Admit it – Good music is everywhere, but so is bad music. Hunting down your new jam has to be intentional, although there’s seriously nothing like chancing upon gold while switching channels on the radio. Frankly that hasn’t happened in years, so I’ve taken things into my own hands. Here is a non-exhaustive list of means to find new artists and their music:
There’s no shame in going up to your culture-hungry kaki and asking for their opinion (be it in music or other areas of interest). Chances are they actually love it and are eager to share. They’ll most likely ask whose tunes you already like, what genres you’re into, and place you on a map in their minds teeming with the tasteful – then spit out a list of these names you’d only vaguely heard of. I speak from experience, and these people are the ones to seek whenever you need a playlist revamp. Never underestimate your own taste too; song trading is one of the most fulfilling things.
2. Exploit the World Wide Web.
Discover Weekly is my new muse because it just seems to get me. The skeptic in me had given up on the algorithm after a few frustrated initial tries, but lately Discover Weekly is where I’m rapidly building a list of current favourites. The two-hour long catered exploration makes every Monday better.
Ooh! Starting 2 March, Spotify also introduces Fresh Finds (click to hear / search “Fresh Finds” in app), updated every Wednesday. These playlists encompass the following genres:
- Fresh Finds (brand new breakout tracks spread across five genres)
- Fire Emoji (hip-hop)
- Basement (electronic)
- Hiptronix (vocal pop)
- Six Strings (guitar driven)
- Cyclone (experimental)
Through a combination of man + machine, the playlists are automated curations of bound to break songs across five genres, powered by an analysis of Spotify tastemakers.
★ 8tracksFor a good half decade now, 8tracks had been my go-to for refreshing, eclectic playlists curated by strangers from all round the globe. Style is everything here. It’s exhilarating, and bordering on freaky, when you find a music soulmate who hoards (users upload from their own music libraries) a pool of songs that perfectly reflect your aural sensibilities. Mix and match tags to reach anything from the latest pop hits, to undiscovered electronic remixes to the most obscure Korean indie home recording. You can sign up and follow Popwire on 8tracks and have a listen to our past and future Mixtape Monday playlists.
3. Get out there.
The Risin’ Sun – Photo via mpch.mx
You know you love a band when they make it to your MUST. HEAR. LIVE. bucket list. But there are countless opportunities to catch amazing work live, whether you’re killing time at a festival or happen to witness a jaw-dropping opening band. Fret not if you’re looking for a place to start creating days you’ll never forget – Esplanade presents Rocking The Region, which is basically four weekends of free performances from established and rising bands within Southeast Asia.
For now, here’s a foretaste of what you can expect over the coming weekends.
The Venopian Solitude – Playing on 11 March
In Each Hand A Cutlass – Playing on 11 March
lightcraft – Playing 12 March
The Beat Brothers – Playing on 13 March (also their debut album release!)
The full lineup can be found on the official Esplanade site. Hopefully you find something right up your alley… whether it be through almighty technology or simple serendipity!
Header image by Clayre Byrne Photography