Artist Spotlights

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Artist SpotlightsMusic

Kavinsky Celebrates Nightcall EP Anniversary

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French electro-house artist Kavinsky’s Nightcall EP was originally released a year ago, but a feature in the film Drive renewed interest in it. To commemorate the occasion, Kavinsky and his label, Record Makers released an Anniversary Edition of the EP, produced by Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and mixed by SebastiAn — it features three brand-new “Nightcall” remixes.

Rdio is lucky to have the EP as well as an exclusive playlist of Kavinsky’s favorite tracks. Queue up Nightcall now, and listen to Kavinsky’s hand-picked tunes below.

Artist SpotlightsEvents

Welcome 2 Canada: Prince Embarks on Extensive Canadian Tour

Prince

Pop icon Prince has such a penchant for grand musical concepts and ideas that his eccentricity is now a large part of why he’s a household name. That his 34-date “Welcome 2 America” tour was as epic as it was should come as no surprise: his shows often clocked in at an impressive three hours, and were supported by secret opening acts that included Esperanza Spalding, Janelle Monáe, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Cee-Lo Green, and Chaka Khan, among others.

On November 25th, the groundbreaking musician will take his ambitious tour north of the border on the “Welcome 2 Canada” tour, meaning that fans in every province between Quebec and British Columbia will have a chance to catch a show for the first time since 2002.

Such an occasion begs for celebration, so we’ve compiled a playlist of Ultimate Prince songs to help get you in the mood. Many of these could be played in your city, so don’t forget to grab tickets while you still can.


Welcome 2 Canada Tour Dates

  • November 25 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
  • November 26 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
  • November 30 - Halifax, NS - Metro Centre
  • December 02 - Montreal, PQ - Bell Centre
  • December 03 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
  • December 05 - London, ON - John Labatt Centre
  • December 08 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
  • December 11 - Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre
  • December 13 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
  • December 16 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
  • December 17 - Victoria, BC - Save-On Foods Memorial Centre
Artist SpotlightsMusic

Hanging Out: Down With Webster

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With the release of debut album Time To Win, Vol. 1, Toronto rap/rock troupe Down With Webster successfully made the leap from their middle-school talent show beginnings to becoming a full-fledged act. It’s with their new album, Time To Win, Vol. 2 that the six-man outfit make their biggest step yet — to a major label.

Time To Win, Vol. 2 demonstrates the band’s readiness to present their big, party-centric sound to a whole new set of ears. To celebrate, Down With Webster have created an exclusive playlist for Rdio, and also let us interview them about their influences.

“As a band we take a lot of pride in how much energy our shows have. For as long as we've been performing, we have a ritual before concerts where we all get together backstage a few minutes before the show, and listen to music that gets us amped up and ready to go. It's pretty silly, we call it ‘getting evil,’ and it mostly involves all of us dancing and making stink faces, but it gives us a chance to get everyone together, in the right head space, pumped up for a show. Here are some of our favorites...”

“Down With Webster's ‘Getting Evil’ Pre-Show Playlist”:


Five Questions with Down With Webster

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Tyler Armes & Cam Hunter: In the hip hop world, Big L is probably the most underrated rapper of all time. He's incredible, so nasty. He was killed around the same time that Biggy and Tupac were, but never received the same kind of acclaim. Listen to the album The Big Picture. It's great front to back.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    TA & CH: You'll never get us to agree... so it's better not to even try.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    TA & CH: We all grew up on Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Weather Report, Prince, Tom Petty, Steely Dan, the music that our parents were into. The first bands that we felt like we "discovered" ourselves and loved were things like Sublime, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Lauryn Hill, Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest and the Chili Peppers.
  4. We hope people are __ when they listen to our music.
    TA & CH: Amped up/Inspired/Happy. Any of those would be fine when they listen to our music.
  5. We were thinking about _when we wrote music for the new album.
    TA & CH: The music that we write is always a reflection of what's going on in our own lives at the time. We always work in a very collaborative way, so on any given song, you might have parts from a few different members perspectives, or ideas that came from different places. The thing that each of the songs on the record shares, is that they made us excited about where we are at right now as a band.
Artist SpotlightsMusic

Get To Know: LIGHTS

Lights Photo

Canadian synth-pop chanteuse LIGHTS has done a lot of growing over the past few years. The Timmins, Ontario-born Valerie Poxleitner catapulted into the spotlight after releasing her self-titled debut EP in 2008, a milestone she quickly followed by releasing her debut full-length, The Listening.

Last month she released her sophomore album, Siberia, to widespread critical acclaim, demonstrating that she was ready to open up to new, developed sounds and textures. Siberia is far grittier than the pitch-perfect pop of LIGHTS’ earlier releases, thanks in no small part to a collaboration with fellow Canucks from electronic sound experimentalist Holy F***.

Fans curious about the origin of LIGHTS’ newfound inspiration should check out her playlist, “Songs I listen to as I drink a little juice and tend to my plants,” as well as a short interview with her, below.


Five Questions with Lights

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    LIGHTS: Canadian rapper, Shad. He's so talented and a genuinely good soul, not to mention brilliant. He deserves so much attention. I featured him on my new record, it was an honour to have him!
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    L: Right at this moment I would put on Feels by Animal Collective. Man, that record is so creative and easy to listen to.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    L: Joshua Tree by U2 is definitely up there. There are pictures of me sitting by/standing beside/sleeping on the vinyl when I was a wee kid. My dad jammed it all the time.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    L: Inspired and at peace.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    L: Beats, bass, and honesty.
Artist SpotlightsMusic

Getting to Know: Arkells

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Arkells are living the dream. Just a few years ago they were a bunch of friends playing softball together, but once they began playing music, it was just a matter of time before they were playing show after show and opening for their heroes — Pearl Jam, Tokyo Police Club, Metric, and Them Crooked Vultures. Their new album, Michigan Left, is catching on across Canada with its addictive choruses and exuberant guitar lines.

The Hamilton, Ontario quintet are about to embark on a cross-nation tour, starting November 2nd. We got in touch with them to ask a few questions — read their answers while you listen to Arkells' hand-picked playlist below.


Five Questions with Arkells

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Arkells: Joel Plaskett.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    Arkells: Wilco’s The Whole Love.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    Arkells: The Beatles - Help!
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    Arkells: At a pre-drink.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    Arkells: Kanye West's “All of the Lights” music video.

Playlist Notes

  • Taylor Swift - Speak Now: The music we listen to on tour.
  • Fleetwood Mac - “Everywhere”: Our favourite song right now.
  • Spoon - Gimme Fiction: Our pre-show jams.
  • The National - “Start a War”: A song that inspires us.
  • Tokyo Police Club - Champ: Music by an artist we've toured with.
  • Kanye West - “Homecoming”: A song that reminds us of home.
  • Jay-Z - “Lost One”
  • Katy Perry - “Teenage Dream”
  • Rihanna - “Only Girl (In The World)”
Artist SpotlightsExclusives

Getting To Know: Peggy Sue

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Having an album already under their belt made it easier for Brighton, England indie-folk trio Peggy Sue to more fully express themselves on their second full-length, Acrobats. The band felt better at their instruments after doing more touring (which they did with Kate Nash and Mumford and Sons), and were ready to channel their influences in a more nuanced way. Acrobats is the band’s most focused album, but it’s also louder and more ferocious than their debut.

The album isn’t out yet in North America, but you can stream Acrobats exclusively on Rdio now. Get to know Peggy Sue better by reading our interview with Peggy Sue's own Katy Klaw:

Five Questions with Peggy Sue

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Katy Klaw: Lindsay Powell (formerly know as Cake Bake Betty currently known as Fielded).
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    KK: The new Two Gallants album that they are making at the moment.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    KK: Motown Chartbusters Volumes 1-5.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    KK: Patient.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    KK: Whether choruses were completely necessary.
Artist SpotlightsMusic

Five Questions with MuteMath

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Earlier this week we announced an Rdio exclusive stream of MuteMath’s new album, Odd Soul, and this week the New Orleans band has curated an exclusive playlist for you. While you listen, read our interview below to learn more about this funk-loving quartet.

Five Questions with MuteMath

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    MuteMath: David Axelrod, especially ”The Human Abstract” and “The Fly.”
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    MM: James Brown - Say It Live and Loud: Live in Dallas.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    MM: Darren - Paula Abdul, Paul - Huey Lewis and the News, Roy - Buddy Holly and U2, Todd - Mozart.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    MM: Tickle fighting in a space walk.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    MM: Nice things.

Playlist Notes

What we've been listening to lately”: 
1. Jamie XX - Far Nearer
2. Little Dragon - Ritual Union

Just a reminder of one of the greatest moments in recorded music history”:
3. James Brown - There Was A Time

Great recent records we can't seem to stop listening to”:
4. The Stepkids - La La
5. Bibio - Lovers Carvings
6. Tame Impala - Solitude is Bliss

Reminds us of New Orleans”:
7. The Meters - Fire on the Bayou
8. Nina Simone - Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter

Good friends doing good things”: 
9. Son Lux - All the Right Things

Classic good-vibe ginger soul”:
10. Bobby Caldwell - Open Your Eyes

Artist SpotlightsExclusives

An Rdio Exclusive Pre-Release: MuteMath’s Odd Soul

MuteMath - Odd Soul

New Orleans rock quartet MuteMath returns with Odd Soul, their third full-length studio release. Due October 4th, Odd Soul is a high-spirited, power-pop romp that should please fans of guitar-based rock. Listen to the exclusive stream of "Odd Soul" now—a week before its official release—and stay tuned for Five Questions with MuteMath this Thursday, only on Rdio.

Artist Spotlights

Five Questions with Dominant Legs

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When San Francisco’s Ryan Lynch got laid off from his day job, he decided to spend his free time writing songs. Today, he and compatriot Hannah Hunt perform those songs under the name Dominant Legs. The two work together to turn Lynch’s unpolished pop songs into nuggets of 80s-indebted retro pop—which they’ve been recording since 2010—when they released a four-song EP titled Young at Love and Life.

This week, the band is releasing their debut full-length album, Invitation. The aptly-named LP is as danceable and catchy as their first release, and should hook any music fan upon first listen. Check it out now, and get to know the band by tuning into their “Favorite Songs Right Now” playlist and reading our interview with Lynch himself.

Five Questions with Dominant Legs

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Ryan Lynch: My friends in the band Terry Malts have been heard, but definitely not enough.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    RL: Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    RL: The Jackson 5’s Greatest Hits and Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    RL: Uplifted.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    RL: how we would like to introduce ourselves in a way that was fun and exciting yet honest...
Artist Spotlights

Five Questions with The Civil Wars

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Joy Williams and John Paul White are The Civil Wars, a gorgeously haunting folk duo hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. The two met in 2008, at a music studio where they were both attending a songwriting session. Just three years later, following the success of an online-only EP of their live performances in a Georgia music club, The Civil Wars recently released Barton Hollow, their debut full-length of tenderly plucked ditties. We got in touch with them to ask our Five Questions, and to share a playlist of the songs that inspire them.

Five Questions with The Civil Wars

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Joy Williams: Karen Dalton.
    John Paul White: Jeff Mangum.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    Joy: St. Vincent - Strange Mercy.
    John Paul: The Band - The Band.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    Joy: The Carpenters.
    John Paul: Merle Haggard - 20 Greatest Hits.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    Joy: Drinking whiskey.
    John Paul: Having relations.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    Joy: Too many things to fit into one sentence.
    John Paul: World dominance.