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How do you find new music? - asking for a dinosaur friend...

beeface

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  • These days I mostly discover new music from local community radio (not for profit radio mostly ran by volunteers, so probably similar to college radio in the US).
  • Occasionally I'll tune into an overseas Internet radio station like NTS, or DJ sets from platforms like Boiler Room (using Shazam for track ID).
  • Every now and then I'll hear a song I like on TV or in public and use Shazam.
  • Spotify's Discover Weekly can throw out some good recommendations every now and then. I used to use Spotify's "radio" function for a track to find music that's similar to that particular track, but I feel like they changed this function at some point and now it's mostly a playlist of music I already listen to.
  • One thing I've almost stopped doing entirely though is reading music reviews. TBH I feel like I know more about what constitutes good music than the people who review it for a living. Still, I'll scan the ratings sometimes and if something seems to be receiving critical acclaim I'll check it out.
 

DMill

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If you’re aged under 30 just watch Stranger Things. :)
 
OP
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Kutusov

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  • Every now and then I'll hear a song I like on TV or in public and use Shazam.

This! I used to find tons of cool music in bars with the similar Soundhound. Somehow this one seemed to work better, Shazan would sometimes struggle with stuff they would play.
 

Liya

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NTS Radio
Bleep
Bandcamp Daily
The Wire Magazine - Adventures in Sound and Music
 

beeface

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This! I used to find tons of cool music in bars with the similar Soundhound. Somehow this one seemed to work better, Shazan would sometimes struggle with stuff they would play.
Thanks, I'll check Soundhound out, too.
 

Axo1989

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  • These days I mostly discover new music from local community radio (not for profit radio mostly ran by volunteers, so probably similar to college radio in the US).
  • Occasionally I'll tune into an overseas Internet radio station like NTS, or DJ sets from platforms like Boiler Room (using Shazam for track ID).
  • Every now and then I'll hear a song I like on TV or in public and use Shazam.
  • Spotify's Discover Weekly can throw out some good recommendations every now and then. I used to use Spotify's "radio" function for a track to find music that's similar to that particular track, but I feel like they changed this function at some point and now it's mostly a playlist of music I already listen to.
  • One thing I've almost stopped doing entirely though is reading music reviews. TBH I feel like I know more about what constitutes good music than the people who review it for a living. Still, I'll scan the ratings sometimes and if something seems to be receiving critical acclaim I'll check it out.

These methods work for me too. In Sydney we have FBI and other community radio. Also JJJ public radio (National broadcaster mission to promote new music to 18-24 cohort but listeners hang about past that age slice).

Exceptions: Apple Music not Spotify was better for me, but presumably similar, generates suggestions, matches, playlists and artist channels based on listening (no other data entry on my part, I don’t make playlists either) or just similar artists.

I do read music mags online: Pitchfork, Revolver, Coup de Main and the like. Usually pick up a few clues via various lists. Pick sites that match your (or your friends) interests.
 

Axo1989

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Also, DJ mixes (with track lists) on SoundCloud.
 

earlevel

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Here's a little different tack that has helped me in the past. First, identify a style you might like, but drill down to sub-genres, and maybe search on related ones. Take one at a time, and look for lists of bands in that genre. For instance, there is "rock", but metal is a sub, but it gets much finer than that—death metal, technical death metal (I just found that, lol), progressive metal, djent...

One way to do this is if you've come across something new you already like—start looking what people who like that band also listen to, and what sub-genres it might fall into. Classification is heavily subjective. For instance, in a quick search, see Ranker has a list of darkwave bands, which has The Cure, Gary Numan, and other bands that you might have just called "new wave", or even jsut "'80s". But if they were thought of only as new wave or '80s, you wouldn't come across VNV Nation, or Project Pitchfork. In fact, I found those bands and others many years ago when I wanted to hear what was going on in electronica but wasn't particularly interested in dance/club music.

Basically, when you hear something you like read about the band, their genre might get described, and they might get compared to other well-liked bands in the same, similar, or tangential vein. You might find forums where the band is mentioned, along with others of interest. Then a little "drop the needle" on each band in youtube or your favorite music streaming service will let you know if you want to spend more time with them.

At least this works well for me, especially since I have a more progressive rock background, and while I do like many more pop things, I also like a lot of things that will never show up on a radio play list. Sometimes largely due to 7+ minute songs, many true artists don't target radio.
 

beeface

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These methods work for me too. In Sydney we have FBI and other community radio. Also JJJ public radio (National broadcaster mission to promote new music to 18-24 cohort but listeners hang about past that age slice).

I've never been a big fan of Triple J (although I know people older than me who still listen to it).

I'm currently in Sydney so I listen to FBi as you mentioned, as well as 2SER. Living in Melbourne and Brisbane previously I've also listened to and enjoyed Triple R, PBS and 4ZZZ.
 

Chromatischism

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Here's a little different tack that has helped me in the past. First, identify a style you might like, but drill down to sub-genres, and maybe search on related ones. Take one at a time, and look for lists of bands in that genre. For instance, there is "rock", but metal is a sub, but it gets much finer than that—death metal, technical death metal (I just found that, lol), progressive metal, djent...

One way to do this is if you've come across something new you already like—start looking what people who like that band also listen to, and what sub-genres it might fall into. Classification is heavily subjective. For instance, in a quick search, see Ranker has a list of darkwave bands, which has The Cure, Gary Numan, and other bands that you might have just called "new wave", or even jsut "'80s". But if they were thought of only as new wave or '80s, you wouldn't come across VNV Nation, or Project Pitchfork. In fact, I found those bands and others many years ago when I wanted to hear what was going on in electronica but wasn't particularly interested in dance/club music.

Basically, when you hear something you like read about the band, their genre might get described, and they might get compared to other well-liked bands in the same, similar, or tangential vein. You might find forums where the band is mentioned, along with others of interest. Then a little "drop the needle" on each band in youtube or your favorite music streaming service will let you know if you want to spend more time with them.

At least this works well for me, especially since I have a more progressive rock background, and while I do like many more pop things, I also like a lot of things that will never show up on a radio play list. Sometimes largely due to 7+ minute songs, many true artists don't target radio.
Deezer helps me with that. Not only does it show me Similar Artists, but it notifies me whenever one of my favorites drops something new. I'm sure other services have their own ways.

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JeremyFife

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I don't trust streaming algorithms. They are good at giving you more of what you have, but I'm looking to newer and different music that I don't have. They're not very good for that.

The best way I get new music is referrals from regular people. The thread on this site, "What are we listening to right now .....", started in 2016 by @Thomas savage, has proven to be absolutely invaluable.


If you like classical-form music, the ElitestClassical page on reddit is interesting, too.


Good luck! :) Jim
Second this ... real people are the best source for new stuff ... even when our taste is questionable (myself included) :)
 

Vacceo

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If you’re aged under 30 just watch Stranger Things. :)
Why? If only they played Slayer...

I go by ancient methods: take a look at what a discography that has published music that I like has in the catalogue and search from there.
 

earlevel

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Deezer helps me with that. Not only does it show me Similar Artists, but it notifies me whenever one of my favorites drops something new. I'm sure other services have their own ways.
Yes, that's good, and there are things like the play lists on Apple Music as well. Still, I find that doing web search brings up more tangents, and I just giving that as another possibility. Different people categorize things differently, so you end up with different references to other bands and music, depending on which links you end up clicking on. I'm not necessarily looking for something that is similar, so a web search might lead me to explore another band with a new search, which might lead me to a new genre term I hadn't heard, and another search. And after five searches I'm in a place that's totally different, but maybe I've picked up five bands to explore on the way, and they are all very different, but none of which I would have heard on the radio or TV show. A lot of dice being rolled, you can end up in unexpected places, but all the bands were interesting enough to be singled out by someone. Yet you restricted parameters, so you're not going to end up looking at country songs if you set about looking for modern prog alternatives.
 

Axo1989

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I've never been a big fan of Triple J (although I know people older than me who still listen to it).

I'm currently in Sydney so I listen to FBi as you mentioned, as well as 2SER. Living in Melbourne and Brisbane previously I've also listened to and enjoyed Triple R, PBS and 4ZZZ.
`
Oh yes, 2SER is great.

I forgot another way I find new music: Wikipedia. Look up an artist or band you like. The article will usually list their creative influences as well as their contemporaries. Or do the same thing for an applicable genre, sub-genre and/or micro-genre. Then check out the connections that look interesting and repeat. Use your streaming service to listen as you go (your streaming service recommendations will also expand accordingly). The result is an ever-unfolding fractal of new and old music.
 

Andretti60

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I forgot another vary valuable font of information and discovery: discogs. Not only a huge database, it also has a very good blog and recommendations lists. The articles are actually very good, written by people who like music, not the casual hipster posting a vlog on a YouTube channel.
 

Zaireeka

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I didn't know Discogs Digs and their blog, thx for the tip!
 

RayDunzl

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I'll sometimes investigate the players in the band and see who else they played with.

Extreme case might be Anthony Jackson who has about the longest list of credits I've ever seen.

 
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