looking for the music cool factor?

Being such a fan of music festivals, a question I get asked all the time is…how do I find new music?

It is so easy to get stuck in an era or a genre of music and never branch any further and if you only listen to popular radio your exposure is often limited to artists whose labels have the resources to get them  airplay

But, if like me you are interested in finding cool new acts…the question is “where do I go?”

Young friends listening to music together

Talk to your friends…

The first place I suggest you go is to your friends who are passionate about music. If anyone ever engages me in the “what is your latest find” question I can go on for hours about some new act that I just found. With the aid of a couple of interesting friends (and the technology of iTunes and youtube) you can start your search for something new quite easily

Check out the festivals…

There are music festivals happening in all around the world (wherever it is summer) so just google the words Music Festival and there are a load of options to see what is happening. Now I am not suggesting you actually have to go them them…but if you find an event that sounds like there might be artists you like there, then have a look at the rest of their lineup. Spend an hour or so on YouTube and you will no doubt find a few new artists to listen to.

There are so many websites and apps dedicated to music and music reviews and this is just a taste of what there is out there to help expand your music knowledge. At the end of the day its about your taste and expanding your stable of artists so that you have something new to listen to

Once you have discovered a new act, there are now a lot of music radio sites out there like Spotify.com, Pandora.com and Last.fm that gather information about people’s taste in music. And they do not simply log what kid of bands or songs people search for, but how often each song is listened to and favorited and even which other songs and bands that are popular with people that like a certain artist or song. This way these sites can recommend music with a high degree of accuracy and generally are available on-line and as a smart device app


Last.fm uses your Facebook likes to suggest alternate artists that are similar or linked to or liked by others. It will also advise if any of your ‘liked artists’ are coming to town so you can go see them live. With free music downloads and the ability to create your own radio stations it is a comprehensive on-line resources to find and play the latests music as well as classic hits


Pandora Internet Radio (also known as Pandora Radio or simply Pandora) is an automated music recommendation service and “custodian” of the Music Genome Project. Pandora is super-easy to use on your mobile device or computer. Simply enter the name of a favourite artist and Pandora will create a radio station that puts you act with similar. You can create up to 100 unique “stations.” And you can even refine them. If it’s not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.  While listening, users are offered the ability to buy the songs or albums at various online retailers. A station is set by specifying an artist or song, or a combination of multiple items of any kind in a single station. Listeners can tune into pre-made genre stations, other users’ stations, or even create their own stations based on their musical interests.


Spotify allows you to create a radio station based on genre or music preference but also to create your own playlists.  A six-month free trial period is activated upon Spotify account registration or first login with a Facebook account, where a user can listen to an unlimited amount of music.After the trial, Spotify has a listening limit of 10 hours per month, divided into a 2.5 hour streaming allocation each week (with any unused hours carrying over to the next week or you subscribe for unlimited use. Users can set up playlists and share them or edit them together with other people


Shazam is a commercial mobile phone based music identification service, that uses a mobile phone’s built-in microphone to gather a brief sample of music being played. An acoustic fingerprint is created based on the sample, and is compared against a central database for a match. If a match is found, information such as the artist, song title, and album are relayed back to the user. Relevant links to services such as iTunes, YouTube, Spotify or Zune are incorporated into some implementations of Shazam. Shazam gives instant satisfaction for those times when you want to know the song that is playing, learn more about the artist, buy the song immediately – or simply share your discovery with your family and friends.


Tastekid is a music recommendation engine with a social dimension. It provides music, movies, shows, books and authors recommendations, based on your existing preferences. You choose the Music tab and enter your query and Tastekid brings up a list of related bands. Click on the search result of your choice and a pop-up window displays a short introductory text to the band in question along with a video that plays right in the window and links to the Wikipedia article and a Google search. There are options to like, dislike or save an artist (and even a Meh button if you aren’t certain ). The same box contains tabs that let you share your find on Twitter and Facebook or find it on Amazon and iTunes store. It works even for little known bands.


The idea behind The Filter was devised by musician and digital pioneer Peter Gabriel and software entrepreneur Martin Hopkins. Gabriel foresaw that the growth of digital technologies would lead to such large volume of content becoming available that users would need filters to help them find what was relevant to them. The software learns tastes and preferences and utilised artificial intelligence to generate playlists and recommendations.

Reviews Reviews Reviews


The best place to find new music on the web. Every day, thousands of people around the world write about music they love — and it all ends up here
The Hype Machine was born out of Anthony Volodkin’s frustration with music magazines and radio stations. He said, “I discovered MP3 blogs like Stereogum and Music for Robots. I couldn’t believe there were people spending their time writing about music, putting up tracks so you could hear them. And I thought, there has to be a way to bring this all together.”
The Hype Machine monitors hundreds of blogs for new music, collecting the MP3 links in a massive library of songs that you can favorite, adding to your dashboard, and then play like a radio.


BBC Music is a team working in the department of Audio and Music Interactive at the BBC. Responsible for the BBC Music website – the portal site to music content across the BBC website. It is also the location of the BBC’s album reviews, covering all major releases in every genre on a monthly basis and written by a wide range of music experts.


Pitchfork is a Chicago-based daily Internet publication devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interview. Its focus is on independent music, especially indie rock. However, the range of musical genres covered extends to pop, hip hop, folk, jazz, heavy metal, experimental, and various forms of electronic dance music.
The site, which was established in 1995, concentrates on new music, but Pitchfork journalists also review reissued albums and box sets. The site has also published “best-of” lists – such as the best albums of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and the best songs of the 1960s – as well as annual features detailing the best singles and albums of each year since 1999. The Pitchfork influence is often compared with NME‘s.


A leading online outlet for indie and alternative music, news, reviews, and gossip, Stereogum regularly features unknown artists who go on to become mainstream sensations. Stereogum was one of the first MP3 blogs. It was created in 2002 with a focus on independent and alternative music news, commentary, audio, and video. Stereogum has received several awards and citations, including the 2008 Plug Award for best music blog, Blender’s Powergeek 25, and Entertainment Weekly’s Best Music Websites. In 2010 Stereogum was named an Official Honoree of the Webby Awards in the music category and won the Omma Award for Web Site Excellence in the Entertainment/Music category.