New music to listen to
September 16, 2013 9:34 AM   Subscribe

So I haven't been up to date with the latest music releases these past couple of years. What great songs/albums did I miss? How do you keep up-to-date with incredible, new music? Snowflake-y details inside.

I remember liking the very first Fleet Foxes album and downloading and subsequently loving Feist's Metals. I liked several of the songs from this band called Beach House. My old staples include The Smiths, The National, Jens Lekman and Ron Sexsmith. I'm just right now discovering music by The Black Keys.

I'm open to all kinds of music - pop, indie, rock, rap, world music, etc.
posted by iceberglettuce to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you like Jens Lekman, and who doesn't, you might try First Aid Kit who also Swedish. Also, perhaps Iceland's of Monsters and Men?

Frank Ocean, on the other end of the spectrum. His album last year was fantastic.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:41 AM on September 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

You liked the first Fleet Foxes album?

Immediately buy their second one. DO IT NOW. It was my favourite album of 2011 and if it doesn't become the soundtrack to the rest of your year I will eat my shoes.
posted by greenish at 9:44 AM on September 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Check our Jon Moshier's weekly show on Soundcloud.

Modern Music with Jon Moshier

"If you enjoy being on the cutting edge of "what's next," Modern Music w/ Jon Moshier is your place for discovering the sounds of new and emerging independent artists. From rock to electronic, with touchstones to classic underground, it's all about the music each Friday night on WDET."

Imported from Detroit.
posted by bricksNmortar at 9:58 AM on September 16, 2013

I never really got much out of 'If you like this, you'll like..." so I discover new music along the lines of stuff you like via BBC 6Music (especially Gilles Peterson's show) and KCRW. Every day I find at least one artist to queue up in Rdio or buy.

And yes, Fleet Foxes' second album was fantastic.
posted by wingless_angel at 9:59 AM on September 16, 2013

If you like The Black Keys you may well love Arctic Monkeys' second album, AM (that's the full album in HQ on YT), just released last week.

The Mercury Prize in the UK is a great source of new music.
posted by Dragonness at 10:03 AM on September 16, 2013

Shearwater -- Animal Joy is just fantastic.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:33 AM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you like the Fleet Foxes, check out Father John Misty, Bon Iver, and maybe Nathaniel Rateliff . If you want to keep up on music, I'd recommend checking out Year End Lists to find out what you missed out on, and using the Allmusic Editors choice to keep up to date.
posted by DGStieber at 10:53 AM on September 16, 2013

Alt-J "An Awesome Wave"
I have similar music taste to what you describe and this has been my obsession since it was released earlier this year.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:11 AM on September 16, 2013

You could do a lot worse than following Pitchfork's best new music lists. Don't take them as gospel obviously. For example I think they totally overrate Kanye's new album and underrate the new Deerhunter. But it's an easy way to learn about critically acclaimed indie/electronic/hiphop releases.
posted by rq at 12:14 PM on September 16, 2013

Best answer: Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits (Shivers)
David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant (Who)
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake (The Words That Maketh Murder)
Cults - Cults (Go Outside)

All four albums are from the past couple years and are in line with what you have mentioned.

My recommendations for keeping up with new music:

1. Listen to as much (new) music as you can. (NPR, Pitchfork, Stereogum etc. will stream new albums the week before they are released. Many new albums show up on Spotify on their release date or shortly after.)
2. Read discussion from people that listen to more music than you do.
3. Follow people/publications that talk about/share music you like.
4. Read mid-year and year-end best of lists. I know seeing a top 10 list with 7 albums I love makes me want to check out (or re-listen to) the other three.
posted by mountmccabe at 12:19 PM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Want some good rap?

The smooth up-tempo stuff

Casey Veggies - Roses, Go Crazy
Skizzy Mars - Pay For You (Ft. G-Eazy)
Jean Grae - Kill Screen
The Omen - Sorrows and a 40
GDP - Succumb

The melancholy stuff

Joey Badass - Reign
GCP - Catatonia
Zion I - Holy Visions
Jean Grae - Bridge

The harder stuff

Pro Era - Resurrection of Real
Prodigy - Give em Hell
Crooked I (with Ras Kass & Kurupt) - 3 The Hard Way
Earl Sweatshirt with Vince Staples & Casie Veggies - Hive

Beats that Knock

Thee Satisfaction - Kinks
Zion I - The Vapors
Boog Brown (with Invincible and Miz Korona) - Friction


RA the Rugged Man & Talib Kweli - Learn Truth
Arrested Development - We Rad

Good stuff nobody really talks about

Tame One - Thatz Wassup
Homeboy Sandman - Sputnik
Vince Staples - Hostile
Jelani - Japanese Architecture
Boog Brown - UPS (dtd remix)
posted by cashman at 12:27 PM on September 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

For Fleet Foxes - Try Local Natives and a more up tempo song. Also try Radical Face.

For The Black Keys and The National - An old favorite who have made a few new songs: The Afghan Whigs. (The Twilight Singers have a number of similar releases).

If you like Beach House and Feist, try Metric, Now, Now, Wye Oak, Sharon van Etten and Daughter.
posted by cnc at 1:13 PM on September 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Others have suggested some great bands here, so I'll leave that topic alone.

I stay up-to-date in music by picking a good radio station that I can stream online. I'm partial to The Current from Minnesota, but switch it up with KCRW from Los Angeles or KEXP from Seattle on a regular basis. I listen during work and keep Spotify open in the background. If a song on the radio catches my attention, I look up the band on Spotify and throw 3-5 of their top songs into a playlist called "Check these out", that I then listen to when I have time.

Similarly, if you can find someone you like on Spotify, you can follow their playlists really easily. For example, the radio station The Current keeps their weekly Top 20 songs in a Spotify list that I follow. I'm guessing other stations do the same, and lots of music blogs keep public Spotify lists too.
posted by JannaK at 3:10 PM on September 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ben Howard's Every Kingdom
posted by neushoorn at 12:32 AM on September 17, 2013

In addition to what's already been suggested, I'd find a cool record store who also maintains a "new arrivals" email/RSS feed. The better ones will be staffed by people who know their stuff, and give pretty good descriptions of different albums and how they fit into the band's repertoire. Of course, when you show up in person, they're good about recommending stuff based on what you like. I'll go ahead and plug Shake-It Records and Mad City Music as two stores that put out good updates.

I also look at the labels my favorite bands are on and check out that label's website. If they don't have song smaples on their site, I go to Grooveshark or what have you and listen to what the bands sound like there.
posted by Rykey at 9:40 AM on September 17, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone - great suggestions all around! Now listening to cashman's rap suggestions...
posted by iceberglettuce at 7:50 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for a way to keep up with brand-new music, check out Dusted Magazine's charts. Instead of being collected from the magazine's staff, it's the top 40 most played new albums from local/college stations from around the US. Unlike CMJ's charts, Dusted is more selective about the stations it includes. (CMJ = College Music Journal, and stations from across the US and Canada submit their charts to be aggregated into CMJ's top 20.) And Dusted's archive back to 2002 is online, unlike CMJ, who only keep a few years of music, if you poke around their site.

As these are college stations, the music tends to be rock stuff, leaning towards "indie," plus some good electronic music from time to time. Also, Dusted clearly lists the artists, album titles and labels, so if you browse their weekly charts and notice you tend to like bands from a certain label, you can check out the label.

If you like following labels, check out, a subscription service where you pay $10-20 per month to get EVERYTHING a label puts out, plus bonus material. Most of the labels skew towards electronic stuff, but they're branching out. And the audio formats are generally WAV, FLAC and MP3, with some labels also offering AAC and/or OGG, if you care about formats.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:30 PM on September 18, 2013

I have a system that serves me pretty well. Every year, usually sometime early in the year, I spend an evening perusing Pitchfork's Best Albums list and Best Singles list from the previous year. Anything that seems interesting, I make a note and either listen to it right then on YouTube or follow up later. Whenever I'm out of new music, I come back to my list, or to the master list.

Granted, I'm not exactly of the moment, and, yeah, the spirit of discovery is a bit diminished, but it's also easy and the tunes are generally top-notch.
posted by vecchio at 9:46 PM on September 18, 2013

All three radio stations JannaK mentioned have song of the day podcasts (KCRW's is called Today's Top Tune). I subscribe through iTunes which I find really convenient, but you can access them other ways too. They will deliver you a new free song every weekday!
posted by sigmagalator at 11:04 PM on September 18, 2013

« Older Meet the Parents   |   Can I fix this, or do I need to suck it up and get... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.