Good afternoon, folks. You may have noticed that our new logo has gone live today. We like it (obviously), but let us know what you think!
This last couple of weeks have been crazy busy, but it’s all been made worthwhile knowing that we’ve got a whole bunch of new ears for our musical evangelism. We’ve even had a number of playlist submissions from all over the Europe, including today’s by Dan Herlin. This is a fantastic mix, and it’s incredible to be given a glimpse of people’s lives through a playlist – more of this please, interwebs! Thank you Dan.
Before I hand over to him for his explanatory blurb, I just want to mention that if you have a playlist idea of your own we’d love to publish it. Please do check out our submission guide for info on how you can do that.
Have a lovely one, Dave
NB. One or two of the tracks don’t work in the UK. I’ve left them in the playlist for our European listeners, and also to help maintain the flow of the playlist if you happen to have a local version of those tracks.
I believe in niched playlists, where there is a flow between each song and you remember it just like you remember an album. I composed this one during a train-ride between Stockholm and Copenhagen and its named after the Swedish governmental railroad company, Statens Järnvägar.
Evening all. Couple of quick ones for you this evening.
For those that are new to Spotisfaction since the relaunch, we run playlists on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with news, reviews and features interspersed throughout the week. Check back tomorrow for our next playlist, #101.
We’re currently looking for a few people to join our happy crew and contribute regular pieces of work. To rip off an earlier post of mine:
…If you’re the kind of person that prioritises buying albums or going to gigs over buying food, then come write a few reviews for us.
…If most of your time is spent in a mammoth Spotify click-through blur, come be one of our playlist crafters.
…If you spend all day on the Internet trawling music sites, then compile that stuff and chuck us some news.
…If you spend more time looking through a camera viewfinder than your own eyeballs, be our lensman/woman.
…If you fancy yourself less grammar Nazi, more grammar Hitler, come help us edit our content.
…If you can view HTML and PHP like Neo views the Matrix, slip in as our resident grouchy coder.
If any of these absurd stereotypes are you, get in touch. If you would rather just submit a one-off playlist, review or article, that’s fine too.
Finally, we’ve started work on a “once every now and again” newsletter, so if you’d like to be kept up-to-date with periodic bulletins, then please do feel free to subscribe.
The X Factor returns this Saturday, and we all know what to expect: the treacly piano score; the soft focus blur; the tears beginning to trickle down the contestant’s face during their tale about their paraplegic gran, and how she used to hum “Danny Boy” using only her throat mic after Nazi dentists stole her larynx, and that’s why in a modern interpretation they’ll now be singing “SK8R Boi” for dear old Gran. Its such a cliché that as soon as Keane come on the soundtrack you know the weeping chancer is going through. Other than this one downside, I’m looking forward to what is the saviour of the music industry.
Last week we had a feature lambasting reality TV shows and their impact on the music industry (If you haven’t read it yet then it can be found here. I’ll wait while you do.). I think these programs are a good thing and will attempt to convince you, too.
And you know what that means. Yes, after 99 Spotisfactions and numerous features over the last 6 months, I am leaving the Spotisfaction team.
Since it’s birth back in February, Spotisfaction has grown from two frustrated 20-somethings swapping playlists into, well, what you’re reading right now – A fully featured music blog with news, reviews and a handful of dedicated and enthusiastic contributors. I wish Dave and the rest of the team all the best in the coming months and look forward to seeing the further growth of our little baby.
Right, so without further delay, here is Thom Lavelle, posting a Spotisfaction playlist for the last time.
[Dave’s Note: Goodbye Thom, it’s been a massive pleasure my young sir. Stay safe, and keep us updated with your goings on. PEACE and TRUCKING]
Don’t do it, kids. Seriously. Just stay at home. I’m feeling like 17 tonnes of horrible today. It’s been a very busy week, very stressful. Speaking of stress, Stressechos (the band that Ben drums in when he’s not giving out free candy to children) cut an 4 track EP yesterday. I had a sneak listen to it and I have to say, I’m blown away. Further proof that there is more to the Cheltenham music scene than new-folk (not knocking new-folk, here. Just sayin’, is all). Is it “new-folk” or “nu-folk”? Gah, that conjures up horrible images of Fred Durst with a resonator…
Anyway, without further delay, here is today’s playlist. Bought to you by my very own Joform Hawling, entitled “Indie Disco”. Have a listen.
So, the millennium is suddenly ten years old, and the initial growing pains and troubles have been dealt with, and everyone is left looking forward in collective optimism. How apt it is then that the bands that carried the people through the bad times, remain as the soundtrack to their lives ten years on.
In 2010, Broken Social Scene continues to shine a light through the darkness.
Having released their forth studio album, Forgiveness Rock Record in May of this year, the Canadian mass ensemble seem to have created not just another skilled blend of sounds and emotions, but also a hugely credible indie-rock album. As a collection, Forgiveness Rock Record is arguably the band’s most accessible album yet, and certainly has a mood for any listener.
Opening with the epic and achingly beautiful World Sick, it is also noticeable that the group has perfected some true anthems here. As a gentle guitar refrain meanders against an ethereal pulsing rhythm, the chanting lyrics break in, just as the guitar sprinkles off, up into the atmosphere, culminating in a ‘smile on the face, hands in the air’ moment of bliss. Similar moments occur in Texico Bitches and inverse romantic ballad, Sweetest Kill.
However, the true gem of the collection is All To All; an interstellar blast that fuses together everything that the band, and their previous work, is all about, dream like emotional escapism. It achieves this euphoria through its use of tinkling guitar and synth effects, with the addition of a crisp drum machine beat, laced with mouth watering vocals.
The most striking element of this current album is the transition Broken Social Scene has made, and the path that led them to it. As one trawls through the unique band’s back catalogue, one cannot help but be amazed at just how different each collection appears; From the wispy instrumental debut, through the dark You Forgot It In People, and eventually landing in the anthemic power house of sound and feeling that they find themselves in today. This journey has molded the group from being simply another experimental indie band, to becoming fully fledged artists. After years of lulling the listener through a sweet dream, Broken Social Scene have finally escaped and now exist within their own sun soaked dream.
It’s very quiet at Spotisfaction Towers right now. Everyone is out doing busy things. Dave has gone on a trek to find himself. He found himself sat in front of his TV in his pants watching… whatever it is the people of the daytime watch. Some god awful show no doubt, a loud mouthed presenter barking at a family of criminals to change their ways. Yes, because your angry little-penis rant will really accomplish what a 2 year stretch in a correctional facility failed to do to these people. I shudder to think that TV such as this is allowed to exist. That’s why I don’t watch TV. That and Big Brother. Oh, and soaps. I mean, seriously guys… come on. I digress…
Today’s playlist is by the standup gentleman known as “WastedLegend”, aka Mike Sheldrick. A long serving, long suffering friend of mine. I’m quite excited about this one, truth be told. Hardcore Mike is hardcore. I’ll leave the rest to him.
Ballads of a Broken Man – Playlist by Mike Sheldrick (@Wasted_Legend)
Creep – Radiohead
The Scientist – Coldplay
Dry Your Eyes – The streets
Blinded by the Sun – The Seahorses
Original – Leftfield
40 Days – Lali-Puna
Image of you – Red Snapper
Six Says – DJ Shadow
Everybody Hurts – REM
Mr Nicholls – Coldcut
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Fast Car – The Rock Masters (Tracy Chapman cover)
Open your window – Reverend & The Makers
Get yourself together – Tahiti 80
The Warmth – Incubus
Hello – The Seahorses
Everything will be alright – The Killers
The title should explain the main theme of this playlist. I wanted to create a mini-symphony of tracks to play that really captivate the emotions behind the moment you hit rock-bottom. The tunes compiled here are a few numbers that I think best tell the story of a mind going round in circles trying to make sense of a situation. Taken literally, the songs listed here may demonstrate emotions you might feel during a break up, but this isn’t necessarily the theme. Rather, the tracks are meant to hold a sense of understanding that you can connect and relate to.
Starting with “Creep”. Reminding me of my days at school, I can picture a lost soul wandering round the courtyard feeling like a very small fish in a very big pond, struggling to fit in. The next few tracks sort of reflect a mind in pieces questioning all angles, The themes get a little darker towards the middle, towards the lyrically intense “Mr Nicholls”. I felt that to help ease the mood, I introduce a masterpiece of song writing from the legendary Leonard Cohen. Having seen this live at Glastonbury a few years ago, I can remember being reduced to tears as I witness a chorus of countless thousands waving their arms as he serenaded us with his deep and purposeful voice. Continuing in a refreshing vein, the list concludes with a few tracks that I feel still have a soulful sadness whilst also maintaining a sense of quiet optimism. However desperate the situation, two things you should remember.
You are not alone.
No matter how dark the night, the sun will always rise.
1. Behaving Badly – Animals As Leaders
2. Praha (Ancient Gold) – Ephel Duath
3. South Side Of The Sky – Yes
4. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed – Genesis
5. Strange Deja Vu [Scene Two] – Dream Theater
6. Deus Nova – Pain Of Salvation
7. Vocari Dei – Pain Of Salvation
8. Point To Point – Animals As Leaders
9. To Rid The Disease – Opeth
10. Blind Curve: Vocal Under Bloodlight/
Passing Strangers/Mylo/Perimetre Walk/Threshold – Marillion
11. Hoedown – Emerson, Lake & Palmer
12. Cross Eyed Mary – Jethro Tull
13. Plant A Nail In the Navel Stream – The Mars Volta
14. Faminepulse – The Mars Volta
15. Kasia – Rolo Tomassi
16. The First Man on Earth – Ayreon
17. The Sound Of Muzak – Porcupine Tree
18. Duel With The Devil – Transatlantic
The term ‘Prog rock’ seems to have a lot of connertations. One of my favourite answers to the dismissal of certain ‘labels’ was uttered by the Mars Volta thus:
“We are really tired of those labels and questions. Concept album? How can any huge project that takes up most of your life for a year not have a concept? Prog? How can any innovative, forward-thinking art or music not be progressive? It reminds me of when I first heard the term “Emo”, which was the most ridiculous label ever. How can anything you put your heart and soul into not be emotional?”
With that out the way, I’ve tried to do a mix that introduces people to what Prog, is, was, can be. Yes, there are odd time signatures, long songs, a little cheesiness, frantic musicianship, but there are also interesting, beautiful songs, incredible lyrics, and heartfelt experimentation.
The founders of prog from the 70s and 80s are well represented – crazy tracks from Yes, Genesis, Marillion, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Jethro Tull help outline the heritage of prog. A noticeable absence is King Crimson: Robert Fripp deciding to have all of his music removed from Spotify.
Then there’s perhaps the most visible representation of prog these days – Prog Metal. Animals as Leaders blend jazz riffs, crushing metal guitars, electronic percussion and soft synths to create a plush, dynamic atmosphere. Ephel Duath blend thrash with pure jazz aesthetic. Pain of Salvation take concepts to their extremes, whilst at the same time creating the most loving compositions – Vocari Dei is one of the most touching progressive songs I think you’ll ever encounter. Rolo Tomassi go for abstract song structures and extreme changes in dynamics, while Porcupine Tree craft accessibility into all their songs.
Closing the mix, Transatlantic are quintessentially prog. Suite-length songs, pop/rock/metal/jazz/psychadelic segues, cheesiness, musicianship. At 26 minutes, Duel With The Devil doesn’t try to be anything, other than a joy!
Apparently, it’s Friday today. This means that we are due a weekend. What you guys doing this weekend? I’m planning on heading over to The Swan in Cheltenham for Swanfest, an annual music alldayer comprised of local talent. Amongst this years acts are the fantastic Juey, John Madden & Tom Mitchell and Stressechos. I’ll be there from 2pm, what about you?
Today’s playlist is something that is going to take many of us back a number of years to simpler, more romantic times. The innocence of youth, eh? It’s Woody’s college rock playlist. I hopeth you enjoy.
Here’s Rhys (in his own, unapologetically unique style) with his take on this weekend’s free Tramlines Festival in Sheffield. If you’re going, let him know in the comments below – he’ll be the crazy person, you won’t miss him.
*Dons Ringmaster Costume*
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. Roll up. Roll up for a free festival in the fine Yorkshire city of Sheffield. You heard me right, Madam. Free. For You. In Sheffield. This Weekend. That’s right, this weekend of the 24th to the 26th of July. What’s that Sir? The Queues? You have heard correctly, Sir, that last year Queues were a problem but worry no more! We have rectified this problem and the result is less waiting and more entertaining!
We have a cavalcade of artistes and troubadours for your delectation and delight. Take a look at this e-flyer for details, and as a sneak peek take a listen to this Electronic Concert I have complied for you of our Biggest Names. All you need do is click here.
More details of the concert performers and some of their songs after the jump!
Bonjouretmercrediheureux. Apportez la discothèque! Today’s playlist is one of mine and is a combination of funky tracks that have got me through the last few days of stressful moving and acts that played 2000trees festival. All in all, it’s a pretty good mix. Check it.
As an aside, we’re really short staffed at the moment. So if you’ve submitted something please bear with us. We will try and get back to you as soon as possible.
Terry Poison – Commecicomme ca (The Twelves Remix)
Goldheart Assembly – King Of Rome
Klaxons – Forgotten Works
Errors – A Rumor In Africa
Trentemoller – Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!
65daysofstatic – Dance Dance Dance
Abe Vigoda – House
Tubelord – Night Of Pencils
Sleigh Bells – Infinity Guitars
Desaparecidos – Popn’ Off At The F
Little Fish – Am I Crazy
Sky Larkin – Octopus ‘08
The Xcerts – Home Versus Home
And So I Watched You From Afar – Set Guitars To Kill
Vessels – Altered Beast
Three Trapped Tigers – 6
Maybeshewill – He Films The Clouds Pt. 2
Daft Punk – Too Long (Gonzales Version)
Air – So Light Is Her Footfall
Metronomy – Love Song For Dog
Haven’t got much to say about this playlist. I just knocked it up as I fancied listening to a few tracks. Kicking off is The Twelves Remix of “Commecicomme ca”, which in typical Twelves style brings the disco. If you’ve never heard these Brazillian love bastards at work, this is a fantastic place to start. I slipped Goldheart Assembly’s “King Of Rome” in next because it just feels good, you know? Let’s keep things happy for now, eh? Tubelordwere at 2000trees, unfortunately I missed them. To make up for it, I’ll just leave “Night Of Pencils” here. I also missed Sky Larkin at the recent Broken Social Scene gig, which is a shame as they are fantastic – “Octopus ‘08” highlights this, then underlines it. Then draws a lightening bolt behind it. Kickin’ rad aces.
And So I Watched You From Afar were one of my favourite acts I did see at 2000trees. They were tight, they were vibrant and “Set Guitars To Kill” really sets the scene for the second half of the playlist.
Gonzales has a knack for picking fantastic tracks to re-imagining, and I’m sure you’ll remember the reworking of “Too Long” from Daft Punk’s catalogue.
Closing this playlist is Air’s sublime “So Light Is Her Footfall” and Metronomy’s “Love Song For A Dog”, which to be fair feels a little out of place, but I just wanted to end with it. They were fantastic at 2000trees and I know for a fact made a few converts to their cause with their sublime set.
Collaboration by Paul “Fozz” Foster (Contributor) and James Cook (Curator)
Both Fozz and JC had begun independently working on a Metal playlist, and discovered their simultaneity (boom) just before submitting to Spotisfaction. We decided to merge the two lists together in as fluid a fashion as possible, creating one list that retained the character of both originals. We hope you like it.
Periphery, the brainchild of Misha Mansoor, is a shining example of how far you can get through the online community. He built his name by showing his own tracks on music forums, Soundclick, YouTube and various other social media. Gaining a name for himself, he eventually formed a band, got a label and after 5 years releases the eponymous debut Periphery.
Animals As Leaders is another 1-man brainstorm. Tosin Abasi is perhaps one of the most talented guitarists alive at the moment. Mixing metal chops, jazz sensibility and Stanley Jordan inspired tapping techniques, he has created one of the most exciting prog releases of last year.
The playlist is a bit longer than I usually do, but I felt that was necessary to get across the character of a dual-mix, and also because there hasn’t been much metal on Spotisfaction up to now. I’ve tried my best to keep similar styles together where possible – there are notable nu-, thrash- and prog-metal sections for instance. Hopefully it works as a mix!
Most of the tracks I chose for the playlist are bands I used to listen to about 10 years ago during my mid teens when I went through a bit of a metal phase. The most notable tracks for me are the Pantera and Slayer tracks, both of whom are powerful and dominating forces of the genre, and it couldn’t really be called a metal playlist without them.
I’m not really a massive fan of some of the more well known prog metal bands (Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and such like) but fortunately there are quite a few exceptions to the rule. Opeth and Isis are prime examples of this, with their blissful mix of soaring riffs and floaty vocals.
Stampin’ Ground are a hardcore metal band from Cheltenham who I saw play at the Guildhall when I was in sixth form, and it was probably one of the most ferocious and insane gigs I’ve ever been to.
Afternoon, kids. Just a quick one to let you know that our normally brim-full submissions inbox is starting to run a little dry, so if you’re working on a playlist (or if you fancy creating one), then please get it to us. You can either email it to email@example.com, paste it into the box at https://www.spotisfaction.com/submit, or click on the little pencil icon on the top right of this page. All submissions will be published, and I can tell you from experience that even if you feel yours isn’t good enough, several of our readers will love it. No excuses! If you’d like to know a little more about what the process entails, feel free to email Thom or I.
Today’s is the third part in Ben’s “Soundtrack To My Life” series (see here for parts 1: 2006 and 2: 2007) and is his best yet, in my opinion.
Daft Punk – Around The World/ Harder Better Faster Stronger
Guillemots – Clarion
KT Tunstall – If Only
Panic At The Disco – These Green Gentlemen [Things Have Changed]
The Delays – Friends Are False
Bell Biv Devoe – Poison
Bell X1 – In Every Sunflower
Death Cab For Cutie – Your New Twin Sized Bed
Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
Pendulum – Visions
Groove Armada – Superstylin’
Coldplay – 42
Soulwax – Conversation Intercom
Supergrass – Sun Hits The Sky
Grandaddy – So You’ll Aim Toward The Sky
I Remember – Deadmau5
Ben Folds – Brainwascht
Keane – Black Burning Heart
Bloc Party – Biko
Patrick Wolf – The Bluebell
Will Young – You And I
Das Pop – Fool For Love
Radiohead – Like Spinning Plates (live)
This is the Soundtrack To My Life: 2008.
January – March
In many ways, my 2008 started off light and got gradually darker….kind of the inverse to Micheal Jackson.
I got into two great bands over the 2007 – 2008 Christmas holidays; The Electric Soft Parade and The Spinto Band. ‘Start Again’ by the former was constantly in my head as I travelled to and from Oxford for work, and when I returned to Oxford for uni in January. I’d got hold of the ‘Sawdust’ album by The Killers over the holiday also and loved their cover of ‘Romeo And Juliet’ so much that it made its way onto a January playlist I had at the time, also featuring ‘Start Again’, ‘Jump’ and ‘Play Your Cards Right’ by Common. This track features at the end of the Smokin’ Aces movie, which I saw at Christmas, and somehow makes me feel wealthy whenever I hear it. I went and saw Hot Chip at the end of Feburary that year. I went with a girl, Kate, who was simply a friend at the time who I knew through one of my then housemates. Following that gig, and our shared love of great music, we went out with each other and my most significant relationship ever began. Its really weird, but the Ben Folds Five track seems to have been written about her, its uncanny! My first gift to her was a copied cd i made featuring the fucking amazing ‘Alive 2007’ album by Daft Punk, which we both loved!
April – June
Both KT Tunstall’s album and Panic At The Disco’s new albums came out at this time, and both tracks featured here sum up the new happy, ‘loved up’ state I was in, ‘If Only’ kindof saying a big fuck you to all the girls gone before. One of Kate’s favourite songs to dance to was ‘Poison’, so, naturally I heard this song all the time around then.The song perhaps acting as a subtle message to me for the times ahead, hmmmmmm. We also went and saw The Delays around this time. She once played me ‘In Every Sunflower’ by Bell X1, and I didnt really think much of it. But when we then broke up, this rather depressing song was all I listened to all that week. I think its all about breakups. Having loved Death Cab For Cutie for a long while, I bought their ‘Narrow Stairs’ album the day it came out, and I remember going for long walks around Oxford’s Port Meadow listening to this album, trying to get over the breakup.
July – September
‘Thats Not My Name’ by Ting Tings came out in the summer of 2008 and I originally hated it. I then ended up loving it, and still do. Its a happy, bouncy song that smells of sunshine, so there. I bought my first Ipod in July of that year, and Pendulum were heavily present on it at this time. Me and my afore mentioned housemate went to Wakestock festival that summer, and one of 2 anthems that stood out for me that weekend were ‘Superstylin” and ‘Sun Hits The Sky’ by the closing headline act, Supergrass. I’d waited four years to see Supergrass live for that song alone, and I finally got to experience it, woop!
The epic and experimental album by Coldplay, ‘Viva La Vida’ came out, and I bought it on the Thursday it came out, first thing in the morning, because I was soo excited to hear it. It did not disappoint. I also got to see 2 Many Dj’s that summer, with Soulwax supporting. Fucking amazing gig, apart from the fact that my ex was at the same gig, grrr. All my housemates left our house for the summer, so I was left alone for about 3 months, wallowing in self pity, still trying to get over the harsh breakup. One of my all time favourite albums was discovered amoungst this mess, Grandaddy’s ‘The Sophtware Slump’. Its darkness and intimacy really comforted me over the long dark summer.
September – December
Me and my sister Jo, and Jim King went to The Big Chill Festival that summer, and I was instantly converted to dance music. That was the start of my fascination and exploration into all genres of dance, and one of the first tracks that hit me was ‘I Remember’ by the then unheard of Deadmau5. Me and Jo and Jim then went to see Deadmau5 in Oxford in September, and we were blown away! Ben Folds released his new album that autumn and ‘Brainwascht’ was my favourite track off it. Another one of my favourite bands, Keane, also released new material that October. I initially didnt like the ‘Perfect Symmetry’ album, but learned to love it as with all of their work.
As November set in, and the nights got darker, tracks with haunting refrains seemed to creep into my brain, including ‘Biko’ and most of Patrick Wolf’s material. On my birthday, November 6th, I turned 21, and I remember being in an underground indie club at midnight, alone at the bar waiting for a drink. Somone put none other than Will Young’s ‘You And I’ on the jukebox, which instantly made me smile, and sing along. It was distinctly at odds with my birthday head state, but seemed to work. As New Year grew closer, and as my stack of Mixmag magazines grew taller, the almighty Soulwax compiled a Mixmag cover cd, which was fucking awesome. One key track on there was ‘Fool For Love’, which again summed up my head space that year. My favourite all time Radiohead track was ‘Like Spinning Plates’ on the Amnesiac album, until some wise soul played the live version to me. This is now my favourite Radiohead track, and quite possibly my favourite track ever. Its beautifully intimate, delicate presence has an enchanting etheral quality to it, bookending my year perfectly.
So that was my 2008; A year of woe, drunken antics and the occasional smile and sunshine. All in all, the good times far outweighed the bad, but at the time I guess you tend to only focus on the negative. The true existence of fate or whatever lay in the specific tracks that hit me and stayed with me throughout the year. If only I’d caught wind of what they were really saying earlier on, maybe things would have turned out different. But then again, It was always meant to be that way, wasn’t it? Then again, thats what a true soundtrack is; a collection of sounds and messages that tell your story. 2008 was my most influencial mixtape, and still gets played to this day now and again. Probably because it doesn’t just exist on a page, or in an Ipod; it is real!
Last week, Thom and I spoke to Amazing Radio about Spotisfaction, our thoughts about Spotify, new music and life in general. Today, we’ve been featured on their blog and will be on the Afternoon Show before 4pm!