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Did you know music exists outside your computer?

  • One of the great losses of the pandemic is that we’re spending less time being exposed to good music while hanging out in the local coffeeshop or bar. But when we can do that again—and when the staff isn’t busy—if you hear a good song playing in one, ask about it. The staff would probably love to tell you all about it. Like, you might get dragged into a music lecture. But really, just ask them.
  • Because everywhere else, where the staff didn’t pick the music, you’ll have to ask Soundhound or Siri. And usually that will work, but you won’t hear about all the other related shit. You won’t connect with a real human being, maaan.
  • You wanna connect? When it is safe to do so again, show up at local music venues. Or just make a habit of choosing a bar with live music—I used to get antsy at shows, so I liked this low-commitment option, where the band complements the drinks and not the other way around.
  • The radio tends to be a terrible place to find new music; it’s the ultimate in “played to death.” But find your local college radio station, where the kids are more interested in impressing you than playing the hits.
  • Public radio is similarly unconcerned with hits, and if (like me) you’ve barely listened to it since the first iPod came out, you’ll be happy to find that many public radio stations are diversifying from the old “classical and jazz” mix.
  • “I think the most underrated (and coolest) way to discover new music is to just see who your favorite acts are touring with, who they’re bringing on as openers.”—Maria Sherman

This list is just the tiniest sample, and we’ve left out some major sources of new music. If you’re hungry for more, read (and add) more suggestions in the comments.

This story was originally published on in April 2018 and was updated in August 2019 and on Feb. 11, 2021 to update outdated links and to change the header image, provide new suggestions, and slightly revise the content to align with current Lifehacker style guidelines.

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Congrats! You’re A Music-Finding Pro!

So that just about covers everything you need to know about how to find new music. I know it was a pretty hefty post but hopefully, you feel like you know exactly how to discover some new music to listen to and WHERE to look for it! Do you have any other ideas of where to find new music? Have you got specific sources that you read to keep up to date with the latest tunes? Send them my way.

If you enjoyed reading then make sure to share the post on socials (via the little share bar on the right) and tag me in it! I’d love to chat with you about your own music discovery journey. And if you’re looking for even more music content to read then why not sign-up to my blog newsletter

Female Original

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Find New Music: Read Blog Posts

Honestly, I think reading blog posts about pretty much anything is a great way to learn something new. Whether you’re trying to get travel advice for your next city break (post-lockdown), discover a new drink, or in this case discover new music. You can find everything you need by reading blog posts. For those of you that have followed Female Original for a while, you’ll know that I’m always sharing new music on here, on social media and in my newsletter too. But of course, there are loads of other bloggers out there that write about music. My advice would be to start with actual music bloggers, aka the bloggers that exclusively post about music.

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You’ll likely find things like new song and album

You’ll likely find things like new song and album releases, interviews with small musicians and maybe even a few playlists on music blogs. I do have to say that, in my three years of blogging I’ve found it hard to find bloggers that focus exclusively on music. So, if you’re struggling to find music bloggers, the next thing to do is look to bloggers that have music sections, in the same way that you might come to me for music content.

The database for music nerds

Here you can see the most “collected”
Here you can see the most “collected” rock artists of the 2000s.

discogs.com is already a real institution among music fans on an international scale. First and foremost, Discogs is a community-based database. Based on the database, users can submit ratings and create music collections.

If you want to search for new music, the Browse section offers you a whole range of possibilities. You can filter the database by genre, style and publication decade. The filtered selection can be sorted by criteria such as “most collected” or “announced”. Discogs is a great port of call for new music, especially if you already have some basic musical knowledge. If that’s the case, the search can be really fun and will help you discover new releases as well as classics that you haven’t come across before. This site also serves as a marketplace for vinyl records and CDs.

Content Based Filtering

utilizes tagged information about the song to make

utilizes tagged information about the song to make its recommendation. It constantly extracts information from the internet (like from Kollection articles!) to match similar adjectives or nouns describing a song to a recommended song. The obvious issue here is the more a song is talked about online, the more likely it will match tags with one you already like: leaving the underdog artists in the dust, again.

IS THERE A RIGHT WAY TO DISCOVER MUSIC IN 2021?

Remainder of Photos Courtesy of Eros Surya

I will admit, these techniques are extremely impressive and do in fact yield some amazing finds from time to time. However, there is an underlying problem with the entire system that is overlooked by so many listeners “looking” for new music. That is, an algorithm can only know you so much. Trust your taste in music more than robots! Evidently, everyone will have different expectations on how a recommendation system should and should not operate, but I implore you to take a few of these simple steps to diversify your library!

Utilize Multiple Streaming Platforms

Yes, that means enduring the chaotic mess that is

Yes, that means enduring the chaotic mess that is Soundcloud, the deep rabbit holes of Youtube, and even the cringy Tik Tok influencers to find some gems! There is so much music not seeing the light of day through the recommendation algorithms, expanding your search area can only help!

Dive into Artist Playlists

Follow a few of your favorite artists playlists, p

Follow a few of your favorite artists playlists, pay attention to the tracks they share on Instagram, or get real personal by digging through their personal likes on Soundcloud! Not to mention, following highly curated playlists by labels, blogs, and brands (cough cough K WEEKLY!)

Spotify Radio or Soundcloud Stations

Utilize the radio functions of your streaming serv

Utilize the radio functions of your streaming service of choice. Yes, it does succumb to the flaws of algorithmic recommendation from time to time, but definitely great to find some gems on a long car ride, a run, or with a morning cup of coffee! 

Shazam!

Obviously we haven’t been able to do this at live

Obviously we haven’t been able to do this at live shows for the past year, but don’t be afraid to use shazam while watching DJ sets on Youtube! We all know and love the one guy in the comment section typing out full tracklists.

Share Music with Friends

I can’t stress this enough. No algorithm can know

I can’t stress this enough. No algorithm can know your taste in music more than your friends do. So, text a new song you found this week to a friend! Ask for some music in return, catch up, schedule a coffee date, get married, have kids- just share music people!

At the end of the day, there is no simple or easy solution to having the hottest music library. Truth is it takes a lot of effort, but I promise you it pays off. Listen past the algorithmic soundscape and find some serious gems as so much good music is being released underneath your radar. Here’s to hoping we can get back out there on the dancefloor soon to boogie to all these new tracks you’re finding!

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