THE BLOG-FREE GUIDE TO FINDING NEW MUSIC
Literally no one, not even those people from the news who don’t move for months and fuse themselves to their couch, has time to sift through the absurd number of overly-enthusiastic music blogs that assemble new singles, remixes, and buzz-worthy tracks with a liberal dose of pointless drivel and (on average) 3-5 uses of the term “YOLO”. There are solid tracks to be found, but it quickly becomes reminiscent of that saying about finding a needle in a haystack, but instead of a needle there’s nothing and instead of a haystack there’s 250 words about how dirty the drop in this track is.
Hype Machine: Old faithful. This blog aggregator (or hay-remover and needle-positioner, if you will) separates the wheat from the chaff faster than I can mix a metaphor. While its heavy dependence on trends means that you sometimes run into 3-4 songs in a row that are pretty similar, the user-friendly interface makes navigating between songs and searching by artist or keyword very simple. If you hear a song on the radio or at a friend’s house and it’s new, you can find it on Hype Machine.
Drip.FM: This music subscription website offers the obsessive music fan an opportunity to pay a monthly fee and receive downloads of all of a label’s new releases, as well as back catalog releases and special bonus tracks available only to subscribers. It’s organized by label rather than genre,
so it’s mostly worthwhile if you’re a fan of a smaller independent label that has a trademark sound, rather than a behemoth like Domino or Def Jam that operates on a larger scale. A quick look at your favorite recent releases will reveal if any of them are on the same label, and if so a Drip.FM subscription to that label may be a great option.
Resident Advisor: As dance music, or “EDM” as fans of abbreviations like to call it, has rapidly risen in popularity, music blogs have shifted heavily towards showcasing anything with synths, 4×4 beats, and kickdrums. The fact that this type of music is easily produced using consumer software means that there is a LOT of garbage out there sharing equal playing time with legitimate, intelligent music that gets the body moving.
Resident Advisor’s podcast series (currently at number 348 and going strong), is the safest bet to find hour-long mixes that dispense with the cheese, the drops and the “dirty” and concentrate on deep, intricate dance music that will lead you to discovering tons of underground artists, while your friends are still trying to find new remixes of “Levels”. For those with an adventurous spirit, this is a great place to start looking for new music.
Your Parent’s Record Collection: Concentrate on the soul, R&B and Motown albums. These melodies and vocal hooks will be appearing on trending house and hip-hop tracks for the rest of time. Every legendary hip-hop track from the 1990s has a sassy black woman from the 1960s behind it.