New music

I used to find new music the way most people did: the radio. I was never a big radio listener but I heard enough at various times throughout the day, at home, at work or in shops to pick up on what was going on. TV supplemented this diet, from the heyday of Top Of The Pops to MTV (TOTP no longer exists, and MTV no longer plays music).

When I moved away from the UK my radio and TV consumption dropped dramatically, and this was also around the time that the way people bought (or didn’t…) music changed dramatically thanks to the internet. Nowadays I feel I’m between two generations: I use the internet to research new music, but I still buy a hard copy on CD.


Often I’ll find something after a friend shares it on facebook, twitter or a blog. Like this one, dropped in the middle of a friend’s recent blogpost just because she was listening to it at the time of events she was describing.



One of the easiest ways to decide on a purchase is “Did I like their last album?”, and on that basis I just bought the new Florence + the Machine CD. But I don’t do it “blind”. I’ll still read some reviews just in case, and for that reason I avoided the last Björk.



Once in a while I’ll pick up a copy of Songlines which, in addition to all the articles and reviews also gives you one or sometimes two free cds featuring the best of that month’s releases. A few from the last issue I liked:

Anoushka Shankar. Flamenco sitar. I bought the album at the weekend.


The Bombay Royale. Australian Bollywood Surf Guitar. Sadly they don’t seem to have released a full album yet.


Ali Khattab. North African flamenco. Album is proving hard to track down in CD format.


Old stuff still sounds new

Whenever I go back to the UK I’ll pop into HMV and scan the discounted section. These days it takes up most of the shop, as so few of us actually buy shiny discs any more, meaning that almost half their stock is available for five quid or less. Usually in these situations I’ll pick up a compliation or greatest hits package. On this trip I got Missy Elliott and Roxy Music.


How do you find new music?


5 thoughts on “New music

  1. Erik R. November 14, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    But how do you play the music? In a single-CD player? Ripped into iTunes and then to your iPhone? I had a 200-disc changer just before I abandoned the medium.

    “Flamenco sitar” is very intriguing. I’m going to have to check her out! It reminds me of Nitin Sawhney, an artist you informed me of via the social networking channels you describe.


    • simonlitton November 14, 2011 / 5:11 pm

      I play the music in a CD player at home, or in the car, or at work. I never use my phone for music. Taking out a cd and putting another one in the machine has never caused me any problems or inconvenience.


  2. AllisonI. December 7, 2011 / 2:37 pm

    I’m stuck in limbo when it comes to purchasing music, so I’ve stopped for a while. My friend owns a great record store I want to support, and I do like playing CDs in the car and on my good stereo at home. However, I do a terrible job at keeping my CDs organized and in their proper cases. I’m one of THOSE people, and I don’t think I’m going to change. For the first time in 20 years, my large CD collection is not alphabetized, and I have heaps of CDs in boxes, stacks, and bags. Some in the basement, some in the garage, some in the floorboard. I could make an entire weekend project out of sorting these and weeding out the ones I’ll never play. I’d have to alphabetize everything, then go through every case to find which ones contain the wrong CD, and go from there. Ugh.

    I have a small iPod and an iPhone, so I do put limited playlists on there for plane rides and exercise. I keep a decent pair of computer speakers on my kitchen counter, and I hook up my laptop there when cooking or cleaning. On the computer I listen to streaming radio shows, Spotify (with its annoying basic-package ads), or artists’ Bandcamp pages.

    The iPod hookup in my car produces terrible sound, but it works for road trips when I really need podcasts to keep me entertained.

    What did you think of the Sun Kil Moon?

    Oh, how I find new music: I rarely do, because I operate on the assumption that everything’s terrible. I think the only way I find new music is when a friend makes me a mix CD, and I play it over and over without looking at the playlist. That’s how I found artists like Bell X1, The Annuals, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Phoenix, Lisa Hannigan, etc.


    • simonlitton December 7, 2011 / 2:46 pm

      I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I thought any of my CDs were in the wrong cases.


Your opinion is important to us

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s