Finding new music for your collection is an acquired skill. Much like being an expert on a subject, mastering a foreign language, or being familiarized with the ‘ins and outs’ of a city, there is a status associated with being a sound connoisseur for a young professional.
There’s nothing like adding a little air to your tires or stroking your ego, knowing that you were the first person out of your group of friends to introduce the next Justice or Mumford and Sons.
So where does one even begin to find music? Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list to make your journey towards musical infamy that much simpler.
This is my personal savior. Depending on my mood, I can listen to a plethora of different genres with the click of a button. Having people over for drinks? I’ll quickly search a list that plays new dance tracks, saving myself the trouble (and possible embarrassment) of sorting through my quite eclectic iTunes track list.
The formula is rather easy. You sign up as a user, and upload your favourite songs to compile a playlist based on a certain genre. 8tracks allows you to add tags to your list to make it more searchable in the database. They also have a ‘trending’ type of function on their home page, so you can listen to play lists that are receiving the most attention.
Right now, I’m listening to a list solely comprised of acoustic covers of hip hop songs, and couldn’t be any happier that I put zero effort into finding these songs. Of course, there is no such thing as perfection, and 8tracks is not an exception to this rule.
Based on licensing requirements, you are only able to skip 3 tracks within the hour per play list. But, if you’re skipping more than 3 songs any way, you’re probably not listening to the best mix available.
The Hype Machine was my first introduction to the world of music blogging. It does all of the hard work for you by filtering through the online repertoires and bringing you, what I would like to think of as, the quintessential cream of the crop. Their specialization is often electronic or indie, so unfortunately you can be limited in that respect.
You can create a profile and peruse through the new or hot lists, listening to the tracks and clicking the heart beside tracks you want to favourite. This is stored to your profile so you can eventually listen to all of your ‘loved’ songs consecutively. It also provides you with the initial blog, allowing for ease of access when trying to download obscure tracks.
This site was recommended by a friend that I considered in the ‘musically elite’ category. The tag line is “Your favourite music you’ve never heard” which holds true as I look through these lists and legitimately cannot recognize a single name. The site’s layout is quite simplistic, as it posts a few tracks by an artist and labels them with a certain genre,which you can sift through on the side panel.
The most exciting part about aurgasm is their willingness to go beyond the popular genres of the time, and really embrace a global perspective. Some categories include: Scandinavian, Israeli, Soul, Funk, and Jazz.
Pretty Much Amazing is the outlet for all things indie. It is introduced in a blog-post format, but the site is rather intuitive. It gives you information beyond just having a track listing. For instance, their top post at the moment is their compilation of what they believe to be the best of summer 2012.
Artists within the list include: Lana Del Ray, SchoolBoy Q, Kendrick Lamar, and The Weeknd; all of which are currently heavy weights in the independent music arena. It also posts videos and album updates, to give you a more well-rounded music experience.
Pitchfork is one of the more mainstream music blogs as it provides the world, year in and year out, with one of the most influential ‘best of’ lists in music. It is often utilized as a reference point for many underground blogs.
It truly goes beyond offering tracks, as it has a numerous articles and features within the site as well for those wanting to know more about their favourite artists and upcoming releases.
The Music Rush
Friends, colleagues and even acquaintances begin to hold expectations surrounding that status, knowing that you will be the first to post to your Facebook profile the freshest songs, straight off the press. The rush that you attain from finding a new song and seeing it grow in popularity is one that is, evidently, extremely validating.