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Tag: EW Playlists (11-20 of 34)

The Great Folk Rock Revival: how bands like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers are leading a global phenomenon -- plus an ultimate Spotify playlist

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The following is excerpted from a feature in this week’s Entertainment Weekly.

To read the full story, find the issue on newsstands now — and scroll down to stream our ultimate folk-rock playlist featuring ten essential tracks from the current crop of stars, plus a starter kit of earlier classics.

The future of rock & roll looks a whole lot like the past. It’s wearing vintage suspenders and playing the banjo. It’s singing high-lonesome harmonies and rediscovering Woody Guthrie. And it was all over the Grammys this month, as some of the year’s biggest bands took the stage with old-timey instruments and formal attire straight out of There Will Be Blood. Before taking Album of the Year, the night’s top prize, for their Americana-fueled barn burner Babel, British folk-rockers Mumford & Sons showed off their fingerpicking and their fedoras, stomping their weathered boots to their floorboard-rattling anthem “I Will Wait.” Denver indie band the Lumineers strummed their ubiquitous “Ho Hey,” while their bow-tie-clad drummer kept time with a tambourine. After picking up their Best Country Album prize, Atlanta bluegrass lovers Zac Brown Band joined Elton John, Mumford, and more for an all-star Levon Helm tribute, performing the Band’s 1968 classic “The Weight.” For one night, at least, Hollywood felt just about as down-home as the Midnight Ramble, Helm’s legendary Woodstock jam session.

Backstage after the show, sipping from a plastic cup, Marcus Mumford celebrated his win: “It’s f—ing awesome!” he shouted. But he wasn’t quite ready to declare a victory for folk rock just yet. “I think it’s always been around,” he told EW. “And you guys”—meaning Americans—”did a good job of inventing it. The media likes to focus on things at certain times, and that’s good for us. That means we get to play lots of shows.”

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15 Artists to Watch: Listen to the Spotify playlist here

An A-to-Z (literally!) of the most exciting new artists releasing albums this year — in every genre from rap and indie rock to country and K-pop. And give all these rising acts a listen with our Spotify playlist at the end.

ALUNAGEORGE The U.K. boy-girl duo’s electro beats and stuttering slinky-sweet vocals feel like a ’90s flashback and the future at the same time, in the best way. Key track: “Your Drums Your Love”

ATLAS GENIUS The Australian brothers deliver dance rock with smart melodic swagger. February’s When It Was Now brims with Phoenix-y hooks. Key track: “Trojans”

BEACH FOSSILS These lo-fi Brooklyn darlings create the hazy, reverb-soaked pop that used to come out on obscure cassette tapes. Clash the Truth, out Feb. 19, should find them upping the ante (and the fidelity). Key track: “Careless”

BECKY G When pop Svengali Dr. Luke saw a video of L.A. native Rebecca Gomez, now 15, freestyling over Jay and Kanye’s “Otis,” he immediately signed her to his new label. Key track: “Problem”

FAMILY OF THE YEAR The coed fivesome make the kind of prettily cinematic indie folk that prime-time TV-drama montage dreams are made of. Key track: “Hero”

FRENCH MONTANA This Bronx hustler’s street-approved mixtapes made him a rap-blog favorite; now he’s ready to take it wide on his major-label debut, Excuse My French, due in March. Key track: “Pop That”

GIRLS’ GENERATION Sugar-rush pop from a nine-girl group already huge in Asia. Their I Got a Boy, out now, makes putting up with months of “Gangnam Style” seem worth it. Key track: “I Got a Boy”

HAIM Three SoCal sisters mash up their middle-school dance playlists on the Forever EP, infusing sunbaked keys-and-guitar buzz with R&B strut. Key track: “Go Slow”

ANGEL HAZE You might’ve heard about her Twitter beef with Azealia Banks or her feminist twist on Eminem’s “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” but you’ll remember her for her beatboxed samples and spitfire storytelling. Key track: “New York”

LOCAL NATIVES After opening for Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and earning comparisons to Grizzly Bear, these Angelenos are indie rock’s next great hope. Key track: “Breakers”

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The best songs on TV this season: EW talks to the music supervisors behind 'Girls,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Revenge,' and more

GIRLS-DANCING

What are music supervisors from some of TV’s hottest shows loving in 2013? Read on to find out what you’ll be hearing while you’re watching. Then listen to our Spotify playlist of their picks when you’re done:

MANISH RAVAL (GirlsHappy EndingsNew GirlCommunityBen and Kate)

“With Lena [Dunham, Girls' creator], music is very important to the process. We’ll send each other songs, kind of like the old-fashioned mixtape trading. In the new season [premiering on HBO Jan. 13], there’s this gigantic moment with Hannah doing cocaine for the first time, and we have Icona Pop‘s ‘I Love It.’ Angel Haze‘s ‘Werkin’ Girls’ has a big feature later in the season, and we had Tegan and Sara cover the Rolling Stones’ ‘Fool to Cry’ specifically for the show.

Otherwise, I love this So Many Wizards song ‘Lose Your Mind,’ the new Lavender Diamond album, and bands called The Babies and The Little Ones that I got to use on New Girl. Angel Olsen is someone who I’m really trying to get into something. And this song ‘Nothing Is Wrong’ by Mika Ben-Yami is just ripe to be used in something.”

SEASON KENT (RevengeArrow)

“For the first episode of Revenge [Jan. 6 on ABC] we got the Chromatics cover of Neil Young‘s ‘Hey Hey My My,’ for a great montage, and Tame Impala‘s ‘Elephant.’ I got their first use, and it’s from their new record that everybody is freaking out about now. I really loved this beautiful, sparse, simple Azure Ray song that we used, ‘The Heart Has Its Reasons.’ On Arrow [returning Jan. 16] I’m using more mainstream stuff because the CW audience is a little younger—like Maroon 5, deadmau5. But I did use ‘Sparkly,’ by Young Magic, a really dreamy kind of electro indie rock.

Also, I can’t stop listening to ‘Pull Me Down’ by Mikky Ekko. It’s too good, I can’t handle it right now. I’m really loving the new Local Natives album,. I think they’ll really be able to take the next step. The Jessie Ware record was one of my favorites from last year. “Forever,” by Haim – they’re three sisters, and they’re so cute and so energetic, but they really rock. You just don’t expect it at all.” READ FULL STORY

EW's Holiday Playlist -- Christmas Cheers and Tears: Stream it here

In this playlist, we skip the standards in favor of some lesser-known holiday gems — whether you’re bursting with yuletide joy or sobbing under the mistletoe.

Take a look at our picks below, and stick around to the end to listen to all these songs (except for the Dum Dum Girls song, which, sadly, wasn’t available) via Spotify stream.

CHRISTMAS CHEER

• STEVIE WONDER, “Christmastime” (1967) Forget the scent of pine or even the spirit of brotherhood: True seasonal bliss is Stevie’s harmonica-laden fireside swoon.

• WIZZARD, “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” (1973) Awesomely zonky glam rockers hang their glitter boots by the chimney with flair.

• JULIAN CASABLANCAS, “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” (2009) The Strokes frontman turns an SNL skit into a song-length sugar rush for all the cool kids whose stockings come stuffed with artisanal candy canes and Portlandia DVDs.

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What songs did you listen to the most this year? EW's music staff weighs in

Sometimes 2012 felt like a continuous loop of the same seven pop songs (or maybe just one, “Some Young Gangnam Diamond That Never Called Me Maybe on a Payphone (Like, Ever),” if you prefer a mashup.)

Some of those songs are truly great, and you’ll find more than a few of them on our official Year End Top 10 list in the upcoming Best and Worst issue of EW on stands Dec. 17.

But this is a separate list: One that our staff put together to celebrate the dozens of other artists — from Japandroids and Jessie Ware to Meek Mill and Avett Brothers (and yes, some Taylor and Ke$ha and Kanye, too)  — who stayed on repeat in our offices and on our iPods these past 12 months.

Read on, and listen to them all on the Spotify playlist we’ve provided while you do — it will be like you’ve been right here with us all year. Lucky!

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Pink, Macklemore, Miguel, and others populate EW's November playlist

This week’s issue of EW marks the launch of a new tradition, wherein once a month the music staff selects its favorite tunes for a monthly mixtape. These range from current singles to deep cuts on blockbuster albums to hidden gems from the fringes of the indie world.

The month of November is a tough one, as it represents the transition into winter, the start of always-stressful holiday travel, and coma-inducing 6,000 calorie meals. You’ll need an extra bit of musical swagger to get through the next 30 days, which is why the playlist below features some extra-tough ladies (Pink, Solange), braggadocious rappers (The Coup, Macklemore), Fonz-level indie cool (Nude Beach, Django Django), and an extra-saucy candles-and-backrubs jam from Miguel.

Give the Spotify playlist a spin below, and stay tuned for more recommendations from your friends here at EW’s Music Mix. READ FULL STORY

Jam your way through Hurricane Sandy with our rainy day songs playlist

Hurricane Sandy may be rocking you like a hurricane if you’re on the east coast right now, but at least it’s not raining on prom night since it’s only October. So grab your umbrella, fire up Spotify (if you still have power!) and start singin’ in the rain to  some of our favorite rainy day tunes. Post your favorites in the comments below and we’ll add them to the playlist!
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Happy 100th Birthday, John Cage! Here's a Spotify playlist in your honor

John Cage is a lot of things to a lot of people: avant-garde champion, educational activist, modern-dance revolutionarymushroom pioneer, general troublemaker.

The controversial avant-garde artist and composer would’ve turned 100 years old today, and people are still debating his legacy, which, well, is probably more of a testament to his legacy than anything. Nationally, there are plenty of events going on to honor the man’s life — the National Gallery in D.C. has already begun the John Cage Centennial Festival, and the New York Mycological Society is recreating his famous work 4’33” using fungi.

Since we here at Music Mix spend most of our days attached to our keyboards (EW higher-ups installed USB ports onto our bodies on orientation day), our tribute to one of the last century’s most towering musical figures comes in the form of a Spotify playlist. Give it a listen and let us know what you’d put on your own John Cage playlist:

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In honor of her death one year ago, listen to our Amy Winehouse playlist

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s only been a year since the talented and troubled British singer Amy Winehouse passed away at the age of 27.

The mark she left on the musical landscape is considerable (she helped usher the United Kingdom’s ongoing explosion of soul and R&B singers, and everyone from Patti Smith to Green Day have dedicated songs to her), and her absence has been felt more deeply thanks to string of posthumously released material, including a Grammy-winning duet with Tony Bennett and a collab or two with Nas.

There are many ways to remember Winehouse’s life. One great way is by donating to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which provides “help, support or care for young people, especially those who are in need by reason of ill health, disability, financial disadvantage or addiction.”

Of course, another way to honor the singer is to listen to her music. She was only able to put out two albums (2003′ Frank and 2006’s platinum breakout Back in Black) in her lifetime, but she still supplied us with more than enough great songs. Combined with cuts from last year’s Lioness collection and a cameo on this year’s Nas album Life is Good, our playlist of Amy Winehouse favorites is worth a spin of three today.

Give it a listen with the Spotify player below:

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EW’s Midsummer Playlist: Frank Ocean, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Killers and more — stream it here

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Are your favorite May and June jams starting to melt in the sun? We update your BBQ soundtrack with 10 fresh picks which you can listen to.

1. FRANK OCEAN, “Sweet Life” L.A. rich-kid oblivion never sounded so seductive. In his silky Stevie Wonder croon, the R&B wunderkind chronicles a “domesticated paradise” of palm trees, pills, and ever-replenishing exotic-fruit bowls: “Whatever feels good, whatever takes you mountain high.”

2. THE KILLERS, “Runaways” Between Brandon Flowers’ Boss-y conviction, that surreal Las Vegas shimmer, and a chorus that flies high enough to make Icarus jealous, the opening salvo from the band’s September album is an oasis in the radio-rock desert.

3. FUTURE, “Same Damn Time” Summer presents a lot of choices: Hot dogs or hamburgers? Sandy beach or country-club pool? Shorts or short shorts? With its booming beat and Godzilla-size trap-star swagger, the white-hot rap anthem of these multitasking times says you can have them all.

4. USHER FEAT. PHARRELL, “Twisted” The typically super-modern R&B maestro goes retro, enlisting the Neptunes beat king to stir a little James Brown funk peanut butter into his Stax-style soul jam. And guess what? It’s delicious.

5. CARLY RAE JEPSEN AND OWL CITY, “Good Time” Soaring cheerleader-pop melody? Flirty boy-girl chorus? Magic pixie dust left over from Jepsen’s smash “Call Me Maybe”? Yes, yes, and… Wait, what did you say? We couldn’t hear you with our face pressed up against the speakers.

6. TANLINES, “All of Me” The Brooklyn electro duo’s name says, “Oh! You missed a spot with the Coppertone.” But their airy synths-and-handclaps ’80s throwback sighs, “Actually, I’m too busy watching Pretty in Pink for the 93rd time to go outside.”

7. JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD, “Sixpack” Nashville stoner-rock bros Jake and Jamin Orrall know that all you need this weekend is a massively buzzed-out guitar, a few PBRs, and a choice mantra to shout at your rooftop pool party: “I wanna cool out/And get wasted!”

8. DEMI LOVATO, “Give Your Heart a Break” Don’t be frightened by Demi’s stalker intensity. Like all the best guilt-free summer flings, this unshakable single—all seesawing violins, pretty synths, and sweet pleas—simply wants you to put a Ring Pop on it.

9. MATT & KIM, “Let’s Go” Their buoyant indie-pop gem comes complete with instructions: Sing along to its bright hooks and softly crooned ooh-ooohs with your “windows rolled down.” With a decent stereo and a broken air conditioner, you’ll have no trouble obliging.

10. CAT POWER, “Ruin” You may not be leaving your zip code this summer, but indie rock’s recently returned siren will stamp your mental passport with her far-flung travelogue (Soweto, Calcutta, Chile, Mozambique). Just take care to listen to the cautionary message beneath the song’s tropical piano and gorgeous echo-chamber vocals.

Give our picks a spin with the Spotify playlist below!

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