Have you found yourself stuck in a musical dead end of late? Don’t worry. It can happen to the best of us. The question is, do you know how to dig yourself out of it?
Well, for those who are struggling to find new pathways of musical discovery, we’ve put together a few suggestions to help you get your mojo back. With a mixture of old and new tech ideas, hopefully, this article will have you grooving again in no time. So, let’s figure out how to find new music…
- Ask Your Friends
- Music Streaming Platforms
- GNOD – The Global Network of Discovery
- Best of Lists
- Hype Machine
- Live Music
- Need More Advice on Where to Find Music?
- How To Find New Music – Final Thoughts
Ask Your Friends
It’s the simplest and oldest, tried and tested way to find new music. As long as music has been around, friends have been sharing it. Even with all the technological advancements of the modern era, it’s still one of the most effective methods for finding new music.
They’re always discovering new bands and upcoming music, and they aren’t into just one genre. Their tastes are eclectic, and they pride themselves on discovering high-quality sounds.
Their usually pretty easy to identify, since they like to share their discoveries as far and as wide as possible. All you have to do is start listening to them. They’ve done all the hard work already, saving you countless hours of research.
Get them to send you recommendations regularly, maybe ask them to compile a list of their favorite artists, albums, and tracks. You might think this is a little demanding, but on the whole, people love being asked for advice. It makes them feel knowledgeable having peers ask for their help.
You benefit from their extensive musical education
Plus, you’ll make them feel good at the same time. A win-win situation if ever there was one. Furthermore, creating music-based social media group chats, where friends or colleagues post their recommendations, is also a fun way of discovering what your friends are into.
You may have to dig through a whole lot of chaff along the way, but you’re sure to find hidden gems or even whole new genres you might never have found by yourself.
Music Streaming Platforms
The odds are that you already use one of the many music streaming platforms now available. But you’d be surprised at how many don’t. Spotify, the largest of them all, has around 350 million active monthly users, a figure which continues to grow every month.
The secret of their success is largely down to their algorithmic approach to recommending new music. Something they do better than anyone else. If you’re new to the platform, it will take a week or two of listening for the algorithm to gain an understanding of the type of music you like.
The advantages of Spotify…
It will do this through analyzing what you’ve searched for and listened to, and also what you’ve tagged as songs you like. Skipped songs will also be noted as something you probably didn’t like. Not only does the algorithm take into account your activity, but also the listening history and likes of other users who follow the same artists as you.
After a week or two of getting to know you, you can start to enjoy the advantages of Spotify’s personalized playlists. One of the best ways to find new music is the legendary “Discover Weekly.” It specifically aims to provide you with a two-hour playlist of music that you’ve never heard before but fits your tastes perfectly.
It’s uncanny how well they manage to do this. Once you’ve listened to your weekly list, you can go off and explore the back catalogs of all these newly discovered artists. Potentially giving you hundreds of hours of new material to work your way through.
The one danger of this approach…
If your tastes are limited to a particular genre, you might find yourself in a musical echo chamber of limited range. But hey, that’s purely down to you. For those with a wide-ranging musical appreciation or those keen to broaden their horizons, Spotify’s algorithm is one of the most exceptional ways to discover new music.
Spotify will even create playlists based on a particular song, artist, genre, language, or even your mood. With a library of over 50 million tracks to choose from, there’s very little in existence that hasn’t been uploaded onto the site.
As mentioned, all the other streaming giants use an algorithmic approach to help you discover new music. But the combination of data inputs they use over at Spotify provides by far the best results for me.
We all use YouTube to some extent, and they also use an algorithm based on your watching history to recommend new videos.
Whilst not as effective at music discovery as what’s going on over at Spotify, it’s still a good way to discover new music. They also know your Google search history, which they can couple with your YouTube activity for more accurate results.
However, an even better way to use YouTube is to subscribe to a few of the excellent music channels that you can find on the platform. One of the best YouTube channels for new music is KEXP Radio. They specialize in intimate live performances from up-and-coming artists and the occasional established act.
Escape the mainstream…
KEXP Radio is a fantastic resource full of new music from across the musical spectrum. Once again, they are doing the hard work for you by sourcing exciting new acts from across the globe. And then bring them to your attention without you having to do a thing.
Along with the live shows, KEXP generally interviews the acts. Allowing you to get to know the artists on a more personal level.
GNOD – The Global Network of Discovery
Founded by a German guy called Marek Gibney, the GNOD project uses artificial intelligence and user input to create discovery portals that aid people in finding new stuff that they’ll like. They do this for all sorts of art forms, including music.
Simply type in the name of an artist, and GNOD will produce a music map of other related artists, kind of like a spider’s web. The closer an artist’s name appears on the screen to the name you originally searched (which remains in the center of the screen), the greater the probability that you will like both artists.
How to find new music quickly and easily…
The closer any name on the map is to another, the more they will share in terms of their overall sound. While this doesn’t tell you a lot for big established acts, for lesser-known artists, it makes for far more useful maps. Allowing you to quickly come up with alternative musical suggestions. The results are very accurate too.
You’ll be amazed at how quick and easy to use the site is. And before you know it, you’ll have enough new artist names to last you a lifetime.
Best of Lists
If you’re looking to beef out your library with critically acclaimed music, there are a ton of resources at your disposal. Websites like Pitchfork.com have compiled lists of the best 200 albums of each decade, from the 60s onwards. Famed for focusing on quality rather than mass appeal, you’re sure to find a load of historical classics that passed you by.
Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” is a far more traditional list of popular classics. Despite its obvious nature, it’s a great resource for those born in recent generations. Newcomers to the history of popular music should find this particularly helpful. Likewise, “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die” is another great list along similar lines.
Hype Machine is a website that scrapes together the latest posts from hundreds of music sites/blogs and puts them in one place for ease of discovery. Each post has an attached song you can listen to there and then.
Users of the site can “like” songs which will then chart on the website’s “Popular” page. As a resource for listening to the latest music from all manner of artists, both underground and mainstream, it’s up there with the best. You can also search by genre, artist, or track if you want to find something specific.
Thanks to Covid, the last few years weren’t stellar for live performances, or much else, come to think of it. But if and when things return to a semblance of normality, get out there and listening to what’s on offer in your local city or town. It’s probably the most enjoyable way of discovering new music.
Festivals are the best way of seeing as much live music as you can in as short a space of time. Some of the larger ones will feature hundreds of bands over a few days. Granted, this isn’t the cheapest path to new musical discoveries, but you’ll have one hell of a good time along the way.
Some of the most memorable live performances can be from bands you had no intention of seeing but randomly caught at a festival. Hopefully, we’ll be allowed the pleasure of experiencing the joys of live music again soon.
Need More Advice on Where to Find Music?
Our musical experts can help you with that. Check out our helpful guides on Apple Music vs Spotify, Amazon Music HD vs Spotify Premium, Spotify vs Pandora, YouTube Music vs Spotify, Free Spotify vs Spotify Premium, Spotify vs Deezer, and Tidal vs. Spotify for more useful information on music discovery.
And once you find some great new music, you need to listen to hear it at its best. So, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Music Streamers, the Best Headphones with Volume Control, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds you can buy in 2021.
How To Find New Music – Final Thoughts
There are a ton of other online resources available to the musical explorer these days, too many to mention here. But using a combination of the suggestions we’ve listed above, should have your library full of new things to listen to in no time.
This last year has been a pretty awful one for most. But there aren’t too many better ways of lifting your spirits, than discovering a wealth of new music to get stuck into. Hopefully, we’ve helped you along on that journey.
Until next time, let the music play.