Monday 8 May 2023

The Search For New Music

When I started listening to and buying music, there was 20+ years of the past to supplement the current offerings.  At this point everything is new (even if it is old).  A regular balance of old and new began to fill my shelves.

And then as one settles into a preferred style or genres, the new becomes the focus and discoveries of the past become more focussed.  Like when such-and-such releases a new album and you realise that you don't own the back catalogue (or selected parts of it) - this is where mid-price re-issues come into their own, allowing the latecomer to build a collection at a reduced cost.  And then in the internet age, the simplicity of Amazon Marketplace and MusicMagpie makes the "gap filling" even easier.

But I can't help noticing that a lot of new stuff that arrives and I get overly excited about is the latest album from an established name.

Over the last 5 years (off the top of my head) has seen the new names appear on my spreadsheet:

  • Public Service Broadcasting
  • The Strypes
  • First Aid Kit
  • The Vaccines
  • Parquet Courts
  • Trembling Bells
  • White Denim
  • Fontaines DC
  • Mattiel
  • Sam Fender
  • Chubby & The Gang
  • Hamish Hawk
  • Yard Act
  • Block 33
  • Wet Leg
  • Humdrum Express
  • Massive Wagons
  • Sports Team
  • Big Joanie
Fine names, and fine albums released and thoroughly enjoyed.
But ... in that time period, I have bought around 200 CDs , the 19 names above represent about 10% of the total.
Even ignoring the relentless gap filling and back catalogue buying, I reckon it's still only 25% that is from new artists.

So what does it all mean?  Nothing really - it's all music, and very good music too.  I'm just concerned that (a) I might be missing something, or (b) maybe there isn't that much new (which appeals to my taste) out there.

I have a subscription to Mojo, trawl various websites and blogs for recommendations, and listen intently to 6Music hoping for inspiration.  It does happen, just not as often as it did in my younger days.
Is there less new stuff around, or have my tastes dictated that there is little worth investigating as I settle back to enjoy so-and-sos debut album from 1984 ... for the 973rd time.

And the slightly more sobering thought - many of those I have purchased, seen live, followed in print, and generally advocated to anyone who'll listen are now nearing (or passed) the generally accepted retirement age of 65 to 67, and may well be thinking of stepping back taking it easy and enjoying a quiet life.

The quest continues ... I'm sure it's out there, but like some Grail I must continue to search.
There must be some New somewhere ...

Oh I'm looking around, but I ain't hit the spot
I need three minutes now that'll make my heart stop
Oh so tell me that it's too late
It's a race against the clock
But I'm still looking around
I'm searching for the sacred scrolls of pop


  1. I'm in the same boat... although I don't really mind it anymore. There are always new bands to discover and get excited about (7ebra, English Teacher, BC Camplight and My Fat Pony are current areas of investigation), but like you, they represent about 10% of my new musical discoveries. I'm constantly unearthing never before heard gems from 1971, 1985 or 2010... and that's why I don't mind that so much contemporary music doesn't spark a light. If it did, I really would have to a) rob a bank and b) quit my job.

  2. I'm in the same boat, and have resigned myself to it. I like what I like. As for new music, I can now only consider myself a dabbler. Even when I hear something new (to me, at least) on 6 Music or similar, it invariably turns out to be something old I missed first time around.

  3. So much music.So little time and money. I can't keep up with it all.
    "New" finds include Rose City Band,Constant Follower,Hanging Stars, Weyes Blood and Curse of Lono(thanks John)