I love exploring weird micro-genres while working, so the discover feature can keep me going for days while going deep into a particular style. 19A0s dreamwave, vaportrap, Chinese traditional vs dubstep, baroquecore - it’s all there!
Neither Spotify or Apple Music allow searches by deep genre tags - ‘electronic’ is not enough - or by record label, which is frustrating as I often want to explore other artists on the same label. For example, listening to the entire Ghost Box back catalogue.
ok maybe not so unintuitive after all, try
then look at the albums.
Wikipedia is also where I finally caught up with Robert Wyatt, who I totally fell in love with, particularly Nothing Can Stop Us which has a wonderful cover version of At Last I Am Free by Chic.
It's a great place to find side projects too, like the eponymous album by Klark Kent, an early alter-ego of Stewart Copeland, the drummer from The Police.
In terms of more recent stuff, mostly my Spotify Friends Activity feed. I follow a few people whose taste I really enjoy, and they're constantly coming up with good stuff. I find the auto-generated lists by Spotify are either mediocre - where I feel like I'm just being pandered to - or simply bizarre.
Edit: Matt Sweeney also posts good stuff on Twitter - https://twitter.com/theheavyjamz
New music is not limited to contemporary releases; at this point we have a vast wealth of musical history available to us, with detailed primary and secondary information constantly being added to online indices.
It can be overwhelming. Streaming services provide a convenient solution to this problem, but lack context (and often content).
The growing archive demands we build a narrative. Think of your favourite artists; who were their influences, contemporaries, collaborators? All of this information is readily accessible. Look for side projects, collaborations, interviews, and retrospective articles. Context provides innumerable clues for where to go next. A few clicks and you can find yourself in new worlds, but also understand something of how you arrived there. A small selection of well-researched artists can blossom into a constellation given time, and new music will appear in multitudes.
Their “Discover more artists.” / “Fans also like.” feature has provided me with quite a few interesting bands I didn’t know before.
Their curated genre playlists are fantastic as well.
I mostly listen to progressive metal / progressive rock and occasionally some electronic music, too.
Their algorithms and curated content work well even for those not-exactly-mainstream genres.
Holy crap, I heard this guy years ago and loved his work, but then forgot his name and couldn't find him again. Thank you for bringing this music back to me!
The same thing has happened with some rock genres, I've seen Spotify build playlists of pop bands who've taken the image/art of a hardcore/heavy rock band to create this really confusing situation where you are expecting a raw rock sound but you get a heavily produced pop sound.
The curated playlists were mostly recommended to me on the home page in the Spotify desktop client but I suppose you could find them by simply searching for "progressive metal" in that case as well.
Anyway, here are the playlist links if you're interested in those genre playlists specifically:
Example: top rated neo-soul albums by RYM users https://rateyourmusic.com/customchart?page=1&chart_type=top&...
Note that on every album you'll find some user-made lists along the side, which can point you to more esoteric/obscure recommendations.
As for obtaining it, you can either buy it from Amazon/ebay/wherever, search Discogs marketplace or pirate it (Soulseek, RED).
In my opinion, it needs a "discover" setting in autoplay where it amps up discovery and reduces chances of reaching songs I know.
I was able to differentiate 320 mp3 to wav, but only for one song (gorillaz - clint eastwood) and I couldn't say one sounded better than the other.
I have the premium version of Spotify and have streaming quality set to the highest setting, "Very High" and I definitely notice a difference. Not sure what you mean by HQ toggle.
So far, I've compared to Qobuz and Tidal in terms of quality. Spotify beats them both in terms of interface and discovering new music.
I was also really surprised it's the lows, not the highs where I can hear it (maybe I'm just getting old...). Just a bit more punchy and clean :)
I use it both for my musical releases and for finding new music across the spectrum.
The entities putting music on there are largely the ones making it, not some corporate entities that don't have time for fans... (itunes, spotify, all the other corporate rarified sales channels that require consolidators for even underground labels, and never deign to directly work with lowly artists LOL)
I like listening to their Bandcamp Weekly, a pseudo-radio show that highlights new releases. It's not as diverse as Bandcamp itself, as the DJ seems to be mostly into hybrid jazz/ambient/hiphop/world, but if you like that sort of thing, you should definitely take a listen.
I also try to go see live music as much as I can, as I often find favorite artists who are opening for the band I went to see.
Bandcamp has been awesome for this. $10 for a DRM-free album in Flac is perfect, most other services are charging double that for lossless downloads. It's a win-win that the sales go more to the artists as well.
I also live in an area with absolutely garbage local radio stations and a lot of cell phone dead areas so I have SiriusXM. You have to stay away from the pop channels (including the decade-specific channels and popular rock/hip hop channels) but on the fringe channels you can find some interesting music. From the app you can pivot what you've found into a Pandora playlist.
SomaFM is also pretty good beyond their more popular ambient playlists.
Also, just letting youtube autoplay (which despite me never listening to Beck, always seems to take me to Beck)
Also Spotify and YouTube.
I also find human curated mood tags to be more representative than "genre" labels.
If you find something on there you love, maybe sign up to the private torrent site DIME which has all that and more at the highest possible quality, audio and video. (SugarMegs is audio only, and the quality is fine, but not lossless) Everything on SugarMegs is from there.
p.s. If you find incomplete/incorrect info in set listings on SugarMegs, please send an improved html setlist page to them, they'll be grateful. I'm not affiliated, just think it's an incredibly cool site. I've found so many gems on there.
 Not so easy, not so hard. Then you have to keep a torrent download:upload ratio lower than 5:1 to download, so don't just download a huge file no-one else wants first up, or you will be stuck unable to get anything else. And membership is deleted after I think 2 months of inactivity.
It's been fun getting to know some of the record labels and listening through full albums. If you type in an artist name in YouTube they usually have most of the albums to sample. I've found lots of good artists this way :D
It's one of the oldest music services on the internet, being around since the early 00s. It changed a lot over time, but survived.
Nowadays, as a paying subscriber you can link your Spotify account and listen to your personal recommendations on any device supporting Spotify Connect.
If you want to spend minimal effort the suggestions by Spotify (just keep on playing, or select one of the 6 lists) can be good. Also, if you like an artist on Spotify, you see on the right some related artists.
YouTube has this feature as well, but make no mistake: YouTube Autoplay is garbage compared to Spotify's. Why? YouTube's too broad, and it spams you. For Spotify you get locked in a subset of genres based on your playlist. I share Spotify with my family (partner and daughter). We all have different preferences, and this is reflected in different lists.
Do note that Spotify saves everything you do there (as was in the news the other day). As does YouTube. If you desire privacy, use an offline solution.
The NPR All Songs Considered podcasts can also have interesting music finds, especially when they do themed shows.
Feed URLs source (searchable; includes genres, bitrates, station URLs, location, status):
Even weirder is that American Dad got me into loads of bands, from My Morning Jacket to Wax Hang to These Kids Wear Crowns. I can name a handful of acoustic artists that I got into thanks to Netflix shows like Bojack Horseman, Queer Eye, Jessica Jones, and Final Space. I also watch wrestling from time to time, and the WWE often use some good songs when promoting PPV's or building promos.
The next time you watch TV and you hear a song you like, look it up on your phone or Shazam it. You'll probably find a ton of other songs by that artist/band that you like too.
- Bandcamp. Obviously. It’s such a great and large community of listeners, enthusiasts, collectors, artists and labels featuring niche genres as well as popular, widely available releases. Whenever I browse my feed which lists new releases of artists/labels and purchases of users I follow, I have to restrain myself from overspending. It’s that good if you follow people with interesting taste. Feel free to browse my Bandcamp collection.
- Discogs Diving: Go to Discogs‘ explore section, select a subgenre or two, a decade and/or a country of origin. Japanese ambient and new age from the 80s? Sure. Late 70s brazilian soul, jazz, fusion crossovers? Done. Depending on how many results you receive you might want to sort the releases and navigate from popular to obscurity by using pagination parameters. In any case you‘ll like have a few dozens tabs open within minutes.
- NTS Radio. As mentioned in another comment. This is radio done right. A large and diverse selection of shows hosted by some of the most competent and knowledgeable selectors and DJs of our time offering finest human curation that is superior to any recommendation engine in my experience.
- Online record stores. Record stores have always been a great source for music discovery and that doesn‘t change when things move online. Many of those stores have curated sections showcasing new and noteworthy releases, providing background information and obviously audio samples. Some of my favorite stores are Piccadilly Records, Soul Jazz Records / Sounds Of The Universe and Boomkat (which also offers lossless, digital purchasing options similar to Bandcamp).
All of those bands will be on bandcamp or youtube, like Devours: https://youtu.be/6klgNfSsmoM or Orville Peck: https://youtu.be/q3esGD6lcMM
Sometimes there are gems on Mixcloud mixes, and occassionally I Shazam a song that is playing.
Quite often I just ask a DJ when a really interesting song is playing.
Soundcloud also has lots of interesting music and artists.
Discogs is a good service to check discographies.
I have lots of musical playlists on Youtube at https://youtube.com/peterhil/playlists
Also - youtube. I'm a big fan of XMA Tricking and I love watching Tricking Samplers of people - they have very often cool soundtracks.
Before spotify I was sing Hype Machine - I think it's still worth trying it out. I've found many artists before they become mainstream ones there - totally recommend it.
For me the best is Radio Paradise (free eclectic radio on the internet) it's more "old" stuff than new stuff but I discovered so much quality music (and still discover new things)
Off the top of my head, All Them Witches, Black Pistol Fire, King Gizzard, The Murlocs.
Yes, you’ll sometimes have performances for someone other than you but you can skip those until you find the ones you like
You’ll find there’s great music everywhere; it’s good sound engineers that are rare
Obviously, the above list is not exhaustive.
online radio - great djs
if i hear something i like, i look into the playlist to find the artists
Some favorite shows of mine on NTS are Melodies International, Organic Music with Chee Shimizu, Floating Points and Palms Trax.
NTS and “the lot radio” are in my heavy rotation right now.
Both stations have live DJs usually in 1-2 hour sets, and play a wide variety of music depending on the DJ.
Been a great source of new music for the last few years.