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Top 10 Ways To Find New Music

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Drawing: @freke_art

How To Find New Music
No matter how much you like a song, play it enough times and it will start to get old. That’s why if you listen to a lot of music, you’re probably always on the lookout for the next song that you can play out. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to find good music that you like and haven’t heard before.

Since I’ve spent hours upon hours searching for music, I’ve gotten pretty good at finding new stuff. Below you will find my top ten favorite ways to find new music. It should help you along in the process of making playlists, or just expanding your library.

10. Listen To Radio Stations
This one is pretty obvious, and that’s why it’s number ten on this list, but you can still use it to find some great new music. The trick is to pick a good radio station. It can be internet radio, such as Pandora (Spotify Radio sucks), or you can throw on your favorite local FM station. It’s more of a passive method, but if you hear a song you like, take a note of the title or if that’s not available, some of the lyrics so you can add it to a playlist later.

9. Related Artists on Spotify
The related artists section on Spotify is interesting, and it can also be pretty hit-or-miss, but if you are really digging an artist you can look through the related artists and find a few gems. Pick an artist that you know you like a lot, and check out the artists that Spotify deems similar to them. Chances are there will be a few bands you like in the mix that you have never heard of before, maybe even a few that you can dig.

8. Reddit
Reddit can be a great source of new music, but you have to know where to look. While r/Music is pretty cool and sometimes has good suggestions, I’ve found it’s much better to find a more specific subreddit, such as one related to an artist or a genre that you enjoy. My favorite is r/Brandnew. Often times there are threads in which people talk about other bands they like, and I’ve found a few great songs and artists that way.

7. Use
This is one method that I discovered my accident one day. I was looking up setlists for some shows I had been to when I found the artist statistics page, and it changed my life. This page lets you see how many times an artist has played each one of their songs, as well as any other songs they may have played. It’s great for discovering covers by your favorite band that you may have never heard before. For example, this is how I found this epic video of Brand New covering Weezer’s “El Scorcho”.

6. Look At Best Ever Albums Lists
Best Ever Albums is a site that gathers data from a huge number of different charts and uses the data to rank albums. They have lists by year, by artist, by decade, as well as a list of their Top 500 Albums of All Time. Normally when I hear about an artist, I go on Best Ever Albums to find out which of their albums to start with, and go from there. This site has been very useful to me in finding music that I’d never heard of before, and I’m sure you can find some way to use it to your benefit.

5. Music Blogs
Since there are so many different music blogs, and a lot of them are crappy, you might have trouble finding a good one. The trick is to find a good site, or even a good writer on a site and start following their posts religiously. Hypemachine is a good place to find good blogs, as they index a bunch of different feeds and show them all in once place. You could also flip through Extra Chill a bit, as I’ve got some great music posted on here as well.

Some of my favorite music blogs:

Brooklyn Vegan (indie rock and tons of hipsters)
Pidgeons & Planes (hip-hop & indie rock)
Indie Shuffle (name says it all)
Ultimate Classic Rock (derp)

4. Ask Your Friends
Now, this really depends on if your friends have good taste in music (or if you even have friends), but most of the time there’s at least one person in your circle with some knowledge about what constitutes a good song. Reach out to them and ask for some suggestions. I’ve noticed that people are normally flattered when you ask them for music suggestions, because everyone likes to be told they have good taste in music, and said person will bombard you with tons of great music. You’ll even have a chance to send them some music in return, if you feel so inclined.

3. Look At Festival Lineups
Festival lineups are another great way to find out about new music. Simply find a music festival that has a few artists you like, and check out some of the other artists that you haven’t heard of. There’s bound to be a few artists on the festival lineup that you can dig. For a comprehensive list of festivals and lineups, check out Music Festival Wizard. They even have a nifty festival map that shows you where and when festivals are happening.

2. Spotify’s Discover Weekly Playlist
The Discover Weekly playlist was implemented by Spotify fairly recently. They have some sort of algorithm that gives you a new thirty song playlist every Monday, based on what you listen to. I’m always impressed with the amount of great stuff that they have on my Discover Weekly playlist, and usually I can grab a few songs for my normal playlist rotation. The whole playlist is usually pretty chill, with only one or two duds per week. Kudos to Spotify for coming up with such an awesome idea, and an even more awesome way to find new music.

1. YouTube Suggestions
Through it all, my favorite way to find new music has been on Youtube’s sidebar. It’s a fairly primitive method, with all the options available today, but I can honestly say I’ve found the most new music this way. Go to Youtube and pull up a song that you really like. In the sidebar, you’ll see a whole bunch of related videos, many of them from the artist that you’re currently listening to, but scroll down a bit and you’ll some other artists on there, too. Pick one, and if you like it, add it to a playlist. If you don’t, hit back on your browser and try again. Continue doing this for as long as you like. Eventually you’ll have a bunch of dope songs that you’ve never heard before.

If this post helped you learn how to find new music, please feel free to leave a comment, share with your friends, the works. Also, don’t forget to follow @extra_chill on Twitter!

Up next: How To Make A Playlist