16 Ways I Learn About New Music
I offer a frank and unfiltered assessment, and rank my sources from best to worst
I’m often asked how I find good new music. Several people have suggested I write about this topic. But I’ve been reluctant to do so.
That’s because it’s not a simple story.
And I know this because listening to new music is part of my daily routine, and the whole process is awkward and cumbersome. I’m always on the lookout for something new and exciting—both for my own enjoyment, and yours too. But navigating through the maze of available recordings to find albums of outstanding merit is surprisingly difficult.
Every year I share my 100 favorite albums with the paid subscribers here. And I periodically send out newsletters with short description of recordings that I especially enjoyed. But this is the single most time-consuming project on my agenda—soaking up more hours than even writing all those books—because just finding one or two good new albums is a significant achievement, but one hundred over the course of just 12 months?
That’s a tall order.
But what other options do I have? What could be more pathetic than a music critic without new music to recommend? I don’t want to be that uncool cat.
But I’ve found ways of locating good new music, even stuff almost completely hidden from view and under everyone else’s radar screens.
I share 16 of my sources below. My comments are frank and unfiltered, but I’m sure you wouldn’t want it any other way.