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How The World Discovers New Music

The days of walking into Wall Mart or Target on new release Tuesday are long gone for me. I used to enjoy standing in the isle of my favorite music store, looking at cover art and buying a fourteen dollar piece of plastic. Not anymore. I’ve realized that there is a more cost effective and environmentally friendly way to discover new music…and I’m not alone.

Everyone has their own methods of finding digital downloads.Its a new day and if you are not aware of the possible processes of new music discovery, you’re CD’s are dead in the water. I figured that sharing my normal routine will shed some light on how you can position your work to be found. I encourage you all to try my method and contribute your own in the comments section.


I set a certain amount of time each week to pour thru the massive amounts of new music on the internets. Generally Saturday mornings between 8:30 to 10:30 am works the best for me since my wife is still asleep, and I can close the kitchen door (where the wireless bose system is set up) and blast some interesting new tunes.

Step #1:

Then I point my browser to the behemoth blog aggregator, Hype Machine. I hit the Popular tab and press the play button to the right of the first song title that doesn’t contain the words Remix or Mashup.


If I like what I hear, I click the link to the original source, “Read full post >>”. This brings me too the magnificent blog that was smart enough to post the song in the format that Hypem’s API will recognize.

If I really like what I hear I’ll right click>save as the digital record to my hard drive. Lastly, I shoot the blog’s author a quick comment, bigging them up for putting me down, like so: “Great Record. Thanks for Sharing!”

Repeat over and over again. has enough of these posts to ruin a perfectly good Saturday.

Step #2:

This site can kill your social life as well. I’ve yet to reach the end of their extensive catalog and it seems as if new artists are posting to the site every second.

I have a pro account here as you can see by the nifty branded player in the right section of my blog. They were nice enough to give me a customized widget including my logo and color scheme. Like it?



After logging in, I head straight to the Tracks tab. I further drill down by selecting Charts > Today. Depending on my mood I select the appropriate Genre and vuala! The most diverse list of major and independent releases appears before my eyes.


Once I click play on the first selection I monitor my own head nods and toe taps for an emotional response. If all is well, I click the cross icon and add it to my Fairtilizer playlist. The player on my blog immediately syncs the new addition and showcases it proudly for the world to see.

Step # 3: We Are Hunted

When I’m really feeling brave, I head on over to this site. I usually stay on the main page [since its so sharp] and click play on the first box that catches my eye. Both Fairtilizer and We Are Hunted do a good job of bringing back the old Sam Goody feel by focusing on the square images reminiscent of compact disc cover art.


If I like what I hear I head back to enter the song title in the search field and repeat Step #1.

So there you have it. I do this every Saturday morning without fail. During the week I’m often steeped with work and rarely have a chance to dig very deep. Plus my office building uses Websense, a data security company that stalks my life and doesn’t allow me to browse at will. There are plenty of other music discovery sites out there that I use sporadically. Here is a very incomplete list [Sorry…I need to get on with my day]:


Music Blogs: MaddecentMixtape RiotMe Like Good MusicSLE SoundscapesFlwrpt Brooklyn

I’d love to hear how you discover new music. What is your process?


Reader Comments (10)

I like to use Jamendo to discover new music! The songs are CC-licensed, so I can download them and a lot of them can be used in my projects.

And sometimes I just visit YouTube and look for AMVs and things >.>

January 16 | Unregistered CommenterJared Spurbeck

Thanks Jared. Jamendo is pretty slick. Any one else?

January 16 | Unregistered CommenterKevin English

I've been roaming around Fairtilizer for quite some time now and have really grown to like it. Everything is very slick and easy to navigate....and I plan on using it once my band comes out with some music that actually makes heads bob and feet tap. haha.

Also Kevin, don't know if I said this already but thanks for including my blog in your Blogroll!

January 17 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

Thanks for the rundown. I guess I'm lucky to have the friends I do cuz I haven't actively looked for new music since high school, but somehow it keeps clogging my inbox anyway.

January 17 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

Hey Kevin,

Thanks for mentioning Me Like Good Music. While you were standing in aisles looking at cover art, I was doing the same, except it was dusty bins filled with radio station promo copies. For years, it was my favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Though the majority of my new music suggestions come through the contact form on my blog, I also receive daily suggestions through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, as well as my fellow "DJs" on Because I listen to everything I receive, I always have more than enough music to occupy my time.

My most promising new discovery is a website called Our Stage ( It's filled with music from underrated, indie, unknown and unsigned artists. Have only spent a small amount of time there but at first glance, it looks extremely promising.

Haven't spent a lot of time at Hype Machine but I'm definitely trying to fit it into my mix. I think I need an intern or, at the very least, a guest blogger to lighten my load. ;-)

Much love to you, Kevin.

James Rawls

January 17 | Unregistered CommenterJames Rawls

Great post, not much time to search online but you are encouraging me...for now my music discovery is freinds suggestions and mainly terrestrial RADIO:


In that order, based on listening time...all in Los Angeles but online, too.

Oh, and KLON for jazz and blues

January 18 | Unregistered CommenterDg.

Ps. In case you check these out and don't like what you here, come back later - the programming is incredibly diverse on the first three (last is jazz except couple blues shows), where in any 24 hrs between them one can hear indie rock, conscious hip hop, reggae, jam bands, house/electronica, classical, roots, folk, even noise (literally)...and stuff sort of beyond classification like the program Cosmic Barrio...

ahhh, just the antidote to the commercial, uh, stuff out there - but that I force myself to listen to at least occasionally just to see what the machine is pushing and people are swallowing...

January 18 | Unregistered CommenterDg.

Thanks for your awesome suggestions everyone. Would anyone else like to share their music discovery process?

January 18 | Unregistered CommenterKevin English

I also use the hypem & fairtilizer. I didn't know we are hunted nor ourstage, tx.
My way to discover music is the result of many years.. The 1st thing is the list of music blogs listed in my Netvibes, (an rss agregator).
I also receive some (many?) newsletters directly from labels, bands, posses... As my blog ( has been active for some years now I also receive PRs with sounds.
All this already represents a LOT of sound; let me confess that I actually don't listen to everything I receive.
The websites I often go to are : soundcloud, mixcloud.
And finally I still buy some magazines from time time

January 19 | Unregistered CommenterSdC

Mixcloud is brilliant. Thanks SdC! I enjoy listening to the maddeccent show as well as Bread & Butter. Here are a few suggestions from the repost of this article on my blog (courtesy of Gabriel Nijmeh):


Any one else care to share?

January 19 | Unregistered CommenterKevin English

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