Inside The Collection: Pandora’s Guide To Colombian Rhythms

If you’re looking to stretch it out and dance this weekend, we recommend tapping into the boundless rhythms of one of the most musically and culturally diverse nations in the Americas, Colombia. We’re highlighting the incredible musical output that Colombia has generated over the past 70-plus years by offering up a trio of genre stations: Cumbia Colombiana, Salsa Colombiana and Vallenato.

The rhythm that has become most synonymous with Colombian identity is that of Cumbia. Centuries in the making and born out of the confluence of African, Indigenous and European cultures; Cumbia is by far the most popular Latin American dance rhythm and continues to be endlessly appropriated and adopted up and down the hemisphere, spawning countless offshoots and innovations.

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 6.09.00 PMFrom the infectious swing of the early big band interpretations, pioneered by bandleaders like Pacho Galán, Lucho Bermúdez and Pedro Laza, to the stripped down accordion sound of squeeze box masters such as Alfredo Gutiérrez, Lisandro Meza and Andrés Landero; Cumbia as interpreted by the architects of the sound define the genre. Also included are some of the groups that would become international superstars like La Sonora Dinamita and Los Corraleros de Majagual, responsible in large part for so effectively disseminating Cumbia across Latin America and the world. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts 

Puss N Boots

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.41.20 AMAfter playing live together since 2008, Norah Jones (remembered for her smash hit album Come Away With Me), Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper have at last taken their collaboration into the studio. Their debut album No Fools, No Fun features a collection of original songs and covers that were cultivated from their live sets, including “Bull Rider,” written by Rodney Crowell and made famous by Johnny Cash. Over the years, they have shared the stage with the Beastie Boys on the Get Out The Vote tour and joined Wilco at Madison Square Garden, providing background vocals on “Jesus, Etc.”, of which their own interpretation is also featured on their debut album.

Boogaloo Assassins

Based out of Los Angeles, the Boogaloo Assassins are reviving the classic Latin Soul sounds of 1960’s New York. Their natural ease and flair, coupled with the meticulous attention to detail and authenticity, makes diehard aficionados and record-collector nerds smile from ear to ear. They have played a large supporting role in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the famed New York Latin music label Fania, backing up living legends Roberto Roena and Joe Bataan in concerts from East Coast to West. They first came to our attention as an independent artist submission and their debut release has recently been picked up by non other than Fania Records. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

The Madden BrothersScreen Shot 2014-07-21 at 8.47.19 AM

The Madden Brothers are a new project featuring brothers Joel and Benji Madden, the founding members of the rock band Good Charlotte. Their side project began in 2011 as a way for them to branch away from punk/rock to an “upbeat, sunny pop-rock” sound. They have teamed with producer Pharrell Williams and released their first single “We Are Done” from their upcoming debut studio album, Greetings From California to be released in September. 

Shawn Mendes

Check out this 15 year-old singer-songwriter from Toronto who became an overnight Vine sensation with his six-second cover of Justin Beiber’s “As Long As You Love Me”. It received 10,000 likes within hours of its debut last August and is now liked at well over 2.5 million. This phenomenon lead to a recording contract with Island Records and the debut of an original composition. “Life Of The Party” advances his upcoming EP later this summer. Not only that, he is also preparing to go on tour with Austin Mahone! Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

Meghan Trainor

20-year-old singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor has written tracks for artists like Rascal Flatts and Common Kings. But now she’s been receiving a lot buzz with her catchy debut single “All About That Bass”, whose viral video has received close to 1.5 million YouTube views and gaining a huge following with its body-positive message.

Roadside Memorial

Drawing influences from Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure, The Damned, Tears For Fears and Joy Division, San Francisco’s Roadside Memorial are “New Dark Romance built on the bones of all three British Invasions,” weaving New Wave, New Romantic and Post-Punk sensibilities to be enjoyed on the dance floor!

Matt PalmerScreen Shot 2014-07-14 at 8.50.08 AM

LA-based R&B/pop singer-songwriter who before graduating from NYU’s Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music singed his first publishing deal. As a songwriter, he has written for Big Time Rush and Leon Thomas, in addition to working with producers Oak Felder (Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown), Fraser T. Smith (Adele, Britney Spears) and Jackie Boyz (Madonna, Justin Bieber). As an artist, he has worked the past six years creating songs that were truly representative of himself: being a gay musician. He successfully raised enough funds via Kickstarter to release his EP Stranger Than Fiction along with an official music video for its single, “Teardrops”. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

EDJ

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 11.17.38 AMEric D. Johnson put in some time with The Shins before leading indie rock band the Fruit Bats for many years. He’s releasing songs under his initials now, and they are a treat. Beautiful melodies float over lush West Coast pop flavors and hints of country twang on his new single featuring the songs “Lose It All, All The Time” and “A West County Girl”. Dig these feel-good summer tunes.

RUFUS DU SOL

This up-and-coming indie dance band out of Sydney is known in Australia as Rufus, but was forced to change their name in the US due to an existing trademark on the name Rufus. Now under the moniker RUFUS DU SOL, this DIY band has released 2 EPs on their own label. Having played stages as far away as Moscow and New York, they have built a strong online following. Their album Atlas (due for a US release later in the year), debuted at #1 on the Australian album charts, propelling the band into the spotlight with their “equal parts sun drenched melodies and late night dance floor rhythms.” Read More →

From The Curators: Pandora’s Guide To 4th Of July

Summer is in full swing and it’s time to celebrate the USA’s birthday with parades, fireworks and BBQs. So, what’s the first song that comes to mind when you think about summer? What’s the first song that comes to mind when you think about 4th of July? The curation team had a blast putting together Pandora’s 4th of July genre stations, and we’re excited to finally share them with you!

4th of July RadioScreen Shot 2014-06-27 at 2.20.55 PM includes a mix of patriotic tunes across genres sprinkled with summertime favorites. On this station you’ll hear Country, Heartland Rock and popular songs that celebrate American pride; artists include John Mellencamp, James Brown, Miley Cyrus and Simon and Garfunkel.

Another American classic, Barbershop quartet music, has enjoyed a colorful revival. The barbershop served as the community center where African American men harmonized while waiting their turn. In the early 1900s, white minstrel singers adopted the a cappella four part harmony style and performed early standards. Think “Sharp Harmony,” a Norman Rockwell painting from 1936. Our Barbershop Quartet station is perfect for waking up early and prepping the grillables. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts 

Lenny PickettScreen Shot 2014-06-26 at 4.26.48 PM

Does the name ring a bell? Aside from being an accomplished saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist and composer, he was a member of the Tower of Power horn section from 1972-1981, and since 1985 has been the tenor sax soloist on Saturday Night Live (as well as the show’s current musical director). He has also worked as an arranger for artists like David Bowie, The Talking Heads, David Byrne and Katy Perry. His latest release The Prescription is a collaboration with Finland’s UMO Jazz Orchestra, combining his distinctive tenor saxophone sound with 21st century Big Band.

Madison Beer

Fifteen-year-old pop singer Madison Beer initially gained Justin Bieber’s attention with her mash-up of Bruno Mars covers posted to YouTube. His co-sign has already boosted her profile significantly. She signed with Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, and Bieber himself appeared in the video for her debut single “Melodies.” She has since signed to Island Records and debuted her instantly popular new single “Unbreakable.” Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts 

Ian Edwards

Ian Edwards’ debut album 100% Half-Assed is the very first release from Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco Records, which is “committed to championing groundbreaking comedy, in the tradition of “CONAN” on TBS.”  Edwards describes his comedy as “edgy, observational humor with a point of view,” which he applies to a variety of topics including veganism, his Jamaican roots, and Bruce Lee. Edwards is a prolific actor and writer, as well as the host of podcasts Soccer Comics and The Preposterous Sessions.

Bok Bok

Night Slugs co-founder Bok Bok takes a new direction, combining his roots in Bass and Grime with the chilled out sounds of R&B and Funk. He’s calling the results R&G — Rhythm & Grime. The EP Your Charizmatic Self leads off with “Melba’s Call”, where nasty synth sounds collide with analog drum claps, creating a perfect instrumental bed for vocalist Kelela. “Howard” sounds like an 80’s Boogie B-Side remixed with the rumble of Bok Bok’s infamous sub bass. The remaining tracks slow down, bringing you into the chilled out world of Night Slug’s latest creation.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.25.41 AMCasey Shea

In the spirit of Emitt Rhodes, Joey Stec, Chris Bell, Dwight Twilley, Harry Nilsson and Todd Rundgren – Casey Shea is a top-shelf tune-smith specializing in orchestral power-pop. His music is as timeless, moving and catchy as any of his influences.

Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

Arstidir

A popular request from Pandora listeners, Arstidir are a vocal-based acoustic ensemble from Reykjavik with a sound unique to the Icelandic music scene mixing influences such as progressive rock, indie, chamber music, and traditional Icelandic folk music. All six members are distinguished players known from various bands in the Reykjavik scene and, since their formation in 2008, have released two records praised by critics, had two number-one hits on Icelandic radio, and have played sold out venues all over Europe.

Moody Good

Eddie Jeffreys, aka Moody Good, got his start as half of dubstep duo 16bit. Stepping out of the mold he crafts a recording that weaves bass, R&B, ambient, hip hop and more into a dystopian web of sound that The Guardian says “someone like Bjork might enjoy”. Which makes sense, as 16bit contributed significantly to Bjork’s Biophilia!

Adore DelanoScreen Shot 2014-06-16 at 9.35.55 AM

Singer, drag queen and television personality, most known for appearing on the seventh season of American Idol and the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Adore Delano is currently dominating the Dance and Pop charts with the release of her debut album Till Death Do Us Party. Her music has been described as “Britney Spears with a real personality, actual vocal talent and lucidness. Or Gwen Stefani unconcerned with radio play and chart positions. Delano has a rich, raspy tone that takes the material to surprisingly soulful places. She’s alternately hopeful and heartbroken, forceful and fragile.” Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

Bobby Avey

An emerging star in the jazz community, Bobby Avey has been praised by The New Yorker magazine as “a young pianist of invention and refinement.” He has released three solo albums since 2010, with his latest album Authority Melts From Me being a quintet suite inspired by the rhythms found in Haitian voodoo drumming, paying homage to the Haitian culture and featuring guest appearances from notable jazz artists like Miguel Zenon and Ben Monder.

Matt SucichScreen Shot 2014-06-06 at 4.23.12 PM

Matt Sucich’s music is at times reminiscent of early 2000s Freak Folk. But listen to a few of his songs and it’s immediately apparent that he’s more interested in crafting innovative tunes than dressing up a song with retro psychedelic trimmings and weird-for-the-sake-of-weird novelties. Sucich also blends elements of 1970s Country Rock twang and 1990s tinged Indie Rock melodies into his unique blend of Folk Rock. Read More →