After years of making Spotify playlists for friends and hosting shows at WVCW, plenty of people seem to wonder how I find the music I listen to. The truth of it is that finding new music is very often difficult, and sometimes just plain unenjoyable. No one likes spending hours listening to albums or playlists only to come out with two or three songs they’ve never heard before. With this in mind, I decided to write this article to give a few tips on how to expand your library, and potentially your tastes.
My first piece of advice is to stop listening to music, at least for a little bit. While this may sound counterintuitive it’s simple. Looking for music or listening to the same music all the time can be a drain mentally, and so while taking a break may not necessarily bring new music you enjoy your way, it might leave you a little refreshed and willing to give stuff a chance. So if you feel burnt out, consider taking a few days to just listen to less music.
Another tip is to take songs you don’t like off your playlists. Everyone has a playlist or ten with a few songs that they listen to every hundredth time it pops up in the shuffle. While they may be good for your infrequent moods, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music use music in your library for the recommended playlists they make for you. So by keeping music you don’t actually like in your playlists, you might find yourself getting recommendations for music you really don’t like.
One way to branch out from streaming platforms is to go to Youtube. Spotify and Apple Music are limited in their libraries so moving to Youtube and starting with songs you already know you like can send you down a rabbit hole of new music in the suggestions. If you’re lucky, comments on songs might put you in the right direction to find even more new music.
My final tip is to be more open. Give artists that you don’t typically listen to another chance, listen to music in languages that you don’t speak, and don’t shoot down or rule out recommendations that seem like they might not fit your tastes.