Discovering new music with Spotify’s SXSW playlist

The official SXSW 2015 Music playlist on Spotify has over 90 hours of music that you’ve probably never heard before. And some of it is good.

Lately I’ve been using Spotify’s curated playlists found in the ‘Browse’ section of the app. I enjoy listening to the Focus category with my headphones on tight, letting the soothing tones wash away the noises of the world while I get some heavy work done.

Say what you will about Spotify, but I’ve come across a lot of new music using the app. This morning, I’ve been deep into the SXSW playlist. I’ll warn you, the playlist jumps around between many different genres. You may love that, or you may hate it. I’ve been listening all morning and I love it. I now have at least 5 new favorite bands.

Some of my favorites are “Slybounce” by Sandunes, a bouncy and energetic electronic number. “Paradise Girls” off the latest album by Deerhoof has some of the coolest guitar work I’ve heard in a while.  “Sick Beat” is super fun candy pop from London-based Japanophiles Kero Kero Bonito.

And I’ve found not 1 but 2 bands that can rival King Missle’s knack for making spoken word music exciting. “One Night in NYC” by the Horrorist is a tale of sex and drugs set over a bizarre electronic beat. Public Service Broadcasting plays archived audio from public info films over electronic music. With “Gagarin” they play clips talking about famous Cosmonaut Uri Gagarin over high energy horns and guitars.

I find that songs written outside of my native language make for superb work music.  It is somehow less distracting when I have no idea what the artist is singing about. “Embeleso” by Carolina Camacho has mesmerizing harmonies. “Mwana We Shumba” by Joel Laviolette is utterly hypnotic.

Buy the ticket and take the ride folks. You’ll be doing yourself a great disservice if you do not.

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