You’re on your 10th commute of the week, scrolling through your music library and just can’t seem to find something to listen to. You decide to head over to the search bar and look for something new, but you have no idea what to look for. You scroll through some playlists that you’d like, but they’re full of stuff that’s already in your library. So what do you do? You settle for something that doesn’t excite you anymore.
We’ve all been there. You know that there is a near infinite amount of music at your fingertips, but you can’t seem to find it anywhere. Over time I have discovered a few platforms and strategies to find new and unique music. These platforms tend to highlight non-mainstream artists that don’t necessarily get the attention they deserve. Read on for a quick guide to discovering new music.
Colors Studios showcases talented artists from around the world. With just the artist and the mic in the frame, their unique minimalist aesthetic does a fantastic job of highlighting the artist while creating an atmosphere that perfectly matches the song. The performances are live, so each show provides something different than the studio version. As their slogan “all colors, no genres” goes, there is something for everyone on the show, and it’s full of hidden gems that are just waiting to be discovered.
Click here to listen to JID’s velvety 2018 performance of “Working Out” on Colors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzpJl-i7ZRg
2. NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Put together by NPR Music, the Tiny Desk Concert showcases similar types of artists that Colors does, but in a much different way. Contrasting Colors clean and crisp design, Tiny Desk brings in an entire production team and crams them behind, you guessed it, a desk. Artists often perform 3-5 songs per episode, compared to the single song format of Colors. These performances, recorded primarily using live instrumentation, offer a real concert-like experience. Aesthetically, colors and tiny desk couldn’t be more different, yet both platforms provide listeners with an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience.
Click here to check out Saba’s moving 2018 performance on Tiny Desk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTzmjU8aOR4
Both Tiny Desk and Colors focus on showcasing musical talent that either does not have traditional mainstream appeal, or have not yet broken into the mainstream. This means that you’ll certainly find a plethora of artists that you’ve never heard of.
3. Spotify Album Radio
One of the easiest methods of finding new music is Spotify Album Radio. Once you’ve listened to a full album, Spotify will automatically curate a playlist for you based off of what you just listened to. I find Spotify Album Radio to be particularly effective because the content of the playlist is very specific. So, instead of using Spotify’s more general music recommendation features, like your Daily Mix for example, Album Radio will provide a more customized playlist. This way, if you just listened to a hip-hop album, you’ll get hip-hop recommendations from similar artists. This feature is especially useful if you have just come across a new artist, and are in search of similar music.
Finding good music isn’t always easy, but using these platforms can help you find something fresh to add to your library and to tell your friends all about.