Spotify has been a constant work companion lately, a good way to sample music and it seems to work so much better than iTunes (which is really counter what you expect from Apple).
Though I still like to own music and every few months I hop over to iTunes to buy a bunch of my favorite tracks from Spotify to make CDs for the car and to have music on my phone.
Here are some recent tunes I’m enjoying:
- Addie Zierman turned me on to Noah Gunderson today (I also stole this post format from her, albeit in an abbreviated style), and I’ve been listening to the whole catalog on repeat. He’s got a folk style with a bit of a country twang (but not too much—I don’t like country), and the lyrics are darkly spiritual. I’m still exploring, but “Poor Man’s Son” is a great track with snippets of “Down to the River to Pray.”
- I discovered Liz Vice a while ago and she recently re-released her album. It sounds like old school Motown music (says the person with no musical education whatsoever). “Abide” is a pretty good representative track.
- The Oh Hellos are a fun folk-rockish-praise band. “Lay Me Down” and “Trees” are good.
- Elle King is kind of stomp rock with a little country twist. “Ex’s & Oh’s” is her big hit, but I think “America’s Sweetheart” is better.
- “Is God Real?” by Kasey Chambers is one of those (not-so) rare songs about God that pops up on the radio and gets stuck in your head. Kind of reminds me of “What If God Was One of Us.”
- Gary Clark Jr. is probably one of those musicians I would have discovered a long time ago if I had any musical knowledge. He has that ancient blues sound. “Church” from his new album is good and I really like the 7-minute live version of “When My Train Pulls In.”
- “Stay” by Fallbrigade is an incredible track. Not sure who they are, but I really like this one.
- And on my teenage girl kick, I’m enjoying “Ugly Heart” by G.R.L. and “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon.
- If I have the story straight, Amanda Opelt is the sister of Rachel Held Evans and wrote a 7-song album about the sacraments that pairs with Rachel’s book, Searching for Sunday, which is organized around the sacraments. Amanda’s music is simple and pretty. It’s hard to pick a best track, but I think it’s “Harvest (Marriage).”
How to Find New Music
Finding music is always hard. My go-to sources are things people mention online (how I found Noah Gunderson, Liz Vice & Amanda Opelt), The Current (Elle King, Kasey Chambers, Gary Clark Jr.) and Spotify’s recommendations/browsing (The Oh Hellos, Fallbrigade, G.R.L. and Walk the Moon).
My most recent favorite feature of Spotify is their Discover Weekly playlist. Every week they make a new custom playlist of songs just for you. It’s about 30 songs and I assume they use some fancy algorithm based on what I listen to. It’s not full of songs I love, but I usually find a few songs I like and that gives me new artists to check out.