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For When You Can’t Listen

If you’re anything like me, every couple of months you run into the same pesky, annoying problem: you run out of music to listen to. In the weeks leading up to this point, the novelty of your newly discovered artists has worn off and you are now too familiar with their music, you can barely stomach the catchy top-40 hits that you can usually bear and nod along to, and even your go-to holy-grail favorite-albums-of-all-time can’t hold your attention. Whenever this happens to me my outlook on music gets kinda bleak, and I’m convinced that if that one song comes on the radio again I’ll actually lose my mind, and never be able to listen to music again. I go through this frustrating phase a few times a year, and have found a couple ways to reignite my love for music; so, if you’re in this predicament right now, here are a few tips to help you find your way back out.

Watch TV shows, movies, anything

One of my favorite ways of finding new music is by Shazaming songs that are used as background/filler music in movies and episodes of TV shows. I have discovered countless bands and songs this way, and have entire 50+ song playlists made up of music I have found by simply hearing a snippet of a song used in a YouTube video or commercial. Shazam is the easiest app to use when it comes to finding out information about what song is playing in almost any situation, and it is the app that I use personally. Some of my go-to shows for finding music include One Tree Hill (each episode is named after a song, and there are tons of artist cameos and performances throughout the 9 seasons), Sons of Anarchy (if you’re looking for rougher rock-type music, this is your best bet), and Gossip Girl (a show that has a flair for the dramatic, and a great selection of hidden gems). These are just my most trusted shows, but every now and then an episode of House or  Breaking Bad can feature a real jam.

Image result for one tree hill live performances at tric

Fall Our Boy performing on One Tree Hill

Browse around on Spotify

Whether you are a paid subscriber or a free user, Spotify is a great resource for compiling your favorite music and discover new artists. The app has a constantly changing array of playlists that coincide with your personal interests, what songs are popular that week, new album releases, artists to watch, and other extremely useful categories. When you’re in a bit of a musical rut, this is a great place to search for new tunes, and I have found a few of my favorite artists this way (like bands Coast Modern and SOHN). But if jumping into unknown musical territory headfirst isn’t really your thing, Spotify also has a built in social networking feature that allows you to follow your favorite artists and your Facebook friends, making it easy to snoop around and see what that cool girl from your Psych lecture listens to, or what your 3rd grade t-ball teammate has been jamming to lately. Finding out what your friends are currently listening to is always a great way to broaden your musical horizons and potentially discover some hits.

Hit up a local record store

Okay, I know this method requires closing Netflix and actually going outside and therefore it isn’t very tempting, but it is always super effective in pulling me out of musical limbo. Walking into a record store is a lot like walking into a bookstore: you’re surrounded by people wearing beanies, it kinda smells like coffee and cigarettes, there are books/records stacked everywhere, and it’s just generally overwhelming. The best way to use this method is to ignore the age-old saying and just judge a record by it’s cover – just do it. When you are surrounded by thousands of albums with no inspiration to listen to any of them, pick the one with the cover art that grabs your attention. Or ask the clerk what their favorite album of all time is and have them tell you why. Do anything you possibly can to make you want to listen to music again.

Image result for record stores wicker park

Shuga Records in Wicker Park, Chicago



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