Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a musical rut, listening to the same songs over and over and wishing you could find new, exciting music? Of course you have iTunes and Pandora, but those usually represent already-popular artists. Here’s our handy guide to discovering new songs that you’ll actually like.
This seems like an obvious one, but Spotify has a lot of useful tools that nobody really knows about or uses. They have a Discover Weekly playlist personalized for every single person, tons and tons of playlists created by Spotify and real users, a “New Releases” section, different “moods” of music to listen to, and much, much more. Check out their “browse” page.
Bandcamp is a given for finding new indie artists, but it can seem frustrating to even know where to begin. It’s like rummaging through bins at a record store when you’re not even sure what you’re looking for. However, Bandcamp is extremely helpful when you actually do know what you’re looking for. Their “new and notable” section on the front page is a great way to find out what’s most popular. They also have a “discover” section with adjustable filters for artists by location, what type of format you want (cassette, vinyl, CD, digital), and when the release was uploaded. You can also browse by tags. Don’t be afraid to listen to artists nobody knows about (yet) — Bandcamp has helped many aritsts (such as Mac Demarco) gain their fame.
Indie Shuffle is a great website for discovering music when you don’t know where to start. You can listen to radios of different genres such as indie rock, folk, acoustic, etc., listen to what’s popular this week/month/year, search for songs by genre, or just let it choose for you with their “random” option. But don’t let the name of the website intimidate you; it isn’t just indie. It has music of all different genres.
4. Hype Machine
Hype Machine will let you know what’s most popular on the internet right now, and what all the blogs are talking about. People find songs or remixes they love, write about them, and they end up on Hype Machine. This helps you find new artists and songs you probably have never heard about before but will love pretty soon. You can search by genre, latest songs, or most popular songs. When you go to a song’s page, you can see how many blogs posted about it and how many “hearts” it has; you can also help artists get discovered by giving their song a “heart”.
Not only is NPR a great news site, but it is also a great place to listen to new albums. On the front page of NPR Music, they have a section titled “First Listen” where you can listen to albums in full before they’re even released. Each album is accompanied by a short description, so you can pick which one sounds most interesting to you – but don’t be afraid to listen to albums that seem weird. NPR also has articles and music stations that you can find new artists on.
6. KEXP 90.3 FM
KEXP is a well-known indie music radio station based in Seattle. They are constantly streaming on the radio and online. They also have “song of the day” podcasts where you’ll find new, free songs every day, new mixes by DJs curated every week, and an entire live performances library where you can find just about every indie artist’s in-studio performance for KEXP. It is all-around an amazing resource for music.
7. Local artists
In the midst of all of this, please remember to support your local artists as well. You’ll be surprised what amazing music you can find in your neighborhood, whether it be at a small venue or in your record shop.