Guest Blog: Best Ways To Discover New Music
Ray LaMontagne, discovered via movie soundtrack The Last Kiss
Today we’re welcoming guest blogger Zoe Williams, who writes regularly about music and fashion over on her blog at Romeo And The Lonely Girl. She’s always on the hunt for the latest new bands and uses Songkick to keep up to date on what’s going on in her local area of Cheshire, UK. Here are her two cents on the best ways to prevent that uninspired feeling when you next reach for your headphones…
There is nothing worse than growing tired of a song or an album you once loved. For me, it feels like losing a good friend – The Kooks were my best mates for at least a year or so, until I had done their records to death. I still have some great memories with The Kooks; any one song brings back strong memories of an amazing summer. But, there comes a time when your collection can get a bit stale – you’ve grown tired of singing the same lyrics, and you know the last 30 seconds of vocal improv far too well. It’s time to discover some new music!
The feeling of coming across a fresh, new beat can lift my mood instantly, especially if I can’t help but press play over and over again. There are a bunch of avenues to go down for discovering new tunes – sometimes it takes a while and sometimes it happens when you weren’t even looking (that’s the best kind!), but here I’ll tell you how I’ve unearthed some of my favourite indie, rock and pop outfits over the past few years:
Support acts at gigs: one of the easiest ways to pick up a new beat – head down to your next gig a bit earlier to check out the support act. More often than not, they will be your flavour of music as bands tend to pick a similar genre to their own to help warm up the crowd. The support act can often go on to be bigger than the headliner, so it’s definitely worth scoping out the potential ‘next big thing’.
Spotify Radio and Artist Playlists: a surefire way to pick up something new, either type in one of your favourite, steadfast bands and Spotify will generate a list of similar artists. Equally, Spotify’s artist playlists is a great way to be nosey and delve into your favourite songster or songstress’s iPod.
Television and film: if you’re anything like me, you’ll have the latest, raved-about television series on the go at any given time. My genres are American girl-stuff, American drama or British reality…plenty of Desperate Housewives, Dexter, Made in Chelsea. You get it. These shows, though often trashy in plot or dialogue, often have a soundtrack that’s worthy of chasing up after the credits come rolling in. The same goes with movies – I happened to come across Imogen Heap, Ray Lamontagne and Rachael Yamagata all from one film sitting of The Last Kiss.
Family and friends: some of my all-time favourite bands have stemmed from a recommendation given to me either by the music mogal that is my brother, or friends with a taste akin to my own. Just one conversation starting out, ‘Have you heard Blah-de-Blah by So and So?’ will result in an entire evening downloading and relishing said band’s entire back catalogue. Do some sonic stalking via your friends’ Facebook, Twitter and Spotify accounts to uncover a few rare gems.
Blogs: ‘New music’ blogs of decent quality, I find, are few and far between. The mainstays in my bookmarks, though, are consulted daily for my next sensory fix. Favourites include: Press Play by ASOS, The Guardian’s Six Songs of Me, Tuneage and Alternative Addiction.
Thanks Zoe! How do you keep your ear to the ground? Let us know in the comments below.