Author: Listen

Listen Recommends: SXSW 2015

The Music portion of SXSW (aka the main event) is kicking off today and like every music fan, we’re eager to see which emerging artists bubble up in the chaos. And while we’d never claim the ability to predict the future, we’d certainly put our money behind the artists we’ve included in our SXSW 2015 playlist. So whether you’re in the thick of it in Austin, or living vicariously through your Twitter feed, you should have a listen. Enjoy!

Listen Recommends: Our Favorite Albums of 2014

2014 may be the year that Ebola had a rapid rise to fame, but let’s not forget about the music, man! There were some great albums that came out of the year of McConaughey and we want to celebrate them. Below you’ll find our faves of 2014 with a Spotify playlist for easy listening. You’ve never seen a list like this before (ok, you definitely have).

Kelis – Food
Jenny Lewis – Voyager
Robyn & Royksopp – Do It Again
Phox – Phox
Courtney Barnett – The Double EP
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Oddments
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Sales – EP
Karen O – Crush Songs
Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
FKA Twigs – LP1
Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Future Islands – Singles
Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
Alvvays – Alvvays
EMA – The Future’s Void
D’Angelo and The Vanguard – Black Messiah
Caribou – Our Love
Kindness – Otherness

Listen’s Year in Review

2014 was a great year for many – weed smokers, Outkast fans, and Taylor Swift among them. It was also a great year for Listen. And so, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve been able to achieve in the past 12 months. We helped the emerging artist program, Ones to Watch with Skype, become even stronger with some great bands and the launch of The Skype Six.  Some of this year’s best emerging talent had the opportunity to connect with fans like never before through Skype.

We provided Skype with original compositions for several videos that demonstrate their ever-expanding product features and user journeys. This year Skype was everywhere- from classrooms, to movie premiers, to thousands of feet underwater– and we provided the soundtrack to many of those stories. We also created product sounds for Skype’s new video message app, Qik!

We ventured down south for the mayhem of Bonnaroo. Nearly 100,000 people attended the festival this year and we were there to help Skype give each of them the chance to get closer to their favorite artists on the lineup.

We brought the Skype experience to Sasquatch! We created the Skype Music Room, a magical dome in which visitors became the DJs and got to remix themselves and others. Not only that, but we brought in some of the festival’s talent to delight fans with surprise performances.

We composed music for luxury car brand, Audi’s, #paidmydues campaign. As part of the campaign, a curated group of 15 creators, musicians, filmmakers, artists, and performers were brought together to tell their stories of struggle and accomplishment and share that with the world. Listen stepped in and created original music to help bring their stories to life.

With the satisfaction of a great year nearly behind us, we can’t wait for what’s to come. We’ve got some big projects to share in the coming months and we couldn’t be more excited. Cheers to 2015!

Listen Composes Music for Skype Translator Video

Skype has once again raised the bar of communication with Skype Translator. Watch this barrier breaking technology at work in a video with original music composed by Listen. To read more about Skype Translator, head over to the Skype blog.

The Skype Six

A couple of weeks ago we helped Skype launch their new Ones to Watch initiative, The Skype Six. This fall, Skype is going on the road to catch up with six touring bands on the rise. We’ll be finding their biggest fans and bring you the stories of how they’re connecting with their idols over Skype. From backstage stories, to creature comforts, they’re sharing it all as we catch up with them in local diners, laundry mats, green rooms, and everywhere in between. So get familiar with the Skype Six bands as they go live on stage and show you life off stage. Stay tuned for more on

Learn more about the Skype Six artists here:

Get more Ones to Watch on:




Listen Recommends: CMJ 2014

Every October the CMJ Music Marathon descends on New York City in a wave of excitement over the chance to see the best up and coming bands. For five days the Music Marathon will invade the city with 1,300+ artists performing in 80+ venues to 125,000+ fans. That’s a lot of music, but to help you navigate this massive event we’ve chosen 15 artists that we think you shouldn’t miss. Check out our list below and listen to our picks and more on our CMJ 2014 Spotify playlist. Have fun and take some advice from a music marathoner of years past: “just because the drinks are free doesn’t mean you should have 12 of them”.

  • Nick Hakim 10/16 @ The Westway
  • San Fermin 10/22 @ Webster Hall
  • Doe Paoro 10/22 @ Rough Trade
  • Courtney Barnett 10/22 @ Webster Hall
  • Verite 10/22 @ Brooklyn Bowl & 10/23 @ Santos Party House
  • Saint Pepsi 10/22 @ Mercury Lounge & 10/22 @ Output
  • Moses Sumney 10/22 & 10/23 @ Rough Trade
  • RAC 10/23 @ Terminal 5
  • Made In Heights 10/23 @ Santos Party House
  • Safia 10/24 @ The Knitting Factory
  • Salt Cathedral 10/25 @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar
  • Benjamin Clementine TBA
  • Quincy Vidal TBA
  • Pro Era TBA
  • Kindness TBA

Listen Provides Soundtrack for Mission 31 Video

Earlier this year Fabien Cousteau, grandson of John Cousteau, took 31 days to live in the world’s only underwater laboratory with his team of leading ocean explorers. Skype let students around the world be a part of Cousteau’s mission as they were able to connect with him on a Skype video call. Check out the below video about the project, which we had the pleasure of composing.

Skype and Listen: Guardians of the (Music) Galaxy

If you’ve seen Marvel’s summer hit, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and even if you haven’t, you know that music plays an integral role in the storytelling of the film. For the Los Angeles premiere, Skype hosted the good people of New York, including the Police Athletic League, as they watched the film and got to say hello to the cast over a Skype video call. Watch the video, scored by Listen, and check out the red carpet magic.

Skype Lets MKTO Bring the Fans Into Their World

As part of our ongoing work for Skype, we’re helping the brand connect fans and artists through The Ones to Watch with Skype Tour. For the latest episodes, Skype checks in with MKTO, the latest pop band heating up the charts.
Tony Oller and Malcolm Kelley, both former stars of Nickelodeon’s hit show Gigantic, are no strangers to the spotlight. But as part of the Ones to Watch with Skype tour, the boys are experiencing their first time on the road as a headlining band. Skype caught up with MKTO in sunny Orlando to let the band’s biggest fans get closer to the boys they love.  In the videos below they answer questions about their biggest inspirations, their days on set, and how to rise above the haters. There are smiles, tears of joy, backstage hangs, and you can watch it all below.

Turnpike Troubadours Skype with Friends and Fans From the Road

For the latest episode of Ones to Watch, Skype got to catch up with Turnpike Troubadours in Madison, Wisconsin. As a self-proclaimed ‘red dirt’ band from Oklahoma, Turnpike Troubadours are all about staying close to their roots. But it isn’t always easy to stay connected with the ones you love while you’re on the road for months on end. So Skype sat down with the boys to learn more about their beginnings and meet some of the people that helped pave their road to success. Watch below as Turnpike Troubadours use Skype to have a group video chat with their booking agent, Jon, and friends Tim and Jason.

And let’s not forget about the fans! Perhaps just as important as those early influencers in a band’s career, the fans are what make it all happen. And no one knows that better than Turnpike Troubadours. In their second Ones to Watch episode, the band connects with some of their biggest fans over Skype video calls. Below you’ll see them answer questions about their album covers, song-writing process, and more . Check it out!