#HolidayHibernation – New year, new music! Ways to discover new music in 2021

#HolidayHibernation is a great time for learning, here’s some ways to keep the discovery wheels turning!

New year, new music! Kyle Muzyka, Associate Radio Producer at CBC Unreserved shares his favourite ways to discover new music.

Here are six ways that I discover new music!

1. Spotify’s Discover Weekly/Release Radar

Spotify’s greatest feature is its algorithm-based playlists that generate every week based on what and who you listen to there. Every Monday, Spotify gives you 25 songs it thinks you’ll like based on your listening habits. Every Friday, it gives you 25 songs from artists you like that are new. Some weeks are misses — but when a playlist hits, it hits. Some of my favourite songs of the past two years I’ve found here.

Local artist I discovered like this: FRVRFRIDAY

2. Polaris Music Prize

As a judge for the Polaris Music Prize, there are always great album recommendations coming in every day from Canadian artists. Many of the recommendations I will have never heard before, so I often find new music there. Although you won’t be able to see every album nominated, you can check out shortlists from the previous year, which are great guides for the best in Canada.

Local artist I discovered like this: Cayley Thomas

3. Going to concerts! (sorta)

Remember going to concerts? It was the best way for me to hear new music — checking out an opener, liking them more than the band I paid to see, etc. — but we can’t do that much anymore. But a good way to still hear that music is to check out when local artists are performing virtually! I’ve done it a couple times and though it’s not the same, supporting artists in this time is important. It also feels way more intimate, despite not physically being in the same place — maybe you can send in requests!  

Local artist I discovered like this: The Den

4. Programming music for the show

I work for a radio program called CBC Unreserved, where we routinely play Indigenous artists. While I have interviewed a few and know of many, I still find I’m discovering more artists every year. There are always more Indigenous artists to celebrate, so we try our best to highlight a few.

Local artist I discovered like this: Matthew Cardinal

5. Friends

I make music as well — and the few friends I have who make music are also often very in the know when it comes to up-and-coming musicians. They help keep me up to speed in a place where it’s almost impossible to do so effectively.

Local artist I discovered like this: Aladean Kheroufi

6. Bandcamp

Bandcamp is a great site for indie artists who want to sell merchandise and their records straight to consumers. The artists get a much higher return than they do on streams, and for the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp waives their collection fees so you can support artists even more! It’s a great place to discover music you might not find anywhere else. 

Local artist I discovered like this: Wares