Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Find Great New Music: Eric Olsen's Top 25 Songs of 2014

"When the music becomes free, and everybody has all the music in the world, deciding what you're going to listen to becomes the thing you're willing to pay for." - Kevin Kelly, Co-Founder of Wired

In 2014, there is no excuse to listen to anything but great music. But getting past the merely popular and finding the truly great takes some effort. Here are my top 3 methods for discovering great music.

1) Curated Music Service Subscriptions
I am a paid subscriber to's weekly curated music sampler. It costs $2.99/month. And if you like indie music, there's probably no better option to find new favorites. Unless you have a friend who works in the industry.

2) Recommendations From Friends
I have a friend who works in the industry - artist development at Interscope Records. He goes to 6 live shows a week. He knows every new band months before I do. And he releases a free Spotify playlist of his new favorites every month. Probably an even better resource for me than Paste. Broader genre-wise, too.

3) Online Music Groups
I am a member of Higher Ed Music Critics. It's a great opportunity to meet new friends in Higher Ed. And most of them listen to severely different music than me. This is a GOOD thing. It exposes you to the best of the other - the stuff you wouldn't naturally be inclined to try.

These three easy and affordable music discovery methods have completely optimized my listening enjoyment - something Spotify just told me I spend "1 hour and 49 minutes" on each day on average.

So why waste so much time listening to anything but the greatest music out there? Plus, you can be the person who told all your friends about Hozier 9 months before they showed up on SNL and seem cool. Because if we're being honest, that's mostly what this is all about.

And now, free of charge...


Top 25 Songs of 2014
Cavalier - James Vincent McMorrow
Red Eyes - The War on Drugs
Nothing But Trouble - Phantogram
A House is a Home - Ben Harper
My Holding Hand is Empty - Patrick Partk
Still Life - Dawn Golden
Bloodlines - Mimicking Birds
Last Train - Dawn Golden
Since Last Wednesday - Highasakite
Dark Side of the Moon - Chris Staples
Can't Take You With Me - Bahamas
He Won't Knock - Ezra Vine
Touch - Troye Sivan
Funeral Beds - The Districts
I Will Follow - Jon Guerra
I Bet My Life - Imagine Dragons
The Match - The Eastern Sea
Girl Harbor - Manchester Orchestra
End of the Affair - Ben Howard
Waiting for the Sun - Jolie Holland
Somewhere Else Tonight - Mansions on the Moon
Luxury - Jon Bellion
Hold Still - Slow Magic
North - Sleeping at Last
Take Me to Church - Hozier

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