too?

Ha! Photek, that’s a funny story. I remember when no one had even heard of Rupert. He was still living in Ipswich and I had to drive down to his house to pick up all the DATs off him so I could go and cut the dub plates. Those were amazing times, the birth of it all really.

What record from history do you think, ‘I wish I’d made that’?

I think it would have to be a soul record. If I was allowed a few I’d say, Lonnie Liston Smith’s Voodoo Woman, Chick Corea’s Lenore, Dave Angel’s 1st Symphony, a track called Yeah (Dope Mix) – by Swing Kids and an old tune on XL called Dub War by Dance Conspiracy. Too many to mention

OK, a simple final question: what’s your favourite noise?

Oh man, my favourite noise is peace and quiet.

Do you get much of it?

I’m being serious! And the answer to your question is: no, I don’t, but when I do, it’s like the most wonderful thing ever, because hearing no music for a while really makes me want to hear music again. Sometimes it’s really nice to just sit and contemplate things, to close your eyes and have some meditation time.

That’s what comes of being a grown-up, Danny.


Our Interview with Bastille

“I still find it bizarre that anyone even listens to my music…”

Dan Smith formed Bastille, basically, in his London bedroom back in 2010. Last April they released their debut single, Overjoyed, which was followed, in fairly quick succession by Bad Blood and Flaws before the monstrous great hit Pompeii arrived February. Much of the rest of the time Dan’s been away on tour, but now he’s back in London for two days writing and recording. Oh, and the band supported Muse and Dizzee Rascal at the Emirates Stadium.

What on earth was that like?

Ha! It was as mad as you’d expect and by some way the biggest thing we’ve ever done! It was totally surreal to see the inner workings of an event like that and to see just how big Muse really are. I fist-bumped Dizzee Rascal backstage, that was a first for me on a Wednesday evening.

Welcome to your new life.

No! This is like some mad competition winner’s new life.

You say that, but it could be stadiums all the way from here.

I don’t know. I’m cynical and pessimistic as a rule, so this feels very unreal to me. I’ve not remotely contemplated even the idea of playing our own arena tour. That’s why it was so great to see what this was like; we may never get another chance! At the moment we’re constantly finding ourselves in mad situations. Last night I sound-checked in the middle of a completely empty arena. Then a crowd turned up and we knew they weren’t there to see us, but we got to test the water and try and win people over.

Was it a bit scary – be honest now.

I was terrified, but I wanted to enjoy it too. I kept looking over at the guys and cracking up. They put our logo and artwork on these giant screens, so that was cool. Some fans sent us a few photos and it looks insane.

You’ve been touring on your own for around two years now and hardly done any support shows.

No – just Two Door Cinema Club, really. The one thing I’m pleased about is the Muse and Two Door shows both came from the bands themselves – there were no golden handshakes! You hear a lot of talk about how bands getting on to bills, but that definitely wasn’t us. For the first two years we did everything ourselves, we made all the decisions together and that was fun. Then we signed to Virgin in the UK and they invested time and gave us space to do what we wanted. We’ve never had any hype and so the album took a lot of people by surprise. We’ve not had much acknowledgement from the media, so our fan base is serious, genuine, word of mouth people.

Have you notice things change recently?

Definitely – we’ve had a lot of radio play and people sharing our songs online, that’s all been huge help to us. We actually underestimated the size of our fan base!

They’re the people who’ve made Pompeii such a huge, viral hit.

They are – and it’s a strange thing that song. I wrote it in my bedroom on my laptop, just for fun. I’d been reading about Pompeii and how it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, but also how it was known as a city of hedonism. I was struck by these images of the space left by the bodies when they decomposed and by the people’s movements caught in the ash. It was all so potent, I began imagining what it would be like if those same ashy corpses could talk about their city. To be honest, I still find it bizarre that anyone even listens to my music and I never had any ambitions to be in a band. I always think that people will only share something if they really like it, so it’s a compliment that people are sharing Pompeii so much. It also means wherever we go we have this great song to finish our shows with, as when we play it everyone goes, “Oh, it’s *this* lot…”

Does it feel like you’re starting again in America?

A little, but our ambitions we so non-existent to begin with that we really don’t mind at all. We never imagined we’d ever leave England and we’ve had a sold out set of dates in Europe and we’ve just gone Platinum in Italy. We’ve never even played a gig there. So America is a massive uncharted territory for us. We’ve only been there briefly – we played South By – and we’re excited to give it a go. We just want to see if anyone actually comes to the shows and what those people might be like…

What five records couldn’t Bastille exist without?

Ready Or Not by The Fugees, Only Living Boy In New York by Simon and Garfunkel, Concrete Schoolyard by Jurassic 5, Hope There’s Someone by Antony and the Johnsons and A Punk by Vampire Weekend.

Does the perfect song exist?

I don’t think it does as your taste changes so much throughout your life. But recently I’ve had Bad Religion by Frank Ocean lodged in my brain and the new James Blake album is brilliant too. I just love music, I buy and listen to a lot of new stuff, I don’t tend to dwell on old things.

Where do you look for new music?

Spotify, a bit! My friend’s recommendations mean a lot too. I chat to a lot of people about new music…

Finally – crucially – what’s your favourite noise?

Ah! Well, the silence that comes after a really annoying noise suddenly stops. Imagine a whirring fridge or a buzzing fly, then that deep, deep silence, it’s wonderful. It’s the clarity, it’s like someone’s unplugged your ears.