Where to Discover New Music

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Tired of the radio? Stuck in a rut? Or just simply want more music to add to your library?

It’s so easy to find new music these days; it’s just a matter of knowing how.

As a music blogger and writer, I’m constantly searching for new music. Sometimes I spend hours dedicating my time to finding new tracks and artists. In the past year, I’ve come up with a pretty decent list of outlets I usually hit up during these Discover Sessons:


1.     Spotify Related Artists. Spotify has rocked my world.  Hopefully you’re familiar with the application by now, and hopefully you’re using it daily by now. Every artists has their own page, and on each page there’s a “Related Artists” tab that links you to list of other artists with similar sounds as the artist whose page you’re on. This feature has done me wonders.


2.     Film/ TV Soundtracks. Have you ever been watching a movie or TV show and, all of a sudden, a ridiculously wonderful song comes up in the background? This has happened to me a lot, especially for T.V. shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C. and Chuck.  The same music supervisor chose most of the soundtrack music for the three shows, which points to why their soundtracks have similar sounds.


3.    8Tracks. Most everyone is familiar with Pandora Radio Station by now. You plug in an artist and a station starts playing with similar artists and genres. 8Tracks runs on the same idea, except it’s run on fan-made playlists. Either type in an artist's name, a genre or a mood (i.e. "chill" or "sleep"), and you’ll be linked to dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of playlists made by other music enthusiasts. It’s like hearing about new bands rom friends you’ve never met before!


4.     Music Blogs. Blogs have become a huge outlet for newer bands to receive free promotion, so blogs have become one of the main sources to hear about the newest releases, the newest bands and the next big thing. My personal favorites are IndieShuffle and The Burning Ear; both are mp3 blogs, and focus on simply sharing new tracks and albums with fans., through a simple and straightforward layout. 


The digital world has created so many opportunities for musicians and fans alike. Getting heard and hearing new sounds are both much easier than it’s ever been before.  Sure, it takes time and a little bit of effort to discover new beats, but hey, it’s a pretty fun hobby if you ask me!

ACOUSTIC: brightener- Make Real Friends

brightener is led by Will Sturgeon, a musician based in Southern California. Joining him is his real friend Aman Alem. Check out his music here:

WATCH: The Moderates- Strange Town [Official]

Alt/Rock band from Long Beach, CA, The Moderates, just released their official video  for their track “Strange Town”. The video is super fun, aesthetically beautiful and captures the spirit of the band  and their California tour quite perfectly. 

Check out their newest album ‘Color’ on iTunes now!

DISCOVER: Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr- Skeletons

I’ve been listening to this on repeat. It has that way of putting you in a good mood, making you smile and realizing how lucky we you to be alive, breathing, and so incredibly happy to have the life you do, and know the people you do.


An Interview w/ The Shilohs

How’s your next album different than So Wild?

Let’s see…

Mushroom Studios, reverb chambers, violins, ladies singing. Dan wrote two songs for this one. We’re also four years older…but not wiser or anything like that. 

What inspires your songwriting? How do you collaborate together?

Inspiration is difficult. I don’t know where it comes from. People in my life I suppose. Extreme emotions. Highs and lows. Dan and Mike will have different answers maybe. These days the three of us write by ourselves and collaborate with Ben when we bring the song in to practice. It really grows legs when we develop it together.

If you could play at any venue in the world, where would that be and why?

The superbowl halftime show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers joining in would be something. Heh. There are dozens of clubs and settings we’d love to play I’m sure. hard to pick just one. When I was younger I used to always want to play one of Neil Young’s Bridge School concerts because I went every year.

 What are you looking forward to about going on tour?

Warm weather, live grateful dead albums on the highway, California, fish tacos, playing with a great band like Real Estate and hanging with them. Oh, and Miller High Life. 

Who are you listening to right now?

 At this precise moment I’m listening to Nat King Cole sing Route 66. Last time I saw Dan he was playing “It’s only Rock and Roll” by The Rolling Stones and Kendrick Lamar. Mike told me he heard Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down The Line” on the radio the other day and had a moment. Ben may or may not be listening to the book on tape of Tom Clancy’s “Threat Vector” but I hope he’s saving it for the tour.

CONNECT with The Shilohs!





It’s been quite a ride. The past seven months since the beginning of Beating Lights, I’ve been able to discover so much more music, see (and shoot) so many more concerts, and meet so many more musicians. 

As 2013 ends in a couple days, I am more than excited to begin the new year. I am so thankful for anyone who reads this blog, so grateful for anyone who’s supported me thus far, and of course, so happy to have met the people I have because of Beating Lights. I have big, BIG plans for the future.

So enjoy these last couple days of 2013, happy new year, and get ready for 2014. :)

Much love,


WATCH: We're The Kids- Parade of Lights (Official Music Video)

I fell in love with Parade of Lights before I interviewed them in July, and ever since they’ve been rising like no other. Recently signed to Astralwerks in September, these guys just came out with official music video for W’re The Kids, which is easily one of my favorite songs still today. 

Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Follow Parade of Lights:

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Youtube