Features Reviews

Feature: New to Spotify

[Editors note: This was supposed to be published on Monday 19th July. However, due to circumstances beyond our control it was delayed until this evening. We have decided to leave this article intact and not change anything as to uphold the writers integrity. So when you read this (and I honestly suggest you do) please make pretend it is in fact, Monday 19th. We extend our deepest apologies for the delay.]

Greetings travellers and welcome to the section of Spotisfaction that deals with all that is new and improved! In this series our aim is to get our hands dirty with what”™s new and unheard in the vast waters of Spotify and to give you our tasters and recommendations based on those findings on a fortnightly basis. We hope you enjoy what you read and what you hear, with any luck it will lead you to new artists and sounds.

All of the selections in this fortnightly musical smorgasbord have come up in recent days in the “what”™s new” section in Spotify. To make life easier for you the consumer, the Spotisfaction team has done what it does best and listened through them all and selected for you what we feel are some of the best bits. Enjoy!

1. I Am Kloot ”“ Sky At Night
If you”™ve never listened to I am Kloot before this album is a great place to start. Tuneful, melodic and mellow with great storytelling. Clever feelgood tales encapsulated in subtle strings, soulful piano and glorious harmonies. It is sometimes difficult to draw parallels in albums and often unfair to encapsulate people. This album contains such rich variety both musically and lyrically that it almost defies encapsulation. Its an album to give your undivided attention in some “you” time. To give it a casual listen doesn”™t give it justice, a great antidote to life outside. Grab a drink and your cans and let the stories become a part of you.

2. Laura Marling ”“ Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling & Dharohar Project
A short EP but in my mind, great musical progress. If you haven”™t heard Laura”™s most recent album, I would strongly recommend it but this EP mixes a great blend of folk guitar, vocal craftsmanship and indian music. Its a mix on paper you would never think as one that would work but the resultant effect is one so strong it begs a whole album. The lead track is a remix of the excellent Devil”™s Spoke but sufficiently different to avoid the feeling of short-changed.

3. The Roots ”“ How I Got Over
I”™m sure most of you are no strangers to the excellent, boundary-pushing work done by The Roots and this album is no different. It”™s not often that an artist can demand a listen without justification but this is another of those excellent efforts. So many styles and instruments come to blend and served with that unmistakable beat craftsmanship they are famous for, a top choice.

4. Belle & Sebastian ”“ Push Barman To Open Old Wounds
This 25 track epic can”™t be accused of not being value for your hard earned! The concept of “double albums” seems to have waned over the years and the move into the digital age has made many lazy in commerical record land, knowing they can get away with 7 tracks or extreme filler. Musically this album screams positivity without ramming it down your throat or becoming sugar coated saccharin. Some of the tunes are not conventional happy but every time I listen to it I feel summer , I want to take to open space with a picnic blanket, some shades, this album and just let the world go by while I feel good in my little bubble. Echoes of Velvet Underground, hints of the Undertones, an album I”™m sure the great JP would have loved!

5 – Two Door Cinema Club ”“ Tourist History
These guys were completely new to me when I first put this album on to play and my immediate thought was “Bloc Party”. That in my opinion could not be a bad thing but on a second listen I realised that was unfair. They borrow a little of the style but there is so much more to it. Brilliantly layered tracks with an unmistakable flow, hints to other bands hear and there but it all comes together in a bright, clean, pacey extravaganza that will not leave you disappointed.

6 – Lissie ”“ Why You Runnin”™
A sneaky little EP for the end and another folk one. It seems that Folk is in a difficult place in many ways, lots of people associate the word with different things but I think there are a strong breed of female folk artists out there at the moment, with this being another great example. Essences of Joni Mitchell vocally and lyrically but with a glorious guitar backbone running through subtly augmented with Piano and a whole cavalcade of instruments and voice. If you only listen to one of my recommendations this month, please try this one and give this style of music another try.

I hope you enjoy our choices, A playlist containing this and a few other subtle picks not listed is below if you don”™t want them on a per album basis. See you in 2 weeks!

New to Spotify – July 19th 2010


James Battin

By James Battin

James is the little voice in Dave's ear but certainly not his conscience...

Contributor, Writer, Playlister and general loiterer in the background... I have ideas but often need to help in following them through!

I love the variety of music on offer out there and am often told off for subconciously beatboxing while working.

I'm a Cisco engineer by day and tired parent to 2 awesome children by night.