I've noticed that a lot of my friends who use Spotify have developed a new habit. Every Monday morning without fail I watch in my friend feed as they all pour over their Discover Weekly playlists throughout the course of the day. This is all well and good. I'm actually happy to see that my friends in and out of the music business are anxious to find new music to bring them joy.
In terms of what happens post-playlist, though. I'm never really sure. I only really hear about when the magical Spotify-powered algorithm "fails" someone during any given week. I never hear the celebratory "THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE BAND!! THANKS ALGORITHM!!" or "GOING TO SEE MY NEW FAVORITE BAND TONIGHT THANKS TO A PLAYLIST!"
How does one communicate with a playlist/algorithm exactly?
This is where yours truly comes in to play.
Starting today, I'm launching what I will playfully be referring to as the di-SKOA-ver weekly playlist. (You know me and my love of puns! I couldn't help myself.)
This is how I intend to run such a playlist:
Just like Spotify, once a week the dedicated playlist below will be updated with a fresh crop of songs.
Just like Spotify's playlist, some will be old, some will be new.
I will mostly be sourcing the music on my own, but will occasionally be taking recommendations from Sprout, Shey, and Fam Like You!
Unlike the Spotify playlist, should you find yourself in love with a song/band, upon adding that music to your own collection YOU'LL HAVE A HUMAN TO TALK TO ABOUT IT.
Another important thing! All the artists in said playlist I will learn things about before updating the playlist for the week so when we talk it'll actually be a stimulating conversation!
More importantly, if I notice that a ton of people are interested in the same artist, I'll make it a priority on the site to do more coverage for them in the form of tour updates, interviews, etc.
Obviously you are encouraged to follow this playlist from your Spotify account, but I'll also make sure the playlist is sitting pretty on the homepage for your convenience.
Can't stop. Won't stop. Can't stop working. But it's chill though, the atmosphere I've been launched into has me surrounded by people who are music junkies just like me! In fact, I found Michl courtesy of one of my dope new friends at the office I'm in right now. (Thanks dude!) Sprout and I also hit up Honne on Tuesday this week where we hung out in the dungeon of a basement at Mercury Lounge and chatted with with James and Andy before they got the entire place pregnant. It's good to be busy. Then we had Flagship at Rough Trade on Friday night. Those guys were super great too. Can't wait to interview them and officially usher them into the skoa fam. But yeah, there's a lot going on but the majority of it is awesome. I guess you could say I'm #stressedbutalsoblessed. I hope you enjoyed this week's show. I'd love to hear from you if I just introduced you to your new favorite song (I know I'm kind of obsessing over SOULS right now).
It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrrrrr.... well, for releases anyways. Now that fall is officially hear, everyone and their next door neighbor are releasing something (or are about to) and we are more than ready to embrace them all with open ears. Don't be surprised if we end up doing multiple mixes a month for awhile to make sure that none of the good stuff makes it to the cutting room floor in the SKOA HQ. Please enjoy Some Kind of Mixtape: September 2012 courtesy of the 8tracks player above. Make sure you head over to 8tracks and check out our other mixtapes, to. Oh, and as always, make sure you have a look below to learn more about the tracks selected for this mix.
When they released their debut in 2010 I was kind of indifferent towards them. Not because I didn't like what I heard but I don't think I let myself listen to Tame Impala all that much around my normal listening patterns. With album two this will not be happening. Lead single from Lonerism is a psych-rock chug of a track called "Elephant" and yeah, it's been floating around the net since back in July but it's a bloody great track that just gets better and better with each listen. The album is just as good and set for release next week on October 9th so why not pick it up. - Shey
For the 2nd month in a row, Doomtree rhyme spitter P.O.S. makes it on our SKoA mixtape with his 2nd single "Fuck Your Stuff" from the upcoming album We Don't Even Live Here dropping later this month. The Lazerbeak production on the track has a nice mainstream rap feeling but P.O.S. keeps the track true to his roots with his anti-material rhymes and punk demeanor making this one to bump loudly in your whip while flying your rebellion flag high. - Rocko
I simply cannot stop championing NYC band Lucius. I am so proud of how far they come, especially with tracks like "Turn It Around" off their most recent self-titled EP. The song stomps through your ear drums as singers Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe boldy belt and blend their beautiful vocals and walk you through the trails of a girl who is unable to let go of a failed relationship. The sheer power in this song as well as the rest of the EP is why I can't stop coming back to it. - Kibbe
Sam Ray's ambient soundscapes are always a pleasure to indulge in, and "(stay)" is in no way different. Using a somewhat out-of-left-field Ashanti sample, the producer builds around it with a pounding haziness and echoing synthesizers. It's easy to get lost in the dreamy sounds that Ricky Eat Acid offers here. Who knew Ashanti was still a viable presence in music? - Adrian
We've been waiting for Deftones new album for what seems like forever. I'm exaggerating of course but their last studio release was Diamond Eyes and with that they raised the already high bar they'd set themselves. That album was devine to listen to from front to back and their new tease of LP number seven, Koi No Yokan, seems to have picked up just where that one left off. Titled "Leathers" it's a rather chilled out introduction before your head is knocked off your shoulders with Chino's screech of a vocal. It's the kind of track your parents might tell you to turn down if you're living at home with it on yet all you want to do is turn it up louder. The new album is set for release on November 12th via Reprise and we are oh so excited. - Shey
It's hard for me to talk about Breakbot without comparing his music to my favorite Daft Punk album, Discovery. With the release of his debut LP, By Your Side, Breakbot brings back the funk with his signature electronic disco style which will keep you grooving all night long and again reminds me of all my favorite parts of Daft Punk's sophomore album. Don't believe me? Take a listen for yourself with the opening track "Break of Dawn". By Your Side is out in Europe and we hope to see a stateside release very soon. - Rocko
My addiction to Blackbird Blackbird has everything to do with how effortless every lushly layered track that they release seems to be. "All" is no exception to this. Since we first met the electronic outfit it's quite apparent that they have most certainly continued to step up their game. This time around they pair dark hazy vocals with bright chiming synths and gentle murmurring guitars. Definitely worth grabbing for yourself. - Kibbe
If there is anything Patchwork absolutely nails with every release, it's mood. The guy knows how to evoke a certain atmosphere and emotion in his songs, such that it translates seamlessly to the listener. "Cigarettes" is the type of song perfectly fitting for those nights where you find yourself in the city late at night, being swept up in all kinds of crazy experiences and meeting new people left and right. It has a certain mystery to it, a sense of ambiguity and curiosity that urges you to continue listening, despite the uncertainty. It is charming yet skeptical, a song that is somehow as addicting as its title implies. - Adrian
Danny! - "Evil"
It's been a long time coming for Danny Swain who has been trying to out his latest record Payback for the last few year. After running the gauntlet and overcoming the label circus, Danny! has found a home with buddy ?uestlove of The Roots and his newly revamped OkayPlayer label. After being signed to the label, Danny dropped the first official single from Payback titled "Evil" featuring Gavin Castleton and Amber Rose Tamblyn which I haven't been able to stop playing since its release and witnessing Danny's domination of Jimmy Fallon performing the track alongside The Legendary Roots Crew. Payback is out now. Go pick it up. - Rocko
Haters gonna hate. I've been an avid Muse fan for quite some time and with each release they get more and more wacky and crazy. Their new album The 2nd Law is no exception and with it being released this week the world over people are struggling to find a set theme for the album. It jumps from genre to genre like a fly on crap but if you throw enough of said crap at a wall it's bound to stick eventually, right? Some indeed does and an early favourite of mine is track three; a funk filled, slap base heavy eccentric piece just showcases how well Muse can be Muse when they want to be. Yeah they're going to be everywhere for the next 12 months or so but so be it, when they can go from playing heavy RATM riffs to something like this and then a dance-filled Dad rock number all in the space of 10 minutes it's going to get weird. - Shey
Following their EP How Chill Can You Let Go comes a new track, "Driftin" from LA rockers Y LUV. This time around the four-piece show a new depth that they hadn't explored in tracks like, "All Night" as the song slowly gets ahold of your heart strings and refuses to let you go until the very end. It's easily just as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. "Driftin" is off their new EP, It Doesn't Have To Make Sense, which was released yesterday. You can stream it over on Soundcloud.
Teen Daze - "Garden 2" (from his upcoming LP The Inner Mansions)
I've listened to this song over and over since Vancouver producer Teen Daze dropped it two weeks ago, and every single time I come to the same conclusion: the song is absolutely stunning. In a way that quickly recalls the tranquility that Sigur Rós so often exemplifies, "Garden 2" is a beautiful and dazzling arrangement. It is a sensory overload, yes, but one that you want to submerge yourself in and listen again and again. I tweeted this to Teen Daze yesterday, and it sums up this song nicely: ""Garden 2" is an amazingly tranquil song. I just wanna lay in a field and smoke with a pair of headphones on." 'Nuff said. - Adrian
Another month gone by and another handful of music that your friends at SKOA are offering up for your listening pleasure. The February edition of the Some Kind of Mixtape series features artists from all over the world, some of which might not be known by many of you. Either way, give the mixtape a listen and let us know who you enjoyed, and perhaps who you didn't, and make sure to give us feedback on this relatively new monthly feature. Our mixtape is hosted on 8tracks, a favorite of ours in the world of music sharing communities, so make sure to head over there and show your support. In the "liner notes" you will find written explanations from each of the SKOA writers regarding their choices for the month.
We hope you enjoy Some Kind of Mixtape: February 2012!
Hawk Eyes - "Skyspinners" (from their upcoming album Ideas)
So, if you're a regular reader you may of realised I have a personal love for Leeds band Hawk Eyes and with their new album Ideas being released later this month my love has only grown. Their lead single "Skyspinners" is the perfect taste of what's to come on the album. Heart thumping drum lines and guitar riffs renascent of QOTSA in places thrown together with a lighter worthy slow breakdown make for the perfect little tease from the band. Look out for their new LP when it drops on March 26th. - Shey
Death Grips - "Get Got" (from their upcoming album The Money Store)
People loved these guys and their Exmilitary release and now with the announcement that Death Grips have signed to Epic and are to release two records this year I am one of those people falling for them. While they're not the most what you might call, radio friendly type group, the music they make just talks to me. It's brash and abrasive whilst managing to make you wanna turn it up loud to soak it all up. I'm hooked and I hope a few of you will be too. - Shey
What can I say about a track that just oozes awesome. Well let's see, the comeback track from Santigold sent the internet into a frenzy in a matter of minutes with the synthy intro and reverb filled snare leading into a beat you just simply cannot get a groove onto. Add to this a harsh guitar jab here and there and Santigold's vocal work it all ties into a track that is sure to be one of (hopefully) many this year that will be spun time and time again by not just me, but some of you too. Let's get excited for her new album Master of My Make-Believewhich comes out May 1st on Downtown/Atlantic. - Shey
Montage Populaire - "Reject Reinstall" (from their upcoming Not All Bombs Explode EP)
Southampton experimental pop five-piece Montage Populaire has latched onto my ear drums with their single, "Reject Reinstall" from their forthcoming debut EP Not All Bombs Explode. Hours after you've stopped listening to the song and left your house you will soon find yourself humming the melody and muttering to yourself, "Why can't I just listen to that again RIGHT NOW?!?!" To think that this EP was recorded and mixed over the summer of 2011 in an old meat locker that the band had been using as a rehearsal space just adds to their quirky wonderfulness for me. Not All Bombs Explode is set for release on March 19th courtesy of a joint venture between Popular Recordings, Tri-Tone & PIAS UK. - Kibbe
Computer Magic is simply fun and charming, with an upbeat and poppy 8-bit sound driving her music forward. The solo project of Toronto's Danielle Johnson, Computer Magic takes a note from the eccentric and quirky style of band's such as Lemon Jelly, and in every facet her Orion Minimix is just that. Specifically, her track "Moving Forward" is outright fun and enjoyable on so many levels, with 8-bit synths leading the show and odd sounds popping in at every possible opportunity. Add in the fact that Johnson's vocals are executed in such a simple and calm manner, and "Moving Forward" encapsulates everything that makes music entertaining. - Adrian
When I first came across Noah Kittinger's (quite literal) bedroom project Bedroom, I was immediately intrigued, and since premiering his Toys EP last month, it's been amazing to see the blogosphere react to his music. His music perfectly embodies the simplicities and joys of life, the moments where you sit back and relish in the good times, despite the fact that these songs were written in a time of depression. With airy, distant vocals, entrancing acoustic guitar riffs, subtle percussion and an overall attitude of calm serenity, Bedroom's music has an incredibly alluring quality, and his song "You'll See" captures this perfectly. - Adrian
From the EP of the same name, "Futures" is a chilltastic little gem that I've been keeping to myself this month. RxGibbs is a Michigan-based producer that recently signed to the ever-solid Cascine. I've continued to come back to this song all month because of its ability to clear your head almost instantly. The vocals that he's peppered in are so cool and soothing coupled with the laid back synths and beats. Futures dropped just this past week, so make sure you grab it here. - Kibbe
It has been a pleasure watching Lucius grow into their own on their new self-titled EP. The Brooklyn duo has gone from cramming friends and a few fans into Rockwood Music Hall to taking the stage at the Bowery Ballroom at such a natural pace that you can tell the amount of care that they have taken to carve out a sound of their own. Having heard "Don't Just Sit There" way back in 2010 as just a sketch of a song, these lovely ladies have transformed it into a full-blown piece of artwork that people of all types can connect with. Head over to their official website and show them some love - Kibbe
Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago stands as one of my favorite albums, and the song "Skinny Love" as the standout track. When the rather unknown PANAMA released Good Winter, I was immediately excited to hear how they had remixed the aural beauty of Justin Vernon's work, and in no way was I disappointed. The album takes crucial elements of Bon Iver songs and reworks the rest in such a way that it is unique in its own merits, but still retains the recognizable stamp of the original. "Porcelain (Skinny Love)" is where the album shines, though, as it takes the original song's memorable guitar riff and combines it with the distinctive and captivating sounds of a glockenspiel to create a very simple yet powerful take on an already amazing song. - Adrian
Two years ago at CMJ I gushed about catching Lucius over at Rockwood Music Hall. Since then, the up-and-coming Brooklyn band spent some time fine tuning their craft and carefully crafting their forthcoming self-titled EP which is set to release on Valentine's Day this year. From said EP is a song I remember them toiling over way back then, "Go Home", which now is all smoothed out with its finishing touches and complete with a cool video that premiered over on Filter earlier today.
The band will be perfoming at Bowery Ballroom on February 17th with Other Lives followed by a show in Los Angelese at Echo on the 29th before making their way to SXSW to do the rounds down there.
My first stop of the night was at Rockwood Music Hall to catch Brooklyn-based Lucius. The two singers, Jess and Holly, sing sweet and soulful songs accompanied by a small handful of musicians at any given time. I love how they bring music back to the basics - back to a time of things like clapping, stomping and humming along without anything overly flashy going on. No gimmicks. No costumes. Just two ladies sharing their hearts with you the best way they know how.
One of my favorite songs of theirs, "If I Were You", is a timeless tune about a girl who is anxiously waiting on the guy she's currently seeing to tell her that he loves her. "Baby, we've played this game for quite some time, tiptoeing on the same fine line" the girls sing in perfect harmony during the chorus. The scenes they paint in your mind, laying in bed next to someone you love, counting their freckles while they're sleeping, finding the scent of them on your pillow, etc. really give you a warm lovey feeling by the end of the song. If you're looking for a new "fall" band to snuggle up to as it starts to get cold, I would most definitely suggest this one.