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 →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Marissa Nadler performs “1923”

Marissa Nadler is a Boston-based singer-songwriter known for her unique musical style of blending dream pop and ambient folk. Artists including Mariee Sioux, Iron & Wine and Meg Baird, with their luring acoustic ambiance, can also be heard on Marissa’s station. In a live performance of “1923” from the album July, Marissa captured the audience with her mesmerizing voice.


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 Song: The Origins of Lyrics

A few years ago, I saw the band The Court and Spark. It was the record release concert for their final album, Hearts, at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. They were an excellent live band, and it was a great show, but I have a much clearer memory of that show than I do of others I went to around the time because at one point during their set, I distinctly misheard a lyric and it sent my brain spinning down the path of writing a new song.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 3.46.57 PMI heard something that sounded like, “One of her eyes is Dixie weed.” Though I knew that wasn’t what the singer was saying, it was such an evocative image in my mind – I could see perfectly the lush, yellow-green of the color “Dixie weed,” and I thought there were rich metaphoric implications of a character with two different-colored eyes – that it stuck. I borrowed a pen, found a napkin and jotted it down. The next day I sat with my guitar and chased the rest of the song with that misheard lyric launching the whole thing off: “One of her eyes is Dixie weed, the other New Mexico blue.” Musically, it didn’t sound anything like the Court and Spark song, but its origins were somehow tied up with the band and that moment at the concert as well as whatever personal thoughts and emotions were swirling around in my life at the time. 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


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 →