7 Ways We Discover New Music


Many of us would like to think of ourselves as musical connoisseurs who possess a mysterious, uncanny knack for discovering brilliant tunes. A portion of folks may in fact fit that bill, but the rest of us might not even realize that our laptops and iPods are stocked full of melodies that came from a few of the same sources. There’s no well-concocted plan or foolproof system that we gracefully follow, it’s more like unexpectedly stumbling and falling upon catchy, new (at least to your ears), relatable, and/or intriguing songs via some of these sources:

1. Commercials

Everyone has experienced hearing something delightful in their ears as a car is seen swooshing down an empty highway, an iPad and its new features are rattled off, some fancy, new Windows product is exhibited, or Heineken shows that their taste in music may be better than that of their beer. These commercials playing at every break often lead us on a scavenger hunt for the artist and title of the song. Okay, it’s not really a scavenger hunt so much as a quick Google search, but still, a portion of everyone’s music collection is a result of commercials and their constant use of the perfect songs. It’s also oddly pleasant to type “Song From….” and have Google give “… Mercedes commercial” as an option, reassuring you that you’re not the only one out there, digging that track.

2. Pandora

The Pandora method requires a great deal of patience because it’s so easy to skip any song that you aren’t feeling after a mere 5-10 seconds. Sometimes it’s on point — you select Empire Of The Sun radio and they play MGMT, Passion Pit, Coldplay, Temper Trap – maybe even some Imagine Dragons. Those fit with each other, and when various songs you’ve never heard are sprinkled in between, you can make note of them for future listening. It’s cohesive.

Then there are times that Pandora seems drunk or is just having a really bad day, giving you entirely different sounding genres that lead to exercising the power of the skip button. The bottom line is that anyone willing to sit through their share of unknown songs will eventually hear some they’d like to get to know better.

3. A Scene From One Of Your Favorite TV Shows

The songs don’t even necessarily have to be all that brilliant. If played during a great scene, even a mediocre song will be associated with a piece of television that we loved, and find it’s way into your iPod.

4. YouTube’s Suggestions

That procrastination inducing row of videos displayed to the right of whatever you’re watching tend to have some sort of suggestions for you. With music, those recommendations are usually going to be more songs from the original artist you listened to or someone very similar. Again, much like Pandora, YouTube’s suggestions have those moments that make you question their intent, as a video of someone popping a massive back zit has nothing to do with Childish Gambino’s music.

5. Shazam’ing The Song You Hear Playing At The Bar, Restaurant, Store, Etc.

Shazam is really useful in any scenario that has music you want to identify, but catchy, unfamiliar jams seem to rear their beautiful heads when we’re out having a good time with friends or doing some shopping. Bars, restaurants and stores in the mall are always playing something, and from time to time we’ll like what we hear enough to get its information.

6. The Music Knowledgeable Friend On Facebook Shared It

Those people who actually do have an uncanny knack for discovering music are usually known for being credible sources of good music. They’re our unpaid talent scouts, feeding social networks a hearty serving of songs that’ll eventually find their way into our playlists.

7. Movie Trailers

The Pineapple Express trailer is how 93% of people discovered Paper Planes by MIA, and a movie preview with a catchy song will always be a source of predicting future hits and filling the space in your music collection. TC Mark

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