2015 is over, and thanks to several hundred year-end lists, you finally had a chance to sit down and catch up on every hidden gem on Spotify and Soundcloud. But what do you do now? How do you stay up-to-date on 2016’s releases without quitting your job to circle the “New Release” section at HMV all week?
Simple answer: Let someone else do the work for you!
Below are 6 Podcasts designed to help keep you in-the-know.
Whether unintended or by design, each of these podcasts showcase artists and albums either new to the scene or just new to you. And all you have to do to get on board is subscribe wherever it is that you subscribe to podcasts. Sure beats the hell out of shazamming every song you hear in car commercials all year.
The Cracked Podcast
Not a music-centric podcast by any means. It is, in fact, an extension of the editorial discussions that shape content on the Cracked website, but the host Jack O’Brien has great taste in Hip Hop and makes a point to sprinkle in tracks as the dividers between each segment. And not only that, he actually dedicates time at the end of every show to run through and credit each song. Cracked is where I first heard Vince Staples and Run The Jewels, arguably two of the biggest names in Hip Hop last year.
Get Up On This
Another of the podcast on the Earwolf / Wolfpop network, Get Up On This actually is a podcast designed to keep up ahead of the curve in music, movies, video games – basically anything to keep you occupied and your life worth living. Hosts Matt and Jensen pride themselves on being ahead of trends, and are quick to punish one another for letting anything get past them.
Definitely the sore thumb of the group, but a podcast that I can’t stop recommending to anyone with headphones and an internet connection. While Song Exploder doesn’t exclusively showcase artists new to the scene, it does answer a really basic question I hear come up more and more with current music: How the f*ck did they record this???
Host Hrishikesh Hirway sits down with artists like Courtney Barnett, The Arcs, and Wilco to take apart their songs piece-by-piece and share the story of how they were recorded.
Song Exploder (like Serial) is the reason I wake up without hitting snooze Thursday mornings.
Today’s Top Tune (KCRW)
A perfect podcast to throw in the middle of your subscription list. No introductions, no hosts, and no catchy theme songs – just a new song every weekday, handpicked by the team at KCRW. I love this podcast because it feels like taking a quick coffee break from Marc Maron’s anxiety and I’m consistently surprised by the selection. I didn’t even know what “Narcocorrido” (Drug Ballad) music was until they dedicated an entire week to it.
All Songs Considered
Originally conceived back in 2000 after NPR listeners inundated host Bob Boilen with letters (actual letters!) asking for the names of the backing tracks he used in his shows, All Songs Considered has become a staple of NPR and one of the most trusted voices in music today. With highlights of today’s hidden treasures, to the most underrated bands of the 90’s, to an episode discussing guest-host Kate Tempest’s most inspirational hip-hop tracks, All Songs Considered isn’t just for fans of up-and-rising artists, it’s for lovers of Music.
Tiny Desk Concerts
The concept was simple: Invite today’s most interesting bands to the NPR studios for an intimate live taping. And what could be more intimate than having those perform in the cramped office space of the All Songs Considered team? Pushing their coworkers’ desks and chairs to the edge of the room as if they were clearing space for a quick game of pick-up hockey, Tiny Desk Concerts give viewers a pretty unique look at some of their favourite artists completely out of their element. Last year’s lineup included Sylvan Esso, The Internet, Shakey Graves, and Mucca Pazza (a 23 piece with full horn sections).
My favourite Tiny Desk Concert (hands down!) has always been T-Pain’s no-autotune set. Check it out below!