I've mentioned before that I struggle sometimes to come across new music. I don't listen to the radio much, and I tend to rely on friends and family to introduce me to new artists. I stumbled across a cool site recently called Bandcamp, that I feel is going to help me in my quest for new tunes.
In a nutshell, Bandcamp is a site that allows artists to sell their music (and merch too, I believe) directly to their fans. I'm sure if I did some more research I could find plenty of similar music hosting/selling sites around, but I stumbled across this one and I quite like it. And guess what?! I'm going to give you a list of reasons why you should check it out. SURPRISE!
1. Bands can make their music available for free, at a set price (of their choosing), or they can also ask listeners to choose their own price. I was interested to discover that on average when choosing the price, listeners chose to pay 50% more than the minimum suggested by the artist.
2. You can search within genre, latest releases or artist favourites. One of the things that I find difficult about finding new music is that it's really overwhelming. There is SO much out there, that it's really hard to know where to start. If you want to listen to a track it just plays within the search window, and you can keep browsing within your search parameters (for example, new release hip-hop) and the track will keep playing.
3. Links open in a new tab (or page, depending on your browser preferences). For example, when I'm on the "discover" page just having a browse and searching by genre, if I'm listening to a particular track and I decide I want to go to that artist's dedicated page, the page will open up in a new tab and the track I'm listening to doesn't get interrupted.
4. When you purchase a song you can generally choose from about 8 or 9 different formats. Choices to sooth a music techies soul.
5. It's just easy. And fun. There are heaps of artists on here that are new and making their music available for free, and it's so nice to be able to support emerging independent music.
One of the bands I came across is called "Ski Lift" and are based in Nashville, I believe. I'm really enjoying their track "Romance" which you can download for free here.
I'm also digging "Crown Plaza" - it's tagged as electronic pop/dream pop/indie pop, which gives you a pretty clear idea of what you're in for. Fits right in with my dream to live inside the soundtrack to a Sofia Coppola film. Check them out here.
It's worth watching the little video Bandcamp has on the home page, explaining what the site is all about. For some reason I usually never bother doing things like that. It's like how I never read instruction manuals. But the video was extremely informative. There's probably a lesson in that. Somewhere.