This last Tuesday, Pandora sent out the push notification: “Our music curators think you’ll love Hipster Holidays Radio this holiday season. Try it today!” If you’ve ever seeded or thumbed-up anything deemed cool, indie or “hip” – you received that notification. It’s really that simple.
Pandora is headquartered in a hip part of Oakland, California – which means each day, our employees walk streets considered by many to be a West Coast epicenter of hipsterdom. But this recent social conversation around the term “hipster” got us thinking more critically: what’s the history behind this word, anyway? Being the OCD music and pop-culture geeks that we are, the subject was researched! And, wouldn’t you know it, the word has a deep musical tie in.
The origin of the term “hipster” has nothing to do with boutique fixed-gear bicycles. But it pedals back to 1938 when Cab Calloway jokingly wrote The Hepster Dictionary to accompany his sheet music – it was a glossary of jive terms spoken by “hepcats” (African American jazz enthusiasts). So then “hepcat” evolved into “hipster” by the 1940s. In June of 1948, Anatole Broyard wrote a piece for Partisan Review entitled “A Portrait of the Hipster.” In it, he describes hipsters as blues and jazz informed delinquents on a quest for self-definition. Read More →
Duluth, Minnesota’s Trampled By Turtles paid a visit to 25th Street Recording Studio in Oakland, CA to perform songs from their latest album, “Wild Animals” for a small number of lucky Pandora listeners.
4. Come Back Home
5. Wild Animals
This Brooklyn-based comprising duo Patrick Laird (Break Of Reality) and Marnie Laird has gained a significant following on YouTube for their piano/cello covers of popular music. Their Brooklyn Sessions debut album features reinterpretations of pop hits like “Am I Wrong” originally performed by Nico & Vinz, “Chandelier” by Sia, “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy and “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith.
Despite his silly name Mr Fijiwiji produces some serious music. His latest release on Monstercat Records is much more mature than his 19-years would have you believe. Each track is an expert exercise in Chillstep, dripping with ethereal synth goodness. If Tycho and Porter Robinson made an album together, it just might sound like Keeping It Surreal. Read More →
As 2014 comes to a close, we wanted to take a look back and see what music you listened to most this year. Let’s start by saying you listen to a lot of music – on average, 20 hours each month.
So, what songs spun the most? Your tastes run the gamut, from Sam Smith‘s top spinning song “Stay With Me” to a few selections from the Frozen soundtrack and many more in between.
Check out the Top 25 Most Spun Songs below (based on songs added to Pandora in 2014):
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Jesse Boykins III is an American R&B singer. His soulful sound combines modern R&B styling with electronica and jazz influences, and frequently features romantic lyrics. Other artists that can be heard on his station include Jill Scott, Maxwell, and Erykah Badu. He came by the office with guitarist, Eun Wha Lee (JinJoo), and pianist, Basil Wajdowicz, and played “Plain” off his recent album Love Apparatus.
Pomo is the next generation of futuristic synth soul, joining the HW&W Recordings team of beatmakers: Kaytranada, Ta-Ku and Stwo. As a Canadian multi-instrumentalist and producer living in Montreal, Pomo is the one to watch for cutting edge, freaky, feel good beats. His influence as a live musician on electronic production blends the two worlds perfectly. Songs like “Cloud Cruise” sound like an outer space disco ride and “How I Feel” will put you in funk-mode on the dance floor.
Moonsville Collective is an Americana string band from Orange County. They describe their music as “California Goodtime.” Influenced by folk legends like Levon Helm (The Band), Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show, the sextet is made of multi-instrumentalists including dobro, mandolin, fiddle and kazoo, (just to name a few). Since releasing their first album Cradle To The Grave in 2013, they have picked up numerous regional music awards and have played alongside artists like Wanda Jackson, Willie Watson (Old Crow Medicine Show), Donavon Frankenreiter and The White Buffalo. Read More →
Kate Voegele is an American singer-songwriter. Her vocal-centric style combines elements of pop, rock and folk. Other artists that can be heard on her station include Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat, and Christina Perri. Kate came by the office and played “Wish You Were” off her album Don’t Look Away.
In order to achieve our company purpose of unleashing the infinite power of music, we are continually innovating and iterating. We constantly evolve both our technology and design to provide the best music platform for listeners, advertisers and artists.
Today, I’m very excited to unveil our latest innovation, the beta release of Pandora’s Station Personalization interface on iOS and Android (http://pdora.co/1ybSTY4). The design of this latest update is part of our ongoing dedication to innovate the UX and UI across platforms, and as a result, provide effortless music discovery and listening for more than 75 million listeners each month.
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Dark pop from Stockholm, Sweden and described by MTV Buzzworthy as a “…superstar in the making, surrounded by dark, gloomy synthesizers … recalling a cross between Lorde, Robyn and The Weeknd.” XOV, the moniker of Damian Ardestani, makes his US debut with the track “Animal,” featured on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. Lorde, who got in touch with him via a Twitter direct message, curated it. He plans to release his debut EP in early 2015 under the Sony Music label.
You don’t have to be from Chicago to remember post-rock. Back in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, a small population of Windy City indie bands simultaneously shared a love for the electric guitar distortion and delay pedal-tweaking of shoegazing – as well as the heady arrangements of prog (but they insisted on calling it math-rock instead of prog). The post-rock subgenre earned its name because these bands implemented the use of rock instrumentation (guitars, bass, drums) to create non-rocking textures and soundscapes. Many of these musicians felt that it was more important to have a durable winter jacket than a lead singer, hence the then popularity of parka-clad instrumental bands like Tortoise. X Suns aren’t from Chicago. They’re from Seattle. They specialize in putting the rock back in post-rock. In most cases, this might bring it back to just rock, save X Suns’ labyrinthine changes, gorgeously layered guitar textures and songs sans singers. They are also prone to jamming on jazzy outbursts and Hawkwind inspired space-rock freak-outs. Read More →
The California Honeydrops are an American blues band with modern R&B stylings and gospel influences. A variety of instruments, including horns, organ, acoustic rhythm piano and guitar are used to create their soulful groove. Other artists that can be heard on their station include Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Ben Harper. They came by and played “All Day, All Night” off their album Like You Mean It.