Listen Up with Spotify’s Shanon Cook

The trends expert fills us in on the latest music buzz

Meet Shanon Cook, Spotify’s trends expert-slash-our new music insider. Tune in monthly for a series we’re calling Listen Up, in which she shares what’s all the rage in the world of music. Before you check out for the rest of the year, reflect on 2013’s heavy hitters.

They may call themselves Nonono, but at Spotify we give this Swedish electropop group a triple hell yeah. The trio dropped by our New York headquarters recently for a live performance as part of our Spotify Sessions series (stay tuned). Fronted by gorgeous Stina Wäppling, who I’m told is a sucker for vintage clothing stores, Nonono enjoys tens of thousands of streams daily of its driving track (and my current guilty pleasure), “Pumpin Blood.” 

Music Map: Loyal Fans
A lesson to bands everywhere — don’t forget where you came from. Stockholm listens to Abba 110 percent more than the rest of the world; New York City listens to Jay-Z 88 percent more than anywhere else; and Londoners listen to Fleetwood Mac 162 percent more than anywhere else.

A Merry Lily Christmas 
Every year the Brits go bananas over their Christmas number one, which is the song that happens to be atop the UK charts around December 25. Earning this title is an even bigger deal than what Santa puts under the tree. This year I’m holding my breath for Lily Allen’s cover of the Keane song “Somewhere Only We Know.” Allen’s take on the power ballad is gentle and season-appropriate; the track got a leg-up from being highlighted in a department store holiday advert.

Drum Roll, Please
And The Streamiest Artist of 2013 Award goes to … Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (cue rapturous applause). The Seattle blowout duo was the most streamed act worldwide on Spotify in 2013, with its hit “Can’t Hold Us” being the top track. Rihanna was our most streamed female artist for the second year in a row, while Lorde takes the crown for most viral new artist.

Bow down.

Stream the playlist on Spotify.

Photo: Per Kristiansen / Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records