Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: EDJ performs “Minor Miracles”

EDJ is the new solo project from Eric D. Johnson (formerly of Fruit Bats and The Shins). His mellow rock style frequently features acoustic rhythm guitars and piano with a subtle use of vocal harmony. Other artists that can be heard on EDJ’s station include The Boxer Rebellion, The Antlers and Birds of Tokyo. He came by and played “Minor Miracles” off his self-titled debut album, EDJ.

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Artist Debuts 

Zella Day

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.20.06 AMZella Day is an up-and-coming indie pop artist based out of Los Angeles who has been described as the “happier version of Lana Del Rey.” She came to attention in 2011 with her haunting, stripped-back cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” which lead her to playing six shows at SXSW this year. With influences ranging from Mason Jennings, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, old western films and her Arizona mountain town upbringing; her eponymous debut EP showcases just that – with the addition of drum machines and electronics.

Didrick

At only 18-years-old Swedish-born Didrick is a triple threat: DJ, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He’s done official remixes for Cazzette and Avicii & Nicky Romero, but he is also well known for remixing 78 tracks released by Monstercat Records into a single song, performed live. The track features a string quartet, swingin’ horns and a guitar solo even Slash would love. He’s definitely not your average electro house banger. If you breathe, sleep and eat EDM; Didrick should be your next course.

The Aquadolls

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.21.45 AMSelf-proclaimed “perma-teenage mermaids,” buzzing two girl, two guy Orange County band The Aquadolls are currently a hot item in the Burger Records scene. They combine highly energetic garage pop melodies with sixties surf-guitar riffs in the vein of Shannon & The Clams, Best Coast and Black Lips. Wade into tracks like “Wander” and “We Are Free” off their upcoming album Stoked On You and get stoked for sunny Southern Californian sounds this winter. Read More →

Inside Song: The Balancing Act of Rhymes

filteredsongwritingAs I’m sure you’re aware, most song lyrics have rhyming words at the end of each line. It’s so pervasive in Western popular music that you might struggle to think of a song without rhyming lyrics. Rhymes provide a linguistic resolution, or a kind of verbal downbeat. They feel solid and grounding and can almost magically add weight to the meaning of the lyrics if done right.

In most cases, maybe even in an ideal situation, song rhymes are nearly transparent; they provide the pleasant feeling of a balanced, solved syntactical equation and supply extra heft and authority to the meaning without drawing much attention to themselves.

When rhymes stand out, you want them to do so for the right reasons. First and foremost, it’s an impressive feat to say something truly meaningful in rhyme, given the limited options we’ve got in the English language, the finite number of words that rhyme.

If you can go beyond that by using a familiar rhyme in a novel way or finding a new, unique rhyme, and still be able to serve the lyrical meaning, then it’s a virtuosic act. Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Goodnight, Texas performs “A Bank Robber’s Nursery Rhyme”

Goodnight, Texas is an American folk-appalachian band made up of members Avi Vinocur (formerly of The Stone Foxes), Patrick Dyer Wolf, Alex Nash and Bobby Kendall. They use a variety of instruments including banjo, mandolin, acoustic rhythm guitar, and a subtle use of vocal harmonies to create their Americana sound. Other artists that can be heard on the Goodnight, Texas station include The Wood Brothers, Gregory Alan Isakov, Old Crow Medicine Show. They came by and played “A Bank Robber’s Nursery Rhyme” off their latest album Uncle John Farquhar.

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Artist Debuts 

LOLAWOLF

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 4.07.00 PMLOLAWOLF is a new trio featuring the vocals of Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet. She’s also well known for her acting roles in Divergent and X-Men: First Class. The Lolawolf EP was characterized by Pitchfork as “surging electronic pop” while Neon Gold called their track “Drive (Los Angeles)” “…a perfect piece of distinctive, melody-driven, back-to-the-future synth candy.” We think it sounds like Kesha and Banks on a trap binge!


Jack + Eliza

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 4.13.36 PMChildhood friends turned collaborators Jack + Eliza take a stripped-down approach towards ‘60s psychedelia. Armed with just their vocals and electric guitars, they’ve teamed with producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Mumford & Sons) combining the harmonies of bands like The Beach Boys and The Mamas & The Papas with stripped-down contemporaries The xx and Father John Misty. Check out the duo’s catchy single “Hold The Line.”

Read More →

You Thumbed, Nick Jonas Answered

nick jonasBy now you may be familiar with Thumb Moments – with a single thumb, listeners have enjoyed one-on-one shows with Lindsey Stirling, Matt Nathanson and Bush over the past few weeks.  With each one, there has been a mix of laughing, crying, singing and sometimes screaming, but with our latest Thumb Moment artist, listeners just couldn’t help but dance.

This time around, Nick Jonas surprised 12 listeners with a personal phone call and private performance of his new single “Jealous” off of his upcoming debut album, which proved to be the perfect choice for encouraging his fans to join him as backup dancers. His fans have some serious moves; check out the video below to see for yourself.

We’re not done quite yet – maybe your favorite artist is next.  So stay tuned for more and keep sharing your ultimate “Thumb Moments” with us – use #ThumbMoments via social or in the comments below.

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Break of Reality performs “Star”

Break Of Reality is an instrumental cello rock band; the ensemble is made up of members Patrick Laird, Martin Torch-Ishii, Ivan Trevino, and Laura Metcalf. Featuring a unique blend of classical and rock styles, the band makes use of varied tempos and time signatures. Other artists that can be heard on Break Of Reality’s station include Takenobu, Apocalyptica and Escala. They came by the office and played “Star” off their album Ten.

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Artist Debuts

LION BABE

LION BABE are a soulful, buzzing New York duo made up of singer-songwriter/performance artist Jillian Hervey and instrumentalist/producer Lucas Goodman. Their track “Treat Me Like Fire” mixes Motown and 70s soul with contemporary production and their latest jam “Jump Hi” features an appearance by Childish Gambino. Both tracks are off their forthcoming major label debut EP. 

Twang and Round

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 9.51.27 AMCheck out one of the latest artists signed to Average Joes Entertainment, the Nashville label founded by Country music rapper Colt Ford. Twang and Round are country, southern rap and rock comprising members Duo Vernon Roach (aka “Kuntry Twang”) and Brad Davis (aka “Lil Round”). Their debut single “All Wired Up” was featured on the latest Muddiggers compilation. They also just released their debut EP Pour Another Round, featuring the track “Grand Daddy Long Legs” with an appearance by Tyler Wood from the Discovery Channel show Moonshiners. Read More →

Inside the Collection: Halloween Metal

Around mid October I went costume shopping and heard Christmas carols wafting from the store’s speakers – a full two weeks before Halloween! Does anyone care about timing anymore? We do. No matter what your taste in music is, Pandora’s Curation Team and I have your Halloween soundtracks covered. Our Family Halloween station is more fun than frightening – I’d love to teach my sister’s kids how do dance “The Monster Mash.” And if Ray Parker Jr. “…ain’t afraid of no ghost,” why should they be? A couple of the Halloween parties I’ve been invited to are Walking Dead themed. That’s why I’m loading up my phone with Halloween Party – it makes me want to drink pumpkin ale and dance like the zombies in “Thriller.” Also, you don’t have to enjoy Halloween ironically to dig Hipster Halloween. It’s got everything from Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall to Dead Moon and The Black Keys. And should your inner goth be craving some darker cuts, tune into to Ghostly Grooves. Or for a more sophisticated way to induce goosebumps, click on Spooky Symphonies while reading some Edgar Allan Poe.

HALLOWEEN 1978.jpgOf course, Halloween Metal is my favorite. While curating this station, I was getting all kinds of awesome memory flashbacks. Fittingly, one of my earliest metal memories took place on Halloween. In second grade, my best friend Dave and I convinced our parents to buy us KISS costumes. Back then you could get a plastic mask and accompanying Halloween smock in a grocery store for the price of a couple cheeseburgers. Dave wanted to be Gene Simmons and I wanted to be Ace Frehley (admittedly, part of me still wants to be Ace Frehley). But as Dave and I put on these costumes, I remember looking in the mirror and feeling kind of dumb. Because even back then I knew that the real “Space Ace” wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a plastic bib with a picture of himself that read, “Ace Frehley!” Still, that night our trick-or-treating efforts yielded tons of candy. Read More →