… and I am stressed out.
By Amy Hanna, Production Coordinator
With streaming becoming the primary method of music-listening for most these days, new music discovery has never been easier… kind of.
Streaming was, and is, met with a lot of criticism. And it’s all fair, really. There’s something quite sad about doing away with a physical representation of the music you’re listening to, now that album sales are plummeting the way they are. Streaming critics also take issue with misrepresentation of streams in the charts (which Billboard is trying to amend), as well as with proper artist payment through streams. Despite all the negative points, streaming has, however, given us near infinite, godlike access to almost every single release on the planet, at a fairly accessible cost. With more than a million songs being released every year, the prospect of choosing what to listen to could leave you feeling like a kid in a candy store, or a kid after a sugar crash.
Yeah, you heard me. I, and so many other music fans, are tired. There’s so much new music to listen to week to week that a lot of times, the sheer amount of hours I know I’ll want to put into discovering what’s new exhausts me. Not only do I have my own insatiable desire to listen to everything I can get my hands on, but when it’s also my job as a someone who curates new music lists on a weekly basis, it gets a bit overwhelming. However, these days I’ve been putting a few tricks to the test, and they’ve genuinely lessened my music fatigue. And since sharing is caring, I’ve outlined a few of those tricks for you below.
Let The Playlists Do the Work.
There’s no reason to be a snob about it: curated playlists are kind of amazing. From my own experience, I would’ve been clueless to some of my favorite new music I’ve happened upon this year without Spotify or Apple Music taking some of the work out of music discovery and putting that music directly in my ears. There’s no need to limit yourself to just your Discover Weekly, though (even though Discover Weekly can be prety awesome). If you’re a fan of a certain genre, Spotify and Apple Music do great to shuffle out really amazing new content from some of the best up-and-comers of a certain genre. Apple Music also features playlists based on producer, which I have grown to love as a bit of production fiend.
… But Don’t Let the Playlists Do Too Much Work.
Maybe not all of us are visiting the CD/record store as often as we used to, flipping through physicals and laying our hands on The One, the album we plan to play the living daylights out of for the rest of the month. Still, we don’t have to take all the wonder out of the discovery process. Search a random word on your streaming platform of choice and see what happens. Or maybe take that fated pilgrimage to the record store and jot down all the albums that catch your eye. Like I said: we’re all kind of Gods of Music Discovery at this point. Do it on your own terms. You’re too powerful to let your platform to choose everything for you.
There’s No Such Thing As A Guilty Pleasure.
You like something? Now’s the time to like it more forcefully, louder, more unashamed than ever before. We’re banning “guilty pleasure” from our collective lexicon in 2017. And every other year thereafter. Turn up that bubblegum pop. You deserve it.
Smash That “Repeat” Button.
The repeat button has come in shockingly clutch to me over the past few months as I’ve sought out new music for blog features. Don’t let your first listen become your only listen, when you find a song that’s truly special. It sounds silly, but sometimes I discover a cool song and am so caught up in listening to moremoremore that I completely forget what I’ve heard. When you make a deliberate choice to forgo more new for something you’ve already heard, you get to grow alongside the music you’re hearing, gain experiences from it, let it soundtrack your life… and that’s priceless.
Don’t Overthink It.
Yes, I do recognize the irony in me telling you not to overthink something after making you read an entire blog post about said thing. But hear me out: we’re so tired because we’re thinking about everything we’re missing. We’re not going to listen to every song in existence. Not even all the great ones. It’s sad, but it’s a truth we have to accept sooner or later. So let your heart (and ears) guide you. Love what you love, no matter how you seek it out, and forget about the rest. Best of luck, fellow music cadet. I salute you in all your music discovery endeavors.