Artist Spotlights

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Artist SpotlightsThis Week on Rdio

Artist to Watch: 5 Questions with Strange Talk

Strange Talk

Strange Talk's debut Wind-Up Records release, Cast Away, has countless electrifying tunes that are bound to get stuck on repeat and never leave your head. We sat down with the Melbourne-based electro-pop band to discuss their new album, upcoming tour, and being one of Rdio’s 2014 Artists To Watch.

1. Where did you write the record?

We wrote the album in two completely different places. The first was a farm in Victoria in the country and the second was on the coast of Melbourne at a friend’s beach house. We locked ourselves away for several hours a day writing.

2. Were there any favorite artists that made an impact on the album’s sound or songwriting process?

There are so many musicians who made an impact on Cast Away! Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, and Queen are just a few of our long time influences. The album is a reflection of all the music we’ve listened to through the years of our lives and we put all these influences in a blender and out came the album.

3. How excited are you to finally debut these songs live in the US? What will the touring experience around this record be like?

We've spent a fair amount of time in the U.S. thus far playing in various cities, but never with an album released. So playing the songs that haven’t been released is always hard as no one knows them. It’s definitely a new chapter for us having an album out now.

4. You recently recorded an Rdio Session at SXSW. Can you tell us about the experience? What can fans expect from the live session compared to the album?

We try to make the live show different to the recording. We're big believers in having that difference because it seems so boring otherwise.

5. Who are some artists you think are on the verge of making it big and what is it like being chosen as one of Rdio’s 2014 Artists to Watch?

Warpaint and Great Good Fine Ok. To choose us out of all the other bands is very humbling and a huge honor! Thank you!

Strange Talk’s album, Cast Away is out today on Wind-Up Records. Keep up-to-date with all the band’s activities and follow Strange Talk on Rdio.

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Artist SpotlightsExclusivesMusicThis Week on Rdio

World Exclusive: Celine Dion Shares Album Commentary

Celine Dion

Celine Dion is back with her first English language album in five years. Loved Me Back to Life features duets with Stevie Wonder and Ne-Yo and was produced by a team of top producers including Babyface and Tricky Stewart. It’s a very fresh feeling and new release for the timeless diva, and now she’s sharing a behind the scenes view of it with you. Listen to the Loved Me Back to Life - RDIO Exclusive Commentary Version to hear Celine discuss her thoughts, feelings and motivations behind her latest release.

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Meat Puppets Now Rocking on Rdio

Meat Puppets

Meat Puppets might be most widely remembered as Nirvana’s favorite band that hit the road with them on the In Utero Tour in 1993 and guested on the seminal live recording of the 1994 album MTV Unplugged in New York. But the band has had a prolific and inspiring career all its own. The band formed around the family core of brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood have been together on and off for 33 years, a partnership that has yielded more than a dozen albums and helped an independent record label called SST one of the most influential in the DIY movement of the 1980s and 1990s.

Now that the Meat Puppets catalog is on Rdio, you have unlimited digital access to the work of these largely unsung country punk rock heroes, from commercial peak Too High To Die to fan favorite II and so much more. Eat to the beat!

∞  October 7, 2013 — 10:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

Scissor Sister Del Marquis Reveals Inspirations Behind Slow Knights

DelMarquis


Del Marquis is best known as the lead guitarist of the Scissor Sisters, but he also rocks out with his side project Slow Knights. In honor of the debut album Cosmos, Del has created an exclusive Cosmos Inspiration playlist for Rdio that reveals the many inspirations behind his funky solo recording.

His work channels the best elements and expresses a nostalgia for that time in the Eighties when R&B was so adventurous, it was practically intergalactic. Give Del’s mix a spin to hear classic gems from the likes of Rose Royce, Cherrelle, Prince, and Chaka Khan — and then take a trip to Cosmos.

∞  May 13, 2013 — 10:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

At Rdio Sessions: Missy Higgins

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Australian songstress Missy Higgins is hot off her tour with Gotye and back with her new single "Hello Hello" — she stopped by the Rdio HQ Penthouse for a performance last Friday. With the city of San Francisco as her backdrop, the Melbourne musician moved dexterously from the keyboards to guitar.

Ever wanted to know Missy’s favorite city to play and the song she can’t get out of her head? She indulged us and filled out an Rdio Survey. Find her answers below and view some fantastic photos of the event on Facebook.

Rdio Sessions - Missy Higgins

∞  July 5, 2012 — 1:00PM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

At Rdio Sessions: Dent May

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Mississippi singer-songwriter Dent May may have very well become a yoga instructor had Paw Tracks failed to come across the budding musician — at least that’s what Dent claimed on the Rdio Survey.

Lucky for us, Dent May seems to have a long career of funky folk beats and falsetto wailing ahead of him if his new album Do Things is any indication. Last Friday Dent May stopped by Rdio HQ’s penthouse for a soulful jam session. Take a scroll through the pictures on our Facebook and get the 411 on Dent May with his handwritten Rdio Survey.

Rdio Sessions - Dent May

∞  July 5, 2012 — 12:00PM

Artist Spotlights

Listen to Rhett Miller’s Fave Songs Playlist on Rdio

Rhett

Old 97s frontman and solo singer-songwriter Rhett Miller’s popularity rose steadily thanks to his strong songwriting and singing — no gimmicks. His latest album, The Dreamer, is another solid set from Miller. To celebrate the occasion, he’s wrangled his favorite songs into the playlist found below.

Rock, folk, pop — play Rhett Miller’s Faves now, and read his well-written notes on why he picked each song.

  • The New Pornographers - “Mutiny, I Promise You”
    Carl Newman writes great songs. Thorny, dense things, devoid of obvious handles and hooks, but sticky and slippery in the best way. Oh yeah, and Neko Case as a vocal counterpoint? Pretty sweet.

  • Guster - “Do You Love Me”
    Do you love handclaps? Do you love bells? Do you love songs that will keep you awake at night out of sheer catchiness? Then you will love this song.

  • Guided By Voices - “Teenage FBI”
    Once upon a time, The Cars' Ric Ocasek produced a record for the kings of lo-fi indie rock and this song came into being. At less than two minutes, this song challenges you not to play it again.

  • Redd Kross - “Peach Kelli Pop”
    This ultimate rocker, off their historic Neurotica album, will start any day off right. I wanted to include "Stay Away From Downtown" off their upcoming album Researching The Blues, which features the classic Neurotica lineup, but that album doesn't drop until August. In the meantime, you should be researching Redd Kross.

  • Dukes of Stratosphear - “Little Lighthouse”
    This XTC side project has never left my heavy rotation. I wish more people remembered them. Garage rock psychedelia that will melt your square brain. Play it loud.

  • The Head and The Heart - “Lost in My Mind”
    Seems these guys are blowing up these days. And rightly so. THATH are a great combination of the sweet little things I love about music (simple melodies, sparse moments), and the huge, fun things (mallet-wielding monster drummer, massive multi-part harmonies), and are, thus, one of my favorite new bands.

  • Carolina Chocolate Drops - “Cornbread and Butterbeans”
    I just love these guys. I hesitate to describe them too much. You should just find out for yourself. This song contains my new motto: “Eatin' beans and makin’ love as long as I am able".

  • Crowded House - “Fall At Your Feet”
    I toured with Neil Finn years ago and came away from the experience with a newfound respect for his enormous talent and admirable work ethic. Oh, and this new favorite song.

  • Ben Kweller - “Jealous Girl”
    BK has been blowing my mind since he was a kid. And his newest record may be his best yet.

  • Sarah Jaffe - “Clementine”
    This track appears on her new record Suburban Nature. It's a sweetheart of a song and a perfect showcase for the husky beauty of her pipes. To have such a special voice and the ability to write a song like this? An embarrassment of riches for my young friend Sarah.

  • Dawes - “When My Time Comes”
    With songs like this, Dawes time should be coming... Right. About. Now.

  • The Pixies - “Wave of Mutilation”
    The greatest song of all time. That's all.

Yrs, Rhett

∞  June 15, 2012 — 9:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

Play Cadence Weapon’s Dirt City Influences Playlist

Cadweap

Edmonton, Alberta native Rollie Pemberton, aka Cadence Weapon, is not your average MC. The rapper has received acclaim in the past for experimenting with the rap format, using sparse, austere soundscapes and out-there electronic as beats for his unique flow and thoughtful lyrics.

Want to know what inspired the eclectic sounds of Cadence Weapon’s new album, Hope in Dirt City? Listen to his playlist of influences, En Route to Dirt City, and then sample his new album to hear where his hip-hop is headed next.

∞  May 31, 2012 — 10:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

Listen to Kate Campbell’s New Album and Playlist

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After almost 20 years of recording songs on the acoustic guitar, folk singer Kate Campbell is returning to the instrument on which she was introduced to music: the piano. 1000 Pound Machine is a sparse and moody album, characterized by her subtle piano playing and Will Kimbrough’s elegant guitar. The album features guest spots from legends like Spooner Oldham, Emmylou Harris, and Sloan Wainwright — it is on Rdio now for your listening pleasure.

As an added bonus, Campbell selected a playlist of her Favorite Artists. Listen to 1000 Pound Machine and playlist, along with Campbell’s notes on her song choices, below.

Playlist Notes

  • The Allman Brothers Band - “Midnight Rider”
    I think “Midnight Rider” is a haunting song. I listen to it at least once a day when I'm on the road and even have it as a ring tone.

  • Will Kimbrough - “Interstate”
    Will Kimbrough is the producer of my new album and “Interstate” is another one of those life on the road songs I'm so partial to.

  • Jimmy Webb - “Galveston”
    I don't know if I need to say anything about “Galveston” and Jimmy Webb but the song usually makes me cry and I don't know why.

  • The Rolling Stones - “Moonlight Mile”
    I am currently re-listening to all of the Rolling Stones albums and working on collecting all of their re-releases.

  • Dolly Parton - “Down From Dover”

  • Emmylou Harris - “If You Were A Bluebird”

  • Shirley Horn - “If You Go Away”
    Like most of the tunes on my playlist, I always carry with me a CD by Dolly, Emmylou and Shirley Horn. These three tunes always stay at the top of my list. Dolly wrote “Down From Dover” and Emmylou and Shirley's interpretations of “If You Were A Bluebird” and “If You Go Away” are near perfect.

  • Marc Ribot - “Sous Le Ciel De Paris”
    I like so much of Marc Ribot's work, and “Sous Le Ciel De Paris” is what I call a landscape tune.

  • Glenn Gould - The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981): A State Of Wonder
    I always carry some classical music on the road. In honor of my new piano CD, I'm listening to Glenn Gould's brilliant A State of Wonder. This is a set of Bach's Goldberg Variations containing Gould's 1955 recording and the later 1981 interpretation. Really almost beyond words.

Artist Spotlights

Listen to Whispertown’s Parallel on Rdio

Whisper

Whispertown is the indie folk project of Los Angeles’ Morgan Nagler and a rotating cast of her friends. Formerly dubbed The Whispertown 2000, Nagler perfected her indie folk sound on tours with The Breeders, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, and She & Him, among others. Her full-length discography includes was 2008’s Swim, and Parallel, which updated her sound with touches of Postal Service-style electronica.

Parallel is now available on Rdio, courtesy of Gillian Welch’s record label, Acony. Listen to Parallel now, and catch Whispertown on their current tour with Margo & The Nuclear So and So’s.

∞  April 16, 2012 — 10:00AM