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Finding A New Favourite Band

It’s perfectly fine to constrain yourself to the same 20 albums, and listen to them over and over again – But where’s the enjoyment? Excuse the cliché, but where’s the adventure? You’ll never, ever, be able to listen to every band in the world. In the time it takes you to listen to a 45 minute album, there’s bound to have been 1-2 more released, somewhere in the world. If not knowing how to find these bands is your problem, read on:

It’s all well and good to take recommendations from friends and walk around town looking at posters for bands playing in your area, but this is the 21st century – there’s better ways to do it:

First of all, find a way of tracking what you listen to – and have it recommend you music based on this. Or, in shorter words… Get Last.Fm. If you’re known for being a bit of a lazy listener, this will do all the hardwork. All you have to do is listen to your no doubt incredible collection of music, and it will suggest artists who you should check out. The best part is, you can preview a few tracks of the suggested artist and if you don’t like them, so what? It’s not as if you’ve ran to the record store, spent your hard earned money and ran back, have you?

Spotify is the rapidly growing king of music streaming, only closely rivalled by Deezer. If you’re familiar with Spotify, you might be wondering how this is beneficial for finding new artists, when you have to search for an artist you want to listen to?


A trick I use is to create a blank playlist, and then search for an artist you like. You might be inter your super-secret underground black metal, in which case ‘Related Artists’ might not be a viable option – But, if you search for a relatively well known artist/band, Spotify will pull in a plethora of similar artists. All you have to do now is take full advantage of Spotify’s ‘Top 5’ feature and drag and drop the top 5 songs of the top 5 ‘similar artists’ to the musician(s) you searched for.

Confused? Too many ‘Top 5’s? Basically – Make use of the service telling you similar artists. Let it do the hard work. When you’re done – Plug in, play the playlist, delete what you really don’t like. You’re left with a huge (or small) list of bands/artists that you now like. Wonderful!

Read. Read a lot. You’re reading this, so it’s not too hard, right? A lot of music magazine editors and writers eat, sleep and breathe music. If they say a band is good in an article, or make reference to them – check them out. Tell them what you think of them – Develop relationships. What have you got to lose?
Something which goes hand in hand with reading – Writing. Jot down bands that people mention. You might not always have a computer, internet connection or CD player at hand, so just write stuff down. I use my iPod. Simple as that.

If you don’t believe me, look: I start writing down every name-drop I heard since just before Christmas. You don’t realise how many time people mention bands, because you often forget an hour later… I’ve got my fair share of listening to do…

I hope this helps re-kindle your love for new music. Feel free to let me know what bands you found and love, after using any of these methods. Who knows, it could be as easy as reading the comments to discover great music!

Laurence Kellett
Editor and Publisher of Alt Music Review. Read more at http://www.altmusicreview.co.uk

Next Steps

1. Playing a local gig - why not contact Laurence to write about your band
2. Find those new bands - look what we have coming up here in Manchester http://www.facebook.com/designermagazinemanchester/events
3. In a band or want a band to play Manchester - look here or share this page http://www.designermagazine.org/ManchesterBands.htm

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