How to Discover New Music
Are you stuck in a rut for branching out of your music taste and into new genres? Can’t seem to find new artists that fit your current music taste? Want to grow your music library but don’t know where to start? We’ve all been there.
Constantly rotating through the same artists again and again only to be unsatisfied during our morning commute to work because our Spotify recommendations just aren’t cutting it. Here are some simple yet helpful tips I use when I’m ready to search for new artists.
Go to More Local Shows
Don’t overlook Facebook events happening in your hometown that features local acts. Make sure to keep your eye out for fliers next time you’re out on the town. A good chunk of the music I enjoy are from bands that live in my city of Buffalo, NY.
I came across these bands because I felt like going to a small concert with some friends to explore the city nightlife. You’d be blown away to find out the amount of incredible talent rooted in your hometown. And in this day and age, most, if not all, local bands you’ll see are on streaming platforms or even sell CDs and maybe vinyl.
If you discover a band from your hometown you enjoy, don’t be afraid to talk to them after the show. Get to know them, buy their merch, ask them what bands they enjoy listening to, or inspire them to make music. If they’re on a streaming platform and you look them up, see what other bands are recommended to that specific band or artist.
Go to Concerts Early
Like checking out local shows, next time some of your favorite bands come to town, and you buy tickets to see them, get to the venue when doors open. Most concerts feature a local opener followed by one or even two more openers before the headliner goes on depending on the size of the venue and popularity of the main artist.
Sometimes the openers aren’t mentioned on the ticket information or show poster, so it’s essential to get there when doors open to maximize your chances of stumbling across your new favorite band. And if not, at least you get as close to the stage as you’d like for the headliner.
Check Out Your Local Record Stores
If you enjoy buying CDs, cassettes, and vinyl, know that you’re being exposed to tons of potential new favorite artists every time you go to the record store. There are various options to choose from to find new music.
One option is to ask some employees what they recommend in the genres you’re interested in. If you’re feeling risky, purchase an album they recommend or write down the artist and remember to check them out when you get home.
Some stores might even have a listening room for customers to check out new music before they buy it. My preferred approach is by heading to the $1 record or discounted music section and filing through the dusty and worn records.
This option is low risk because the albums are only a buck and a great way to grow your record collection without breaking the bank if you like the records. It’s also a great way to branch out into a new genre.
Early jazz, early country/gospel, RnB/soul, etc. all common genres found in the discounted section and can be fun to pick up for a listen. If you find a record in the $1 bin that you end up liking, go out and buy it in-store or order it online.
Host a Listening Party
Who doesn’t like a good party? Why not host one that’s geared towards just hanging out and listening to music, hell, add in some beers, wine, liquor, or other substances to enhance the experience.
Ask everyone you invite to bring some albums or have some albums in mind that you take turns listening to. Host it once a week or month and be open-minded and write down any bands that might spark some interest.
Google What Artists Influenced Your Favorite Artists
Doing some research about your favorite artist is a great way to learn and understand more about who they are and what they’re about if you didn’t know already. Still, it’s also a great way to discover bands or artists in the genres you like.
If you find an article that mentions the music that inspired and influenced your favorite artists, then absolutely give them a listen too! Chances are you’ll like them.
Listen to the Radio
I know this may not be the most popular option to discover new music, but messing with your car’s radio tuner can be beneficial when looking for new music.
Listen to a new station when you’re on a commute to work or to a friend’s house. Radio jockeys sometimes play outliers from mainstream music demands, so it’s nice to tune into a station every once in a while, and get lucky.
Ask People and Read Blogs
Music is universal, and making new friends over music discovery is the best way to form friendships. Whenever you find yourself in a place where it’s appropriate to talk to someone you don’t know ( in line at the coffee shop, doctors waiting room, public transportation), don’t be afraid to pop the question: “what kind of music are you into?” or “who are your top three favorite artists?”.
You never know what music you can discover from having a harmless conversation with a stranger. Also, be sure to read similar blogs as this one and various music critic outlets for recommendations.
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