How Do You Discover New Music?
How do you discover new music?
I love that there isn’t a perfect system for discovering new bands and artists. Instead, there are a plethora of systems that people can use depending on their tastes and preferences. You have the classic word of mouth in addition to iTunes Genius, Pandora, and YouTube, as well as the more recent Spotify.
But you also have these little niche websites that are absolutely fantastic. I’m sure I’m missing some, and I’d love for you to add to this list in the comments. Hopefully one of these will mesh well with your style.
- mySpoonful: This is my favorite of the bunch. If you like indie rock, go to this site right now and subscribe to their subscription list. Every day you’ll get exactly one e-mail with a link to a new song that’s free to play and free to download if you like it. I love the daily deal aspect because you don’t have to remember to go to the site every day, and it’s only one song, so you can listen to it while you brush your teeth in the morning. One and done. These are bands you’d otherwise never hear of, but many of them are excellent.
- thesixtyone: This is a beautifully designed website that can keep you transfixed for hours (or just for a few songs). Basically, you go to the site and it picks a song for you to listen to. You can listen to it in the background or you can watch the screen as little tidbits about the artist or band pop up around the screen. If you like the song, you can buy it from the site.
- 8tracks: Remember back in the days of CDs and cassette tapes when you could make a mix tape and share it with a friend? 8tracks brings that concept to the cloud, and you don’t even have to own the music to share it. You create the mix tapes right there on the site and then share it with friends and the general public. Or you can just listen to “tapes” that have already been created on the site. (Do you remember your first mix tape? Mine was made by my first high-school girlfriend and only contained two songs, but I listened to it over and over: “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits and “All I Want Is You” by U2.)
- turntable.fm: This is by-invite-only so far, but I love the concept. I’d say that it’s Twitter for music. When you go to the site, you join a “room” of random people listening to music, and you take turns selecting a song for everyone to listen to. There are many other ways to recommend songs to people, but I think the key is that it’s live–everyone is listening to the same music at the same time, so it’s a shared experience (like watching a movie in a theater). Full disclosure: I haven’t tried this site yet, but I love the concept and have heard that it’s all the rage in Silicon Valley.