Have you ever found yourself getting bored of listening to the same songs over and over again? Bored of your music library? Getting out of a music slump can be a difficult loop to get out of and despite the wide range of options available nowadays, it can sometimes be difficult to find new and exciting music to listen to. The number of options can be overwhelming and many people, myself included, often find themselves listening to a small selection of their favourites.
Finding new music all depends on what it is you’re looking for; are you looking for music similar to what you already listen to? Or are you looking for something completely new? Either way, here are some helpful tips I’ve found useful when it comes to finding new music to listen to.
Music Streaming Services
Despite its downsides, Spotify is a goldmine when it comes to discovering new artists to listen to, with many features available, specifically designed to introduce you to new music.
The Discover Weekly feature is probably the most obvious of these: it gives users a new set of 30 song recommendations every week, based on what you listen to already. It uses a mixture of 3 different algorithms, all designed to take songs you already like and suggest fresh ones based on what other people with similar tastes listen to, descriptors of songs, and audio features. Similarly, the Daily Mix features take songs you already listen to and generate 6 different mixtapes. Instead of being all-new songs, however, these mixes give a balance of songs you’re already listening to on repeat and add in similar songs by different artists or fresh songs from the same artists.
These features are a great resource for frequent song recommendations and can be more personalised if you know how to skew the algorithm, Spotify themselves have a guide for that here. But like all algorithm-based systems, it can struggle to find a balance between similarity and diversity. Most people like songs that are at least somewhat similar to the music they already listen to, and these features excel at that, but if you’re looking for something completely different and outside of your comfort zone to help boost you out of a music slump, then Spotify has plenty of other features that could be helpful.
User-made playlists can be a great resource for finding new music. Playlists on Spotify can range from general theme or mood-based to the hyper-specific – there’s something for everyone. I’ve found that listening to music collated by other people extremely helpful in finding songs or artists that I would never otherwise have thought of listening to, particularly when listening to user-made playlists based on tv shows/films/books I already like. These playlists can be a lot more diverse than those made by an algorithm but can be a bit more difficult to find, especially since Spotify users tend to get quite creative with the names given to playlists and currently there is no section dedicated to user-made playlists on Spotify. You have to know what it is you’re looking for. This subreddit is a good place to start if you don’t already know what it is you’re looking for.
Also available on Spotify is the new Blend feature. This is a shared playlist you can make with a friend that updates daily with songs you both listen to often. It’s a great way to share music with a friend and discover new songs.
The Rest of The Internet
If you have social media, it can be a great place to pick up song recommendations, whether you’re asking your followers on Twitter/Instagram or browsing subreddits.
Bandcamp can also be a great place to discover and support independent artists.
If supporting local and independent artists is your thing, then attending local gigs and listening to some live music can be a great way to find new music to listen to. Not only is attending local gigs a great way for you to find new and exciting artists to listen to that might not be on Spotify, but it’s also a great way to support them financially, especially after the pandemic.