Sometimes, finding new artists and songs to listen to can be as simple as Googling them or checking out the charts, but at some point, they all start to sound the same. And although music streaming apps get smarter every day, sometimes, the good old-fashioned ways to look for music still work best. Here’s a clever combination of old and new methods of finding new tunes, and these might just lead you to your next favourite song or album:
Avid travellers will tell you that some of the best music they’ve discovered came from their travels. That’s because when you visit a place, you not only discover the food and tourist sites, you get to know their culture, too. And what better way to do that than to listen to some local music. Ask around for the best local bar or travel to a place that has notable local music festivals. Your hostel might also coincidentally play some good tunes while they’re serving you breakfast. Unplug your headphones and keep your ears open.
If you have that one friend who doesn’t stop talking about every single new music track they discover, maybe now is the time to listen to them. Not only will it give you a deeper insight into the kind of music they like, but it would also broaden your choice of artists. Guy Garvey told The Guardian that before he could make new music, he would listen to his friends and draw inspiration from them. The same goes for when you’re looking for a new track to listen to.
Just like how you would visit a movie or a book review site, you can get some insights from music review sites. Of course, you shouldn’t let the comments dissuade you from listening to them, every song has its haters, and it’s a great way to find songs that are currently trending and being talked about. Lifehacker senior video producer, Joel Kahn states how he checks Pitchfork every morning to see what just came out—they publish four to five album reviews a day. Other review sites you can check out include HypeMachine, GorillaVSBear and MetaCritic.
Smart tech is not just there to tell you weather forecasts. In Screwfix’s look at smart home gadgets, they explain how the Amazon Echo is the ultimate music device, as “on command, it fills the room with immersive 360 omnidirectional audio.” If you have more than one device in your home, the music can even follow you around the property. Digital Trends detailed how the Amazon Echo and Alexa just got smarter as Amazon Music launched two new Alexa voice features: “Local Popularity” and “Play More Like This.” Local Popularity, as the name implies, allows you to check out what music is popular in various locations anywhere in the world. You can simply say, “Alexa, play the hits in Tokyo,” and you can listen to what the Japanese are currently listening to—whether you’re out travelling or simply relaxing at home.
Sounds pretty obvious, but nowadays, people often go to streaming sites first. However, before those songs break on streaming sites, they’ve already become very popular on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although Facebook has been known to be strict when it comes to allowing music to be shared on the platform, things are about to change as they launch Facebook Lip Sync Live. It will give users the opportunity to do karaoke on a live broadcast. That means more chances for you to find new songs.
Other great ways to look for new music is to leave your radio on while you drive. Local university radio stations are also a great source of new music. You can also join live shows that feature new, up-and-coming artists or stop by intimate DIY music events where you barely know anyone on the bill—you might just find something you like. There are also “new music services” like Music Roamer and TuneGlue that let you enter an artist that you like and it will return a web of other similar artists.
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