5 Ways To Find New Music (When You’re Stuck In A Music Rut)

Spotify app on mobile phone.

Have you ever found yourself stuck listening to the same sort of music on a loop with absolutely no idea how to break the cycle and discover new tunes? I’ve been there. I used to find myself in that position all the time and honestly, I was getting sick of never discovering anything new. Since I know that it’s something that so many of us find ourselves struggling with, I’m sharing my ultimate top tips on HOW and WHERE to find new music. Seriously…you’ll come out of this as a music-discovering-pro, I promise.

Find New Music: First…What Music Are You Hoping To Discover?

Before I get to my tips, I think it’s important to quickly think about what it is exactly that you’re hoping to get out of new music. Is it a new genre that you’re looking to discover? Is it more musicians in your favourite genre? Or is it a specific playlist that you’re searching for, for a certain mood e.g. a chilled playlist, a party playlist? Maybe it’s all of them! Once you know exactly what you’re looking for it’s a lot easier to start searching.

Right, so… do you know what you’re looking for now? Okay, let’s get to it then.

Retro radio sat on the windowsill.
Photography by Harry Grout via Unsplash.

Find New Music: Music Streaming Services

The best place to start is by thinking about what you’re currently using to listen to music. For most of us, this will probably be some sort of music streaming service. And when it comes to finding new music, streaming services are a brilliant starting point. Are you an Apple Music user, a Spotify fan or do you use something else? Personally, I use Spotify premium (you can follow me on there if you want here) and I’ve used it for the last 4 years or so. Getting Spotify premium was a huge game-changer for me when it came to developing my interest in and knowledge of music. If you’re looking to join a music streaming service then I’d 100% recommend going with Spotify. 

Music Streaming Services: Spotify ‘ Daily Mix’ Feature

One of my favourite things about Spotify is just how easy it is to find new music. Spotify will make up their own playlists tailored to what you’ve been listening to, which are called your ‘daily mixes’. A lot of the songs in your daily mixes will be tracks that you already listen to, but Spotify also throws in a few tracks by similar artists, as well as songs that you haven’t listened to by the artists that you do listen to (if that makes sense). So, say for example you listen to Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin all the time, Spotify will include that in your daily mix but they also might add in Black Dog or Ramble On (both Led Zep). Get the gist?

Spotify app on mobile phone.
Photography by Fixelgraphy via Unsplash.

Music Streaming Services: Spotify ‘Fans Also Like’ Feature

Another favourite aspect of Spotify for me is the ‘fans also like’ section which pops up when you click on a specific artist. Let’s take Harry Styles for example. He’s one of the biggest names in music (26th in the world according to Spotify!) so you’re probably thinking that when you click on the ‘fans also like’ section on his profile it’ll just be loads of other big names that you already know. And to a certain extent that is true. You get the other 4 members of One Direction and loads of other big-name pop acts. But you also get Declan McKenna, who has around 8% of the amount of monthly listeners that Harry Styles does.

Do the same thing on Declan McKenna’s profile and you’ll find bands like Vistas who have 20% of Declan McKenna’s listeners. Then do the same again and you’ll find a band called High Tyde who have 8% of Vistas listeners. 4 clicks on Spotify and you’ve gone from a musician with 44m monthly views to a band with 52k monthly views. Pretty easy right?

Music Streaming Services: Spotify Specific Genre Playlists

Then you’ve also got playlists that are pre-made by Spotify and focus on a specific genre. I find that these playlists are ideal if you’re just looking to learn about a certain genre. For example, I’ve recently been enjoying the pre-made Bossa Nova playlist on Spotify. All I had to do to find it was a quick Spotify search for Bossa Nova. What’s so great about the pre-made genre playlists is 1. how there’s a mix of big names in the genre and up-and-coming artists too and 2. how much they flow as playlists. You can shuffle one of their genre playlists without any fear that a completely random track will come on in the midst of your chilled vibe. If you want to discover some ready-made gems then head on over to my favourite Spotify playlists post for a few recommendations.

Find new music with streaming services/ Spotify app open on a laptop.
Photography by SGC Design Co via Unsplash.

Find New Music: Look At Reviews

Looking at reviews from newspapers, news sites and music websites is one of the easiest ways to discover new music. There are so many sites and resources out there that’ll tell you all about the latest releases. If you’re a complete newbie to reading music reviews then don’t worry. I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite places to read reviews in a sec. But first I want to talk about why reviews are a great way to source new tunes.

The biggest appeal of a review is that they give you an outline of what to expect from a song/album in advance. Maybe you’ve heard of a musician but haven’t had time to listen to their stuff yet. An album will set you back around 45 minutes if you listen to it in full. And if you aren’t feeling the music by the end of it then it can feel like a waste of time! Trust me I’ve felt like this on a few occasions.

Whereas a review will take like what? 5 minutes tops to read. It’ll give you an idea of what to expect from the music, a general rating of how good the album is (in the opinion of the reviewer) and what they think are the best tracks on the album. If you’re sat reading a review and thinking bloody hell that song/album sounds awful!! then at least you’ve only spent a couple of minutes reading about it.

Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that you won’t always agree with the reviewer. At the end of the day, it is only one person’s opinion per review. So if you want to get an idea of what the music you’re researching is like then it’s best to read a few different reviews.

Find new music reading reviews. Man sat reading a newspaper.
Photography by Roman Kraft via Unsplash.

My Go-To Review Sites

My favourite places to read reviews are Pitchfork, The Guardian and Metacritic. The latter being my go-to source for discovering new releases.

I think for a lot of you Pitchfork would be a great place to start because it’s so easy to navigate. Each new release is labelled with the genre so you can sift through the sort of music you’re looking for really quickly. The ‘Staff Picks’ section is also a really unique part of the site. It reads a bit more like a blog and takes you through some of the picks by Pitchfork staff. As I’m searching on the website right now I’m just dreaming about how much I wish my blog looked as cool as their site does. It’s so chic! The Guardian online is my go-to for reading in-depth reviews. I always find their reviews to be really fair which is something that I’ve found can be an issue sometimes with reviews. Sometimes it feels like certain reviews are being unnecessarily harsh on a couple of musicians. And in other cases, it feels like they’re hyping up an album that isn’t actually that incredible. But overall The Guardian seems to be spot on with their music reviews.

Find new music through reading blogs. Flatlay of a laptop, coffee, notebook and tablet.
Photography by Thought Catalog via Unsplash.

Find New Music: Read Blog Posts

Honestly, I think reading blog posts about pretty much anything is a great way to learn something new. Whether you’re trying to get travel advice for your next city break (post-lockdown), discover a new drink, or in this case discover new music. You can find everything you need by reading blog posts. For those of you that have followed Female Original for a while, you’ll know that I’m always sharing new music on here, on social media and in my newsletter too. But of course, there are loads of other bloggers out there that write about music. My advice would be to start with actual music bloggers, aka the bloggers that exclusively post about music.

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You’ll likely find things like new song and album releases, interviews with small musicians and maybe even a few playlists on music blogs. I do have to say that, in my three years of blogging I’ve found it hard to find bloggers that focus exclusively on music. So, if you’re struggling to find music bloggers, the next thing to do is look to bloggers that have music sections, in the same way that you might come to me for music content.

Find New Music: Listen To The Radio

I feel like the radio is something that the younger generation just isn’t that into. And I have absolutely no idea why. Radio stations are one of the most amazing ways to discover music but I feel like we all completely overlook it as a resource.

Sometimes you just really can’t be bothered doing the research when it comes to discovering music…you just want to listen without having to search for music. Which is where radio comes in. On the days where you really don’t feel like reading reviews, blog posts and searching Spotify playlists for music, it’s so much easier to just pop the radio on.

Find new music on the radio. Marshall radio.
Photography by Zui Hoang via Unsplash.

A Few UK Stations To Check Out

Remember at the beginning when I mentioned that you should start by figuring out WHAT music you wanted to discover. This is where that really comes in handy. Because depending on what music you’re looking for, you’ll want to choose the right radio station to tune into.

For example, in the UK BBC Radio 1 is the one you want (excuse the pun) for all things chart and popular music. We’re talking the UK top 4o, new releases from the big names in popular music and just that whole general vibe. BBC Radio 2 is more of a mix of older tunes from the pre-’00s, as well as some new hits that maybe aren’t necessarily full pop tunes. And then my personal favourite, BBC Radio 6, which focuses on more alternative music and, in my opinion, is the ultimate station to discover loads of new musicians. The Steve Lamacq show is probably my favourite on the station and it’s on every day from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm (UK time).

Of course, there are plenty of other radio stations out there e.g. Absolute 80s, Capital FM etc. But as a general rule, I’d say stay away from stations that have a repeated playlist. Have you ever listened to a radio station that just plays the same playlist of songs every day? Honestly, it’s the most frustrating thing.

Mobile phone taking a photo at a live music concert.
Photography by John Mark Arnold via Unsplash.

Find New Music: Check Local Events

So I know that right now this isn’t something that we can do… BUT it is a big one to note down for future reference (when it’s safe to attend events). A great way to find new music is to see who’s playing live near where you live. Check local bars and music venues websites (and social media!) and see if they have any upcoming gigs. You haven’t necessarily got to get yourself a ticket to their concert. Instead, you can use the websites to discover new musicians.

In Liverpool, we’re lucky to have loads of local music venues, whether it’s for large concerts at the M&S Bank Arena, mid-size gigs in the O2 Academy or a bar gig at what’s come to be a favourite spot of mine in Liverpool, Jimmy’s. There are plenty of music venues in all major cities so if you live in or near a city you’re spoilt for choice. For those of you who aren’t close enough to large cities, however, remember what I said about not having to actually go to the concerts. This is all about discovering new music, not necessarily seeing music live, so you can still check who’s playing in venues all over the world if you wanted to! Just pop onto their websites and do some searchin’.

Congrats! You’re A Music-Finding Pro!

So that just about covers everything you need to know about how to find new music. I know it was a pretty hefty post but hopefully, you feel like you know exactly how to discover some new music to listen to and WHERE to look for it! Do you have any other ideas of where to find new music? Have you got specific sources that you read to keep up to date with the latest tunes? Send them my way.

If you enjoyed reading then make sure to share the post on socials (via the little share bar on the right) and tag me in it! I’d love to chat with you about your own music discovery journey. And if you’re looking for even more music content to read then why not sign-up to my blog newsletter

Female Original

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84 thoughts on “5 Ways To Find New Music (When You’re Stuck In A Music Rut)

  1. Great post! I love the Spotify ready made playlists especially the ones tailored to your mood, that’s usually the way I find new music, or the discover weekly one 🙂

    1. Spotify is amazing for finding new music isn’t it! It feels like you haven’t even got to bother searching for new music, Spotify just presents you with it haha x

  2. I love spotify! I’m always looking for new music and their daily mix is the BEST. It takes all the struggle out of finding new music and presents a wide variety of songs. Love this so much!

    1. Spotify is incredible for finding new tunes. I love how they just present you with great playlists without you even having to think about making your own ones up! So glad you enjoyed reading! x

    1. Spotify always seem to suggest exactly what you’re looking for don’t they? It’s my go-to for music discovery 🙂 x

  3. I’ve used YouTube quite a lot, but I find it wrong that if you want to use the service AD free, you have to pay for it, I just find that wrong, there are options that I’ve used, some are good and some are bad.

    1. I’ve never really used YouTube for music! I sometimes watch new music videos on there but the ADs are so annoying x

    1. I think music is something that a lot of us have really gotten into more during lockdown which is fab! x

  4. Great tips for finding new music! I have Spotify premium too and I use it allll the time. Especially when I want to find new music too, there’s so many different playlists that Spotify makes for you from what music you listen to. When I was younger I definitely used the radio for finding new music, but now I don’t really listen to it as much. I also love when Spotify does those rewind playlists though from the year before or the summer before, it helps me get back into the music I used to listen to and had since forgotten about!

    Chloe xx

    1. Ahh I love those rewind playlists! I’ve been listening to my summer rewind from last year and there are so many songs on there that I completely forgot about x

  5. I love using Spotify for finding new music too – they have so many different playlists! I occasionally listen to the radio so I discover new artists through that, as well as through blogs, reviews, Twitter, YouTube, Apple Music and more recently TikTok!

    1. Spotify is the best! Blogs and reviews are great for finding out a bit more info about a track/ artist 🙂 x

  6. Some fab tips here. I am a nightmare with music. So out of touch from what my kids listen too! I often revert back to my teenage years of the 90s/00s!

    1. Glad I could help! Nothing wrong with a bit of 90s/00s – I’m a huge fan of 70s music 🙂 x

  7. Loving this post! The radio is my favorite way to find new music. That, and music-themed posts. 🙂

    Listening to a good random mix of tunes always helps my ear find the rhythm I enjoy and that helps me look for new songs. I wonder if I could listen to UK stations somehow since I live in the US?

    1. I’m pretty sure you can listen to them in the US! A lot of the stations also include a list of songs that have been played on each show so if you can’t listen along you could always check the lists from each radio show 🙂 x

  8. These are great tips, I don’t listen to the radio as much these days but I really should listen more because Radio 6 introduced me to so many of my favourite artists when I was younger. The Spotify Daily Mix and Release Radar playlists have both been absolute game changers for me. I used to listen to the same stuff on repeat all the time before I started using those features x

    Sophie

    1. Daily Mix/Release Radar are the best! I don’t listen to the radio anywhere near as much as I should, even though I know how amazing it is for discovering new music. Whenever I do listen to the radio it’s always gotta be Radio 6! x

  9. I love these tips!! Apple Music is my mode of choice, and I’ve found loads of ways to discover new music, whether from curated playlists or the radio stations Apple makes. Finding new music that you vibe with is one of the best feelings x

    1. Thank you! I have to say I don’t know a lot about Apple Music but it seems like a great app to discover new music. 100% agreed, there’s not much better than finding a new tune to vibe with x

  10. I love Spotify! They have so many playlists, so I usually just go through those. But I will definitely have to try out some of your tips 🙂

  11. Spotify has been a total game changer for me. I signed up for a premium account a few years ago and never looked back. Like you say, all the different mixes and recommendations they have open you up to new music you otherwise wouldn’t have know about. I find TikTok a great way to discover new music too. I end up loving loads of the songs that are trending on there. And quite often I’ll Google songs I’ve heard in movies, TV shows and adverts. If I like the sound of something I hear I’m the type of person who will do the digging to find out what it is x

    1. Film soundtracks are such a great way to find new music! I completely forgot about that but it’s something that I do ALL the time. x

  12. I loved reading this post! I have found some of my favorite artists and songs throughout the years from Spotify’s recommendations! It’s a great streaming platform! Thanks for sharing all of your tips! 🙂

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading! Spotify has been such an amazing tool for discovering new music over the years for me as well 🙂 x

  13. I do tend to listen to the same music ALL THE TIME. I rarely actively try and discover new music unless i accidentally stumble across a new song that I’ve never heard of and really like! I really should make the most of Spotify though!

    1. Until I got Spotify a few years back I listened to the same songs constantly! It’s been such an amazing site for me when it comes to finding new music, and it’s so easy to discover new tunes on there 🙂 x

  14. Spotify is definitely my go-to for getting new music, their daily mixes are very helpful! I also like to see what my friends are listening to 😊

    1. I love seeing what my friends listen to on Spotify! The daily mixes are a favourite feature of mine too x

  15. Great ideas! When my house isn’t full of kids requiring home learning supervision, I listen to BBC Radio 6Music throughout my work day. Its wonderful for variety and exposing new artists. I’ve discovered loads on there in the last few years.

    1. Radio 6 is the best! I love how much of a focus they have on new artists, it’s a great station for discovering new tunes x

  16. Oooh I love the different ways we can find new music! I love that Spotify can help us find similar music based on our taste. I need to be better with the daily mixes lol! I keep listening to my same playlist until Fridays when new music typically comes out. Twitter is also a great way to learn about new music too! Back in the day, I used to rely on the radio to play some new music and I am like… Googling the lyrics LOL! Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Nancy ✨

    1. The Spotify daily mixes are fab! Haha I do that all the time! I’ll be listening to the radio but miss who the song is by so I remember a line of the song and then Google it later lol x

  17. One of my goals for this year was to find new music because I’ve just been listening to the same artists since 2012 (I have one very long playlist) and I’ve definitely found the discovery features on streaming services to be so good. Also, film and TV soundtracks as well as listening to the radio has been super helpful! Most new music I’ve listened to are actually from the 70s-80s but it’s still new to me haha!

    1. Film and TV soundtracks are great for finding new music! I listen to loads of ’70s and ’80s music as well, I’m always discovering new (but old!) tracks from those decades x

  18. I learn of a lot of new songs while driving. My sister literally shazams new songs on the radio while I’m driving because of me insisting that I need to know it. If she’s not there, I just learn a lyric or two and then google it when I’m out fo the car.
    xxx

    Love this post!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing! I usually discover new songs in Spotify when the album I played have already ended and it automatically plays other songs with the same genre. I’ve been super thankful for it.

  20. I loved how you said to look at reviews to find new music. My sister was telling me last night about how she is getting bored with the music she listens to, and that she wants to figure out how to find new music that she will like. I’ll make sure to pass this information along to her so that she can know more tips about finding new music.

    1. Reviews are such a great way to get an idea of a new song/album/artist before you listen! Glad I could help! 🙂 x

  21. Great ideas in this post! I use Spotify premium and quite like it. I also just talk to friends, or when meeting new people about what they’re listening to these days to get new ideas of music.

    Kristyn – thequeenofmycastle.com

    1. Talking to people about their music taste is a great idea! I find a lot of people that I speak to have a completely different taste in music to me so that doesn’t always work for me but it’s a great way to discover a variety of new music x

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading! Spotify is the best but I’d definitely recommend trying a few of the other ways if you’re feeling stuck with what to list to 🙂

  22. I’m really bad at finding new music, I’m so set in my ways with what I already know and love, that I don’t both searching for anything new! I really should try to find something new at least once a week, just to expand my music tastes! x

    Emily | emiliamarlowe.co.uk

    1. Thank you, glad I could help you discover some new tunes! The Guardian is great for reviews 🙂

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