Finding new music can often be an incredibly daunting and dissatisfying task.
When I was clueless of anything past what was played on the Top 50 radio stations, it was very difficult to come across content that I actually enjoyed. And when I looked elsewhere, I was often displeased with my findings.
I would search for hours to only come out finding a song or two. Over the course of all of this time spent looking for new tunes, I came across certain pages or playlists that always produced consistently satisfactory results.
Once I learned about a group or a weird new sound of music, my range of artists was immediately changed. One artist lead to the next and suddenly my playlists started growing with some bump-worthy tunes that all stemmed from finding that one source.
Personally, being able to expand my music has allowed me to appreciate different genres so much more and has lead me to becoming much more passionate about content. I hope to share with you some of these sources I have used as well as bring in others’ perspectives on how they find music.
Personally, my favorite way to find music is Spotify.
I really enjoy its social aspects, and I believe that it offers a very fun environment to grow playlists. On Spotify, you’ll be able to view playlists from other people as well as artists themselves.
More often than not, if you like an artist, their playlists will be equally as good. Each playlist tends to have very diverse content that you’ve probably never seen before.
My personal favorites come from: ODESZA, Father John Misty, Danger Mouse, Travis Scott, and Frank Ocean.
Another great thing that Spotify provides is custom-made playlists that have been designed for your personal enjoyment. Such playlists include: “Discover Weekly” and “Release Radar”. These weekly updated playlists have been very instrumental in expanding my own music library as they tailor to what I actually listen to.
“Discover Weekly” provides suggestions based off of my selection in the past week and “Release Radar” is full of new songs that have recently been released by the artists that I listen to most. I find myself constantly looking forward to Friday when the new “Release Radar” playlist comes out so I can see all of the fresh goodies. Having it on Friday is a great thing as a lot of content tends to be released then.
And of course, KCPR has its own Spotify and creates playlists frequently to keep everyone up to date on some new bumping music! “KCPR Weekly Charts” features best songs from the radio that week while the rest specialize in certain styles of music like Australian psych, Jazz, and hip hop.
For music of all genres, I strongly recommend “TheNeedleDrop” on YouTube and his website at TheNeedleDrop.com. This page is run by Anthony Fantano, “the internet’s busiest music nerd,” and it is done very well.
He reviews an incredibly broad range of music; music that a vast majority of people will probably never hear. He also does “weekly roundup” videos where he discusses the music that was released that week.
Although I do not enjoy all of his personal highly rated favorites, they often open me to a completely new sound of music and I appreciate that. Having this starting point is great as it gives a direction to me to head for content with a similar sound.
I strongly encourage everyone interested in finding and exploring qualities of music to check out his website and YouTube channel. He posts new content very frequently and they are all worth the peep.
Some of the best online music streaming sites are Soundcloud and Bandcamp. You’ll find great accounts of all shapes and sizes ranging from just a few followers to over a million. It’s super easy to find new music through these sites and I’m consistently finding new music all the time.
These sites will generally have a lot of underground artists that share similar sounds to ones you already enjoy. Starting with artists that you like, you’ll be able to find new ones by simply following the related content. You’ll be able to follow other users that share up to date content and have it all pop up on a main home feed.
Many underground and even popular artists will have music exclusively published on these websites which make them a key tool for any music enthusiast’s discovery belt.
Two great music resources are Pitchfork and Pigeons & Planes. Upon entering either URL into your browser, you will be greeted immediately with the best new songs and artists of all genres. Each website is filled with track and album reviews, interviews with popular and rising artists, video, and events that you should be sure to check out if you’re in the area.
The layout on either site is incredibly pleasing and makes for an even more enjoyable experience as you venture throughout the sounds of music. You’re sure to run into new songs each time you come back; I always find more songs than I know what to do with.
Obviously, not all the resources above are needed for you to find music, but they are great options.
Spotify is great due to its social aspects and content creation, the web is full of amazing sources that are constantly putting out reviews and articles about artists that are heading to the main stage, and events immerse you in the band culture and allow you to experience a side of them that is unable to obtain over their recorded songs.
The first step is making the effort to find something new, the rest will come with ease.
Nick Bishop is a KCPR content contributor, DJ, and a Cal Poly sophomore. He wrote the article. Pamela Moidel is a KCPR staff member and Cal Poly graphic design junior. She created the feature illustration.