I have a confession to make. When I was 14, my CD collection consisted entirely of Disney Channel artists. Think Hilary Duff & Lindsay Lohan. Yeap. I wish I could say I went through a hardcore emo phase like the rest of my peers, but alas, Taking Back Sunday was simply not something my mp3 player had heard anything about…
Fortunately, I’ve managed to upgrade my musical tastes since 2004, and I’m proud to say that I’m now the go-to person for the majority of musical occasions. I’ve got you covered for parties, road trips, and personal playlists.
Now that I’ve explained how I started from the bottom (now we here), let me show you how I find the best music out there:
- Pay for a Spotify premium membership.
I am obsessed with Spotify. If you’re going to pay for one streaming music subscription, I highly recommend you choose Spotify. Not only is it reasonably priced at $11.99 CAD/month, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. You can download music on to any device for offline listening (buh-bye data surcharges), you get access to a massive library of artists, and there’s dozens of personalized playlists, created just for you, based on your listening habits. For example, Spotify will recognize that you like one song and will then recommend three other similar tracks that you might love. They also have a great social function – you can follow your friends and see what they’re listening to in real-time. You can even share tracks via their online messaging system.
- Visit Hypem.com on the regular.
Although these guys have been around for a while, I make a point to sign on regularly. Hypem is a website that aggregates millions of music blogs, all the while allowing users to vote, comment, and like tracks. You can search by any criteria you want – think genre, remix, or even by blog. It’s a great way to find music that isn’t on Spotify or Apple Music, since the tracks you find here are usually unreleased or remixed songs that aren’t licensed yet.
- Subscribe to your favourite music genre on Reddit.
If you’re not familiar with Reddit, you should know that it’s basically a massive web forum with individual threads that you can subscribe to. I highly recommend checking out your favourite genre’s subreddit. While Reddit users always post new & upcoming tracks, they’re also notoriously known for finding the hidden ‘best-of’ in any genre. Here are a couple that I love:
https://www.reddit.com/r/listentothis/ – Discover uncommon music
https://www.reddit.com/r/electronicmusic/ – Perfect for finding electronic music beyond the typical “EDM” radio fare
https://www.reddit.com/r/hiphopheads/ – This hip hop community is my #1 authority for rap news. I go here when I need the latest diss track.
https://www.reddit.com/r/chillwave/ – Looking for something low-key? These guys will help you chill out.
https://www.reddit.com/r/music/ – Er, this is kind of self-explanatory, but I thought it was worth including.
Honestly, this isn’t even a comprehensive list – there are thousands of subreddits out there, destined just for you! DO YOU LIKE LOW KEY RAIN MUSIC? Try r/rainmusic. It’s totally a thing! (I’m actually not sure, but it probably is…)
- Look at any well-known music festival lineup (i.e. Coachella, Bonnaroo)
And make sure you read the fine print! Festivals are supposed to be ahead of the musical curve – they book artists who will not only draw a huge crowd, but also artists who are bound to be the next big thing. Those people at the very bottom of the lineup (in the teensy text) are always worth checking out!
BONUS TIP: Don’t be afraid to listen to something you think you won’t like.
Follow my lead & before you know it, your friends will be begging you to take over their aux cord.
*All images are my own.