How to Find New Music
October 28, 2017
As a society, we are given to habit. We have certain foods that we often eat, certain clothes that we prefer to wear, and certain music that we like to listen to. Sometimes, though, it’s good to break out of our habits for a little bit, and find something that will become the new normal. This is true with music, too. Sadly, the search for something new often comes up fruitless, since it is hard to whittle down the massive amounts of new music out there every week. As a way to help, here’s a list with some of the methods I use to find something great to listen to. These tips work for all musical genres because there’s new and exciting music out there for everyone, no matter the taste.
1. Keep up with Friday
The industry-mandated day for new music releases is every Friday, so it makes it easy to know exactly when things are coming out. Music streaming services often include new music sections that update every Friday with the latest albums and singles, so you don’t have to search them out yourself. While albums are often announced more than a month in advance, singles, are rarely announced, so checking every Friday for something new should always be rewarding.
2. Follow music blogs and podcasts
Since there are people out there whose sole jobs are to find the best new music, taking advantage of their services is a easy way to find out what is considered to be the best of the best in the industry. When it comes to websites, the list is almost endless. From rap/ hip-hop sites such as The Fader, to more indie-oriented sites such as Stereogum, there’s something out there dedicated to just about every genre. When it comes podcasts, there are things such as All Songs Considered, which is NPR Music’s podcast, and Song Exploder, which brings in artists to dissect the creation of their songs. Another great choice is KEXP’s Music That Matters podcast, which changes genres and tastes based on the DJ in charge that episode.
3. Listen to an entire album
Because of the popularity of playlists and radio stations, it’s less likely that one would listen to an entire album. While it’s understandable to like variety, when purposely looking for new music, it’s useful to listen to the full album of your favorite single. There are always b-sides and underappreciated tracks that are just as good as popular singles.
4. Ask your friends and family what they’re listening to
Everyone listens to different music and has their own tastes, so if you’re feeling adventurous enough to step outside of your comfort zone, why not ask for a recommendation? It’s a special thing to be able to share something you love with someone who cares, so asking would be more than appreciated. Family members might even have old CDs or vinyls that they would be willing to share as well.
5. Go back in time
While it’s great to always keep up on the newest music, there’s always even more old music to listen to. Yes, there is a stigma against old music because of a lack of relevance, but without it, we wouldn’t have the music of today. Looking up your favorite musician’s influences is a great starting point, because chances are, you might like them too. It’s not old if it’s new to you, right?
While habit is understandable, when it comes to music, there’s so much to out there to discover that it’s almost hard not to stumble upon something new. Perhaps you might be able to find the next up-and-coming band or artist before the radio does, or you might be able to find a gem that was lost to time. Either way, there’s something new out there for everyone to add to their playlist.