The Best Ways to Discover New Music, According to 14 Artists

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Find New Music Using These 4 Methods

1. Wikipedia

Find an artist you like on Wikipedia, and then find out what other bands some of the members are in.

I’ll use “Peeping Tom” as an example. So I go to the Peeping Tom Wikipedia page.

On the right hand side, I look for the “Members” heading. I see that Mike Patton is a member of this band, so I click on his name.

Now Mike Patton’s Wikipedia page, I look to the right again for “Associated Acts”. Here it shows me all of the bands that he is involved in.

You can see that he is involved in these bands:

  • Faith No More
  • Mr. Bungle
  • Fantômas
  • Tomahawk
  • Peeping Tom (where we came from)
  • Lovage
  • John Zorn
  • Kaada/Patton
  • Dillinger Escape Plan
  • Hemophiliac
  • Maldoror
  • General Patton vs. The X-Ecutionaers
  • Rahzel
  • Zu

I now know bands that Mike Patton not only likes, but was willing to be a part of (or even start himself).

You can do this with almost any band. Most artists that are prolific are involved in many side projects, so you can immediately expand your music library without much effort, and you can do this for every member of a band.

2. “Discover New Music” Services

There are a buttload of websites that will automatically help you find music that is similar to what you already listen to. No work required, unlike those complex Wikipedia steps I had above. Here are two that I like:

Music Roamer: Enter in an artist that you like, and it will return a web of other artists that are similar. You can then click the “Listen to ARTIST NAME” to listen to that artist.

The streams aren’t particularly high quality, but they certainly are good enough to let you know whether you like it or not; think YouTube 360p.

Last.fm: As far as finding a plethora of bands, Last.fm is not as good as the first option. Where it does excel though, is in listening. Last.fm is mainly set up as a radio that plays music based on your current interests.

It’s definitely more complex than the first two options, and has it’s own little social network and whatnot, so you kind of have to sign up for a fair amount to use it.

But where Music Roamer is really great for finding a lot of new artists quickly, Last.fm is great for someone who just wants to listen continuously, slowly picking out artists when they like their sound. It’s less intentional once you’ve got your own Last.fm account.

4. Local University Radio Stations

Beyond the obvious idea of listening to your local college/university radio, the people who run these stations have a ridiculous amount of new music streaming through their station all the time.

Because they are a University, they have huge limits on the amount of popular Top 40 music they can play (it’s either none, or practically none allowed), so almost all the music is original in some way.

I recommend contacting the music manager (who is usually some good looking University student) who can hook you up with ridiculous amounts of music to check out.

For example, in Canada I was able to reach out to a friend of mine, Adam Roper, who is the Music Director of CIVL radio (the home radio station of the University of Fraser Valley). He hooked me up with a huge Google document of over 1400+ albums that he went through over the last 4 years.

What a great resource to have when looking for new tunes!

Contact your local University radio, and see if you can get some recommendations. You might even consider seeing if they have any similar resources to what I just described. Who knows, you might get lucky!

Find New Music: Look At Reviews

Looking at reviews from newspapers, news sites and music websites is one of the easiest ways to discover new music. There are so many sites and resources out there that’ll tell you all about the latest releases. If you’re a complete newbie to reading music reviews then don’t worry. I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite places to read reviews in a sec. But first I want to talk about why reviews are a great way to source new tunes.

The biggest appeal of a review is that they give you an outline of what to expect from a song/album in advance. Maybe you’ve heard of a musician but haven’t had time to listen to their stuff yet. An album will set you back around 45 minutes if you listen to it in full. And if you aren’t feeling the music by the end of it then it can feel like a waste of time! Trust me I’ve felt like this on a few occasions.

Whereas a review will take like what? 5 minutes tops to read. It’ll give you an idea of what to expect from the music, a general rating of how good the album is (in the opinion of the reviewer) and what they think are the best tracks on the album. If you’re sat reading a review and thinking bloody hell that song/album sounds awful!! then at least you’ve only spent a couple of minutes reading about it.

Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that you won’t always agree with the reviewer. At the end of the day, it is only one person’s opinion per review. So if you want to get an idea of what the music you’re researching is like then it’s best to read a few different reviews.

Photography by Roman Kraft via Unsplash.
Photography by Roman Kraft via Unsplash.

My Go-To Review Sites

My favourite places to read reviews are Pitchfork, The Guardian and Metacritic. The latter being my go-to source for discovering new releases.

I think for a lot of you Pitchfork would be a great place to start because it’s so easy to navigate. Each new release is labelled with the genre so you can sift through the sort of music you’re looking for really quickly. The ‘Staff Picks’ section is also a really unique part of the site. It reads a bit more like a blog and takes you through some of the picks by Pitchfork staff. As I’m searching on the website right now I’m just dreaming about how much I wish my blog looked as cool as their site does. It’s so chic! The Guardian online is my go-to for reading in-depth reviews. I always find their reviews to be really fair which is something that I’ve found can be an issue sometimes with reviews. Sometimes it feels like certain reviews are being unnecessarily harsh on a couple of musicians. And in other cases, it feels like they’re hyping up an album that isn’t actually that incredible. But overall The Guardian seems to be spot on with their music reviews.

Photography by Thought Catalog via Unsplash.
Photography by Thought Catalog via Unsplash.

Video

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.

How to Find New Music on Amazon Music

Amazon Music logo
Amazon Music logo

While Amazon Music may be less popular than Spotify or Apple Music, (check out our Amazon Music vs Spotify comparison) it is also a great platform for finding new music. It comes with a prime and unlimited plan with more than 60 million songs in its catalog.

What’s more, it’s integrated with Alexa, so you can use voice commands to control your listening experience on the app. Amazon Music then relies on Alexa to remember your song preferences so the algorithm can come up with the best song recommendations for you.

When it comes to music discovery, Amazon Music lets you explore the platform by giving you access to new songs and artists straight from its home page. It’s also not intrusive, so if you don’t want to explore, you can just stick to your saved videos on the library tab.

While Amazon Music may not have an extended curated playlist, the algorithm creates mini-recommendations that could help you discover new music.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the features that can help you find new music:

Songs for You

The homepage includes music recommendations based on your past listening habits. This section is divided into Songs for You, Albums for You, Stations for You, and Playlists for you.

New releases

Head to Find and search for New releases. Here, you will find all the recently released songs, albums, and playlists, which you can sort by genre. You can check this page at least once a day to find something new.

Related artists

If you scroll down the profile page of your favorite artist, you will see a Related Artist section that helps you discover new artists. It displays other artists that have the same musical style as the one you selected.

Check out our comprehensive Amazon Music review to find out more about its additional features.

Other Ways to Find New Music

Girl scrolling for new music
Girl scrolling for new music

While music streaming services may be the top option nowadays in finding new music, they’re not the only one. In fact, trying out other ways can help you find more music that may be outside what you’d normally listen to.

“An artist you like can pull its music catalog from the service. … The music isn’t yours forever.” — Andy Greene, Rolling Stone magazine

With that in mind, here are a few other ways to find new music:

Social media

You could discover new music on your timeline. Pay attention to artists that have a huge following on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. They are likely to have gone viral for their talent. You can also check out the type of songs that your friends are sharing or recommending.

Live shows

Go to live shows or concerts where you don’t recognize the artists on the bill, or at least have one familiar artist so you can be drawn to the show. Look out for opening acts for your favorite band since there may be a good reason why they were included in the show.

Remember, having an open mind is the key to finding new music. Also, don’t forget to use Shazam. It’s an app that helps you identify the songs playing around you.

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