Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Spotify, Spearmint and the Stones

So, I've recently been increasing my usage of Spotify. In the past it was somewhere I might pop in to listen to some more tracks by an artist a friend had mentioned or recommended. Being decisive in these things usually four or five tracks would be enough for me to add an album to the wish list, buy it immediately, or scrub the name from the depths of my amnesia.

But since the Mac investment the sound quality on my laptop is very good, not up to the quality of my hifi, but it's clear, works well for me. Not sure when this happened, but Spotify claim they now pay the artist for every track played. I'd hate to estimate the infinitesimal amount of this but, ok, fair play. For most of the day I pick one of my beloved faves - Spearmint, And Also The Trees, Belasco, the passage, the Beloved - and turn the volume down and just let it cycle through their Spotify selection. When I listen to them I'll listen 'properly'.

I have the download version of Spearmint's new album, 'News From Nowhere'. You'd be shocked if I was loving it, every single second, every line, note, all that stuff. And I do. But I'm looking forward to the CD arriving, I have a feeling it will sound better through the hi-fi. As often as I've doubted my ears they do appreciate my beautiful set up. Or maybe iTunes I'm listening to the download on isn't quite up to it.
Recommendation One. Get yourself a copy of this album.
Once in a blue moon a new band comes along and falling in love with them is the most wonderful thing. To say that this is rare would be an understatement, but it happens. Fortune favoured a strange link recently and drove me in the direction of the Stones, Angus and Julia. One of my favourite authors of the last decade is Jojo Moyes. She's built a reputation based on 'Me Before You' and rightly so. I was lucky enough to be attracted by the title of her 'The Last Letter From Your Lover' and delved into her six or so previous novels thoroughy enjoying all of them. Anyway, she tweeted that someone, a German lady, had put together at 8tracks.

On that compilation are the wonderful Daughter, xx, Birdy, and the Stones, Angus & Julia. I have to say I'm very disappointed that no-one pointed them out to me earlier, they've sold out their impending shows in London and I would have loved to have seen them, maybe next time... Or did someone point them out and me, in my stubbornness towards trying new music, didn't bother. Oh, what an idiot!

Anyway, I've ordered what I can, bizarrely an album less than eight years old seems impossible to buy on cd for less than £30. Don't get that, literally too. But my Spotify habit in the last few weeks has been to open them up and listen over and over. Bliss, complete, utter unrefined joy. As someone once wrote, 'it's the music that I love'.

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