The 5 Best Ways to Discover Music

For free. And curated by humans.

By The Editors
September 24, 2015 9:00 am

They say the age you stop listening to new music is 33.

A shame. There’s a ton of good music out there. (Seriously.)

You just need a helping, human hand.

Ergo: the five best ways to discover new music, listed below.

What separates these services is the method of curation: instead of algorithms (which somehow, regardless the Pandora station, always lead back to Taylor Swift), the tunes are selected by DJs, influencers and passionate yet approachable music connoisseurs.

Turns out having real people select music works better than any proprietary algorithm.

Your five music assistants:

Dash Radio

A themed set of 60 Internet radio stations featuring real DJs and a unique set of stations (K-Pop, Atlanta rap, even a station devoted to workouts) mixed in with the usual rock/pop/dance mix. Like satellite radio without the cost.

Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1

The lead voice on BBC Radio, Mac hosts a mix of indie and rock on weekdays and a dance party on Fridays. It’s the kind of show where CHVRCHES, Bring Me the Horizon, Kendrick Lamar and alt-J fit comfortably together on a playlist.


It’s like finding that guy/girl who always made perfect mixtapes … multiplied by thousands. 8Tracks features all human-crafted playlists, tagged to activities (“I’d Rather Be at Coachella”), genres (“trap”) and moods (“I’m (not) sorry I puked when I saw your face”).


Twitter for music. Choose who to follow — every time they post a track or remix, it shows up in your feed in reverse chronological order. It’s where all the music blogs source their music.

Singles Club

We mentioned these guys before: a New York-based record club that sends pairs a limited-run, custom-packaged 7″ vinyl single (new song on one side, interview on the other) from an of-the-moment indie band with a digital music journal.

Nota bene: If you subscribed to Apple Music’s streaming service when it launched, your free three-month trial ends next week.

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