Six ways to discover new music (beyond streaming services)

There's a world of music discovery that we seem to have forgotten about.

Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music include new music recommendations which are based on algorithms.

While technology is our friend and we're not claiming that we should all go back to the days when you had to buy a record to be able to listen to it, there are limitations.

Specifically, algorithm-based research isn't really research. We are passively exposed to similar artists and track suggestions that tend to be disarmingly predictable.

Let's be honest: streaming services make us lazy and less keen to dig deeper.

Here are six ways to discover new music beyond streaming services...

1. Record Stores

Go down to your local record store, tell the staff what you're currently listening to, and see what they recommend.

If you prefer a no-interaction experience, keep popping in to hear what they're playing in the store. Then Shazam it, shamelessly.

Technology comes in handy when you need it.

2. YouTube

Get ready for a music journey thanks to YouTube's loose algorithm. It's hard to predict what's going to come next when you're listening to music on the platform. Sometimes it's a live version of the track you've just heard, some other times it's something that has got little to nothing to do with it.

No wonder this is Gen Z's preferred way to listen to music.

3. Bandcamp

The Bandcamp Daily blog is a great place to discover hidden gems, and a few hours spent trawling other users' profiles or the site's Discover function will definitely lead you to find a new favourite (or two).

Bandcamp is also a key revenue driver for many artists; they take a much smaller cut of sales compared to streaming services.

4. Artist Interviews

Your favourite artists can often provide the best recommendations. Search for interviews, podcasts, videos and take note of their favourite records.

You could start from Amoeba's video series What's In My Bag. The episode featuring Paul Weller (filmed 10+ years ago) includes recommendations such as Tropicalia's compilation by Soul Jazz Records, Lonerism by Tame Impala, and Éthiopiques, a selection of Ethio Jazz and instrumental music from the early 70s.

5. Online Radio

The choice is endless. Think NTS, Soho Radio, foundation.fm, all the way to international radios.

Pick one, start listening and dig deep into its archives. Some stations we currently love include Brooklyn-based Face Radio and Radio Raheem (Milan, Italy).

6. Human-to-Human

Everyone's got that one friend with great music taste who's always got a new band, or artist, or album, or record label to recommend. Drop them a message and start exploring.

Our team members share music with each other at all times. Every day. Non-stop. We even have a dedicated Slack channel for it.

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