One of my favorite things these days is discovering new music (and, of course, writing about it). Whether it is something shared on Facebook, stumbled upon on Tumblr, a band I tracked down that is supposed to be similar to one I already love, or even music I’ve been introduced to here on Infectious Magazine, there is no way to properly put into words my obsession with finding new music to listen to and adore.
There are many well-known websites out there today that can aid in the search for new tunes. Bandcamp (a platform for artists to sell their music and merchandise to fans), SoundCloud (an online distribution platform that allows users to upload, record, promote, and share their recorded sounds), ReverbNation (a distribution and promotional site for all industry professionals) and Last.fm (a music recommendation service based on the music you listen to) are just a handful at the top of their game these days. If you want to, Spotify can also be included amongst that list. But I’m here to shed light on a handful of lesser-known sites that may even be more useful than the ones I’ve already mentioned. From those that can play you music of a certain mood to those that even provide free, legal downloads, I can guarantee you’ll want to check these out ASAP!
The great part about 8tracks is that it is a “handcrafted internet radio,” meaning that the playlists you find on the site are created by listeners just like you. Not only are you able to listen to playlists created by others on 8tracks, you can create your own mixes as well when you create an account. Founded in 2006 with the belief that handcrafted music programming trumps algorithms, 8tracks brings us back to the days of mixtapes with modern additions that provide context, like playlist descriptions and “cover” art. 8tracks is fantastic in that you can search for a genre, mood, activity, or even specific movie or television show and it will provide a plethora of playlists for your listening pleasure… However, as is common with streaming websites like this, you are only allowed to skip so many songs per playlist. Each playlist will tell you how many songs are on the mix, with what I believe is an unlimited number you can add to a playlist but you won’t know what specific songs are on it unless you listen to the entire thing. That’s part of the fun though, right?
AllMusic is a website that is used to find comprehensive and in-depth information about your favorite albums, bands, and songs. They also provide reviews and ratings of, as well as staff picks. AllMusic includes sound samples and links to stream music, and personalized recommendations based on albums that you rate when you create an account on the site. You can also “discover” music based on genre, moods, and themes. Even better – the company also has websites similar to AllMusic for movies and video games.
As a site for fans, bands, labels, and brands, Grooveshark is quite a large “on-demand music service.” It provides free streaming for users and creates an outlet for revenue for those in the music industry. Grooveshark is considered a “social media music service,” and, according to its advertisements, is called “the world’s music library” that is now also accessible on your mobile device. Listeners on Grooveshark are able to listen to “stations” for specific genres of music, or join in various themed broadcasts like film scores, various decades, and even a playlist for Throwback Thursday. The site includes a list of popular music for the day, week, and month, and should you sign up for an account, you can “favorite” songs and create collections to share. Sitting across the bottom of the window, a queue that you can drag songs too also allows for easy listening while still foraging through the site.
Music blog One Track Mind, which is unfortunately looks to no longer be functioning, is a site that showcased one song each day, but is still a useful website for discovering music. By clicking the “Random Track” link at the top of the website (and repeatedly doing so), you will be shown countless songs by bands and musicians from tons of genres that includes ratings on originality, repeat listen potential, and the overall verdict for the song. If you’re looking for a specific genre rather than a randomized track, the navigation on One Track Mind will link you to whatever type of music you’re looking for, as well as Sunday Samplers, Monthly Rewinds, and The Hidden Track Podcast. Even though the site doesn’t have new content since 2013, its redeeming quality is that all the songs on One Track Mind are free and legal downloads. Head on over for some free tunes!
Final site, thesixtyone, calls itself a “musical adventure” and it really, really is. When you first visit the website, it will ask you if you are ready. And by clicking “ready,” the adventure begins. The first song will start playing and, as you listen, information about the bands/singers/musicians from around the world will display sporadically across the image that accompanies the song. If you have an account and are logged in, you can “heart” the song, comment on it, share it, and, if applicable, some may be available for download. There is no song skip limit (at least not one that I ran into when I tested it), which allows for endless music discovery. Thesixtyone is a way for talented artists to sell their music and merchandise to their fan directly and actually pays the artists much more than they would typically receive through record stores and distribution deals. Fun fact: thesixtyone is named after Highway 61 that runs along the Mississippi River that many popular musicians of days past have traveled along, and is said to be the “road by which people left their homes to take their music to the world.”
Latest posts by Rachel Policano (see all)
- ALBUM REVIEW: New Medicine ‘Breaking the Model’ - September 16, 2014
- ALBUM REVIEW: Nervous ‘Decode’ - September 16, 2014
- ALBUM REVIEW: Frnkiero andthe Cellabration ‘Stomachaches’ - September 13, 2014