Sunday, 8 November 2009

New music to my ears

(published in November issue of Running In Heels, go to

We’ve all been there; 4,000 songs saved on your computer but not a single one you feel like listening to. Sure there are your favourite songs, maybe sing-a-long songs, or even listen-to-when-heartbroken songs. But with the entire internet stretching out ahead, around and through your very being these days – where do you go and what do you do when you want to find new, exciting, ear-pleasing and inspiring music?

As we all know in the beginning there was MySpace but this veritable antique of a music site is now a little out of date. If you’ve actually heard of a new band and want to give them a listen, then their MySpace page is still a great place to look but actually searching for new music on it cold can be laborious to say the least. The days of chatting to Lily Allen and getting invited to secret gigs by Pete Doherty through their MySpace pages are certainly over, so what other online musical treasure troves are out there for us to rummage through? can be a brilliant option for those of us who do not have a clue where to start because it essentially does all the hard work for you. For a really simple snapshot of what relatively unknown bands are being listened to, then the chart section on can tell you who is most ‘hyped’ or the ‘most listened to’. Alternatively just landing on the page of a band or artist gives you a whole selection of similar artists, or if you have a favourite song… try searching for that and see what related tracks come up.

For anyone who wants to know which European and American bands have all the kids excited on the other side of the Atlantic then listen to the great and varied selection of songs which feature on Little Radio you can read about them on the blog too if you like.

Then there’s The Hype Machine which follows blogs and discussions worldwide and then streams you the music that is the most talked about. You can even apply specific filters – just in case you’ve ever wondered what the most-talked about tracks are on Twitter, for example.
Pitchfork is a reviewing site with a focus on independent music including electronic, pop, hip hop, dance, folk, jazz and experimental music -you are getting literally some of newest music available which you can read about and of course listen to on the site.

A must for those wanting to be totally ahead of the crowd is Stereogum – another outlet for brand new music but usually indie and alternative music. Stereogum regularly champions new artists and bands way ahead of anyone else and they often go on to make it big.

Now, with the songs of your new favourite bands still ringing in your ears you can log in to Spotify and listen to their entire back catalogue for free. Also worth watching out for are other people’s Spotify playlists – these could be friends or perhaps some muso’s you follow on Twitter. Or you can visit Spotify Playlists and download any number of other Spotify users’ playlists – you are bound to find something new that you like this way.

And now perhaps you want to show off all the new music you’ve been listening to? Then why not create your own playlist and post that on your social networking site of choice or share it on Spotify Playlists? You never know, you may be helping someone else discover their new favourite band!

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