How to Find New Music: Streaming Services
If there's one thing the majority of people share, it's a love of music. With the rise of streaming services like Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and Spotify, it's never been easier to get all the music you want. It's also never been easier to find new music!
Many people don't know how to find new music, though, even with millions of songs only a click away. The sheer amount of choice can be overwhelming, and sifting through all the bad in search of the good is a struggle in and of itself.
If you need to know how to find new music on SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and in general, keep reading.
Find New Music With Bandcamp Search
How to Find New Music
Go to bandcamp.com
Search for your genre of interest
Click the link 'music tagged with "post-punk."' on the right
Click the link for all releases instead of highlights
Select new arrivals instead of best-selling from the dropdown
Bandcamp is one of the most generous and popular streaming sites on the web. It offers a great mix of small and big artists of all genres, giving users tons of new content to discover.
Bandcamp's search function alone is enough to find plenty of new music by genre. When you click on Bandcamp's search bar, you're greeted by a dropdown menu of genres. These range from electronic, rock, punk, and even a 'browse all' option if you're a genre-hopper.
When you click on a genre you're brought to that genre's page, set by default to the genre's "highlights". You'll see new and notable releases from the genre, featured albums, and "essential" albums deemed classics by the staff and users. At the bottom of each genre page, you'll see recommendations from fans of specific albums.
If you want to step outside the highlights into more obscure territory, click on 'all releases' to the right of the 'highlights' option. This brings you to a never-ending page full of genre-specific albums. You can sort it by best-selling, new arrivals, location, tags, or click 'surprise me!' for a completely random mix.
This offers you a way to browse the entirety of a genre without worrying about viewer count, popularity, or anything else. All you have to do is click on an album you think seems cool, and Bandcamp will play it for you.
At the top of each genre page is a 'play' and 'follow' button. By hitting play, a playlist of random ones music of that genre will play for you. By following, you'll get updates on the latest music in the genre right to your Bandcamp homepage.
You're bound to find tons of new music by exploring different genres on Bandcamp like this.
The Browse All/Discover Section
The browse all section acts like an 'advanced search' option encompassing all of Bandcamp.
When you hit 'browse all' you'll see two rows of songs represented by their album covers. By default, Bandcamp shows you the best-selling songs from all genres in any format. Using Bandcamp's simple interface, however, you can change this.
From the 'browse all' section, also known as 'Discover', you'll see a scrollable list of genres. Click one of the genres (let's say 'punk') and the songs and albums in the discover change to match that genre. You'll also notice a new scrollable list pop up under the initial genre -- subgenres.
With 'punk' selected, you'll now see subgenres like garage, post-punk, and pop-punk. If you want to find new post-punk music, click the post-punk subgenre to further curate your discover. From there you can curate it even further by selecting 'new arrivals', 'artist-recommended', and a specific format.
Format choices are important if you want to purchase physical music. There's tons of vinyl, cassettes, and CDs available on Bandcamp.
The more you listen to, follow, wishlist, and rate, the better Bandcamp is at recommending you new music.
You can also use Bandcamp search to find your favorite artists, and branch off from there. From an artist's page you can see users who bought, reviewed and shared the album. You can also see bands and albums that the artist themselves recommend.
From these pages you can find people with similar music tastes who may share music you enjoy. You can follow these people and get their likes and recommendations straight to your feed.
How to Find New Music on SoundCloud
SoundCloud is another of the most popular streaming services, with a focus on DIY music and small artists.
When it comes to SoundCloud, the more music you listen to the better your recommendations are. You can start out by following your favorite artists and liking songs you know you enjoy. This will give SoundCloud an idea of what you're into, meaning it will start recommending you new artists and songs.
To the right of SoundCloud, you'll see a 'Who to follow' section. This is further curated the more users you follow. Checking out the users under this section is a great way to find new artists.
SoundCloud is all about discovering new artists, and the homepage offers tons of opportunities to do this. The first things you'll see on the homepage are 'The Upload' and 'SoundCloud Weekly' playlists. 'The Upload' is a curated playlist with newly uploaded tracks you may enjoy, and 'SoundCloud Weekly' is a curated playlist with popular SoundCloud songs across genres.
Scrolling down the page you'll see 'More of what you like', further suggestions based on what you've been listening to. Then you'll see charting songs organized by genre, and playlists organized by mood. You can see what's new and hot on the charts by genre, and what's in the top 50 across SoundCloud.
All of these playlists offer tons of new music for you to listen to straight from the homepage. From here, you can follow new artists you enjoy and navigate to the 'Stream' section of the site for even more new music.
The Stream Section
SoundCloud, similar to Bandcamp, is built like a social media website for music. This is especially evident from the 'Stream' page.
From the stream page, you can see what all the users you follow are up to. Specifically, you'll see new uploads, and reposted tracks. Posted tracks are songs made by that user, while reposts are songs that the user recommends.
Chances are the users you follow have similar musical tastes to their own genre. That means they'll likely share music that you enjoy. Listen to a few reposted and newly posted tracks to find new music.
From the 'stream' section you can visit your followed users' pages and check out their tracks, albums, and playlists. You can also see all of their reposts in one space. If you tend to enjoy most reposts from one user, seeing all the reposts in one place is a great new music strategy.
One final tip for SoundCloud involves the search bar. While not as intuitive as Bandcamp's, you can find new music through the search bar using tags. If you want new dark wave music for example, just type '#darkwave' into the search bar and browse all the songs tagged under '#darkwave'.
SoundCloud has some of the coolest new artists across genres on its site. Once you get to know the interface, you can find tons of great new music through it.
Finding New Music on Spotify
Now, let's take a brief look at streaming giant Spotify, specifically the Spotify PC application. You can also view Spotify from a web browser with a nearly identical interface.
Spotify offers a ton of ways to find new music. You've got charts from across the world, curated mood playlists, and a section full of new releases. There's also the radio section, which creates "radio" stations tailored to a specific artist filled with that artist's songs, and related artists' songs.
The best way to find new music is through the discover section. Just click 'Browse', then 'Discover' to get here. From this page you'll see top recommendations, new releases for you, and albums related to specific artists you've been listening to lately.
You can also access your 'Discover Weekly' and 'Release Radar' playlists from here. These are automatically updated every week with new music. 'Discover Weekly' offers entirely new music of similar genre and sound to what you enjoy, while 'Release Radar' gives you new music from your favorite artists.
The 'Made for You' Section
From the left-hand side of Spotify, you'll see a section called 'Made for You'.
Click on this and you'll see a ton of playlists made for you. There, you can find between one and four "daily mix" playlists. These playlists contain music you already enjoy, and related songs that you'll probably enjoy.
There's also the 'Tastebreakers' playlist. This contains songs from genres you don't tend to listen to. If you want to expand your horizons, give this one a listen!
Like any music platform, the more you listen to, like, and follow, the better your recommendations get.
Learning How to Find New Music
If you use Bandcamp, SoundCloud, or Spotify, follow the tips above to learn how to find new music. The more new music you find, like, and listen to, the easier it gets to find more new music. Before you know it, you'll be discovering new music daily across all your favorite genres.
If you're looking for great new post-punk music, click here to listen to our weekly new music picks.