Top 5 Sources for New Music, Bands and Albums
Artists are always looking for ways to find new music and inspiration. Well at least I am. I find my self getting in a rut with the artists and albums in my musical collection I’ve gathered over the years. Most of the time I’ll reach out to my friends and fellow musicians and ask them to send any new music my way. Most of them know what my tastes and styles are and can suggest rather good fits. But there is nothing like being able to sample songs from various artists in rapid time. I’ve gathered a list of the top 5 sources I use on a daily basis for finding new music that I connect with and that inspires me for everything from my own writing and creations to engineering and mixing music in my studio.
1. NPR Music – New Music, Music Reviews and Music News – This website allows you to as they call it “Listen First” to the newest albums releases in FULL! Yes, you can stream entire albums on this website. I absolutely love that one of my fellow musician friends turned me onto this website. With other sources for new music, you get one song and it’s usually the radio track from their album, which limits your impression of the artist and album to just one track. With NPR Music you get to listen to the whole album and get access to those tracks that often end up being your favorites. I highly recommend checking out this website on a weekly basis to see and hear whats new.
2. Pandora – When you don’t want to think about the new music your listening to and just have new music play constantly play, Pandora is a great website and tool. Well known as the “Music Genome Project” It’s the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. I will let them explain below, based on their own explanation from their website.
“Together our team of musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every track – melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics … and more! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.”
It’s fantastic. Simply type in a band or song you like and create a “station based off of it and it will play other music that fits that style. The Music Genome Project was founded by musicians and music-lovers.
Downsides – The free account everyone get’s does have short advertising everyone 4-5 songs. You can upgrade for a small monthly free for advertising-free listening. The other downside is they do limit the tracks they play from each album. At least that’s what I experience.
Other than those small things, this is still a great source to “Set it and forget it.” You can then pause the music for when you aren’t listen and can share the music you find with friends and on your social media channels.
3. Pitchfork – This website gives you more than just music to listen to. From interviews, Articles, Staff Lists to Rising Artists, Reviews and even best re-issues, this site is full of tons of information on new artists. The site only includes a few tracks from each artist, but that’s better than just one IMO. I really like the layout and organization of their website. You can keep listening to the music your sampling while still surfing around the website, reading articles and finding other music to put in your cue.
4. NME – New Music ? Not sure what the “E” stands for as it’s not explained anywhere on their website. My guess is “experience.” But regardless, this site is very similar to the functionality and tools as Pitchfork. I did find that there seems to be more unknown bands, since the goal and focus of the website is focused on New Music. Check this one out for yourself.
5. Spotify – Very similar to Pandora. There are some pro’s to using spotify, such as it has a much larger musical collection. About 20x than Pandora. Personally I never liked Spotify as much as pandora. Just seems more mainstream as far as the music goes, while pandora’s approach exposes me to music closer to my liking. Plus after 6 months you are limited to 10hrs/mo. of music playing. Mobile-free version is 3x more expensive than Pandora. Here is a full list of comparisons of Pandora vs. Spotify that should help you make the decision bewtween the two if having ad-free mobile listening is a priority.