Your guide to discovering new beats that put you ahead of the game making personal playlists.
In today’s music industry, there’s a lot to keep up with, and as much as we love them, Pandora, Spotify and your personal iTunes on shuffle just can’t do it all. That said, we pulled together a list of 25 of our favorite music sites, our go-to sources for finding new tunes, streaming our favorite mixes and above all, staying ahead on our playlists. Just keep in mind that if you’re tempted to spend half your day perusing new music, don’t blame it on us.
The name says it all. Whether you like the bands or not is up to you, but fortunately there’s a new one every single day so you’re bound to discover something.
If you know anything about the music world, you’ll know that there’s a lot of creativity coming out of Scandinavia right now. Miike Snow, Lykke Li, Sigur Rós – they all have Nordic roots. All Scandinavian is the place to keep up with the big names as well as all of the smaller ones that you would otherwise only catch at festivals like Roskilde.
Based in Los Angeles, Aquarium Drunkard is an eclectic mix that “bridges the gap between contemporary indie with vintage garage, psych, folk, country, New Orleans funk, r&b, soul and everything that falls in between.” That means it’s diverse, different and certainly worth your time.
A beautiful combination of music and videos, this French website has an appealing layout and the kind of content that will make you stick around for hours. Certainly not your average music blog, this site feels more like a high end lifestyle magazine.
Chuck, The Chuckness’ namesake, knows his stuff when it comes to good, upbeat music, and this site should certainly make it onto your list of sites to check regularly. Chuck and his team also started featuring a bi-weekly mixtape called The Fortnight, mixed by a guy out of Boston named DJ Rob. It’s worth checking out and keeping an eye out for.
If you need workout mixes and danceable tracks, look no further. Don’t have time to sort through all the posts? For a quick fix there’s a list of top 10 tracks on the main page, which, thanks to a music-savvy readership, is always full of good music. The site offers plenty of the featured tracks for download, which means that even without internet access at your next party, you can still work your DJ skills.
The Fader is actually an entire lifestyle magazine, but they have their finger on the pulse of the music scene and do a good job of pulling together everything from hip-hop to Caribbean.
Electronic, indie, hip hop and dance, it’s all here. These guys know their party remixes, and if you’re in need of a good mashup should be your #1 source. They also know a thing or two about making playlists, and make them available for download, which is perfect for when you need a rocking set but are too tired to pull something together yourself.
The concept for Find New Jams is simple: press play and listen. The site sticks to party, hip-hop, mashups and rock, and the platform allows you to vote on your favorite songs. Don’t expect commentary, this site is simply a “click and listen” kind of place, but it’s known for having some of the freshest tracks available, particularly when it comes to the sort of music that deserves to be blasted on loud speakers.
If The Phoenix called this site an “…uber-hip indie blawg.” you know if has to be good. I Guess I Am Floating always has the kind of music that you can listen to no matter what mood you’re in.
Intended for a younger crowd, this site is actually run by a bunch of savvy and music-loving college students, but you would never know it. It’s a professional operation that looks slick and has a good mix of music from various genres, from indie to dubstep. The commentary is smart and we keep an eye on it on a daily basis.
Need a new morning routine? Brew your coffee and go immediately to Hype Machine. Hype Machine is one of the premiere music sites out there, more like a consortium of good music blogs and all of the tracks that they feature. The Popular list changes on a daily basis and one minute you can find yourself listening to Brazilian samba and the next a folky blues tune. You can bookmark your favorites and the songs continue playing while you navigate the site. And did we mention the Hype Machine Top 8 playlists that are released every Monday? If you can only commit to an hour a week of getting caught up on the latest and greatest in music, start here.
Daily updated news and features makes this a go-to blog of music lovers of all kinds. One day Wiz Khalifa, the next, a Feist remix. The site also has an entire section devoted to music videos.
Indie Shuffle is a huge collection of independent music of all genres. The San Francisco-based site’s music player is very user friendly, and every track that is posted has recommended similar artists, making it easy to know what you’re going to get and also encouraging you to discover new gems. Can’t decide where to hit play? Just hit the shuffle button and you’ll end up with a random track from Indie Shuffle’s extensive library. A must for anyone that’s trying to break out of their usual music tastes.
The Music Ninja’s About page says it all. “With one simple goal, to only feature the best music we come across, we have swiftly infiltrated the ears and minds of Ke$ha fans and permanently set them on the path to better, more fulfilling music.” So no auto-tune and no overly poppy bass lines. Your ears will thank you.
And you thought they only did Talk of the Nation and Fresh Air. NPR is very on top of their game when it comes to music. Song of the Day is a good way to kick off your morning, and because they’re a larger media brand, they also have a wide variety of album previews that you can listen to.
You can barely call yourself a music lover if Pitchfork isn’t on your reading list. Album reviews, new tracks and even music festivals, this site has it all. They also have music lists that go as far back as the 1960s, in the event you’re looking to beef up your music knowledge.
Dance. Party. That’s all there is to it when it comes to Remix86. Now you know, go forth and enjoy yourself.
Soundcloud is the darling of artists and producers as it allows you to easily upload your music. But even if you’re not a musician, you should be using Soundcloud. Follow artists and producers, share your own stuff, keep track of all of your favorites and see what others have been listening to.
A well-respected industry blog, Stereogum was at the forefront of the music blog world from the beginning. That means that you can expect bigger releases alongside unknown artists just making it onto the scene. It’s also an excellent source for music news as well as Stereogum’s famous lists, with everything from The 20 Best Indie Madonna Covers to Bon Iver’s 5 Favorite Hip-Hop Lyrics.
What would you be listening to on a roadtrip, driving cross country and appreciating the sunset reflecting in your rearview mirror as you head east? Probably something that would be featured on Sunset in the Rearview. It’s all indie rock and hip hop, and the main draw of this site is all of its daily features like Womp Wednesday and Friday at Five.
If you’re looking for a “this song is incredible!” reaction from your friends, here is where you will find it. It’s a lot of electro, but there’s a also a good chill section to offset the dance party selection.
We All Want Someone to Shout For
“Genres don’t exist here. Only good music does.” New York-based, We All Want Someone to Shout For sticks to its mantra, which means you get a diverse grab bag that you’re sure to love. Much of the featured content is available for download.
Take Pandora, add a little more Euro beats, indie rock and fresh DJs from the dance floor, a curated list of the day’s 99 most popular songs based on blogs and social media activity and you get a taste of what We Are Hunted has to offer. Type in the name of your favorite group or musician and the site immediately pulls up a grid of related artists, 75% of which you probably have never heard of. You can make your own playlists and embed them on blogs and share them on social networks, that way you can prove to your friends that you really are up on what’s new on the music scene.
Where would we be without 8tracks? Think back to the days when you spent hours making mixtapes. Well, now there’s a website and an app for that. We’re even doing it. You can search for playlists based on artist or genre and you can stream them on your computer or your phone. Crowd-sourced internet radio that’s always full of good surprises.