by Eric Schnieders
Looking to add some new tunes to your playlist you’ve had since junior year of high school? Then you’ve come to the right article. I have a wonderful lists of five oases of new, progressive music that appeals to a variety of musical tastes. So let’s get to it.
Indieshuffle.com- This website does all the hard work for you. They have a team of dedicated musical analyists who scan through Soundcloud and other websites to pull the most trending popular tracks and place them on the website. You can listen by genre, artist, song, or editor’s top picks. Find a track you like, save it to a playlist on the site so you can find it again later. My favorite part of this site is their chill wave genre. It has gotten me through many long hours of studying and preparing for exams.
KEXP.org- Looking for some of the hottest alternative tracks in the country? Then turn to KEXP.org for all your needs. KEXP is actually a public radio station based in Seattle, Washington that shuffles through countless indie and alternative hits daily. You can listen live online or check out the plethora of live artist performances they have archived on their site. This is quite the opposite of what most people refer to public radio as. Rather than listening to people chat all day, you can listen to up and coming artists from all over the country. I encourage everyone to check this site out.
NPR first listen- More into listening to a full album rather than songs from all over the place? Then check out NPR First Listen. This branch of NPR music lets you listen to artists full albums usually for a full week before they are officially released on iTunes. When one of my favorite artists, Gary Clark Jr., was about to release his record I could stream it continuously for the week leading up to the release day when I promptly bought the album. If you’re questioning whether to buy an album or not this can be a great resource. However, you won’t find many pop stars on here. Branch out a little and explore some new avenues of music.
Ropeadope Records- Always wanted to get into Jazz/world music but never knew just how to do that? Then journey on down to Ropeadope Records. This record company was started in 1999 in NYC and has since been moved to Philadelphia. My favorite band in the entire world, “Snarky Puppy,” plays under this label and they feature a wide variety of young fresh artists. Anywhere from gospel, hip-hop, jazz, and electronica…if you’re looking for fresh beats this is the place. Check out Ropeadope’s Youtube channel for almost 100 videos of amazing artists doing what they were born to do. https://www.youtube.com/user/ropeadope99
NPR Music- Just as a whole, this might be the place to start if you are looking to branch out on a new musical path. NPR features music from all over the world, music that provides depth and insight to many cultural issues in the world and goes beyond the often shallow subject matter that popular, trendy music tends to get stuck in. Check out some tiny desk concerts, online concerts where artists come and perform in the desk area of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen. Sound cramped? It is, but the artists they have on never fail to disappoint. NPR also offers intelligent, straight forward reviews of many new albums. I have used many of these reviews when it came to the decision to buy music or not. Check out this great resource for fantastic music the next time you get bored on the web.
To conclude, listen to music for more than background noise. Listen to gain new insights, new viewpoints, and new perspectives. Don’t judge a book buy its cover. Just because you haven’t liked a genre in the past doesn’t mean you can’t give it a try now. Be open to what you listen to and be excited for the journey that lies ahead, you will surprise yourself in so many ways.