There’s a Spotify playlist for practically everything – here’s Orla Brady with a round-up of the best ones for lockdown listening.
It is no secret that the lockdown restrictions introduced in Britain as of the 23rd of March have had a detrimental impact upon local artists and music communities. Music venues, bars and clubs around the country have had no choice but to shut up shop under the Government’s instruction. This has led to a devastating loss of business and placed a question mark next to the future of these establishments. As a result, music lovers of the UK have found that their freedom to explore their local music scene has changed. The option to spend an evening in a bar or venue discovering brand new talent, or up-and-coming artists, is simply no longer there. Many artists have begun performing through livestreamed gigs and continue to release music.
With live gigs off the table for the foreseeable, streaming and social media sites have been even more useful for us to hear new releases. A great place to start in finding new music is Spotify. The streaming site hosts numerous playlists which present a great range of music from brand new artists. However, there has been growing controversy in recent years surrounding Spotify’s payout to artists, therefore this means of promotion may ultimately be more useful for listeners, rather than the artists themselves. That said, these playlists can be used by new artists to build a fanbase and reach wider audiences.
Music fans can get a taster of new releases by artists that they may not know yet. If they like what they hear, they can then go on to support these artists by contributing to their streaming figures, purchasing their music, promoting them on social media and, when the time comes, attending their live gigs.
Below is a run-down of the best new music playlists on Spotify to enjoy during lockdown.
1. The Indie List
This Spotify playlist is updated weekly with the best new releases that fit into the ‘indie’ genre. For many, there will undoubtedly be recognisable names throughout the playlist, but the ratio of established artists to up-and-coming artists is certainly fair. It is a playlist where indie fans can remain up to date with what their favourite artists are up to, as well as simultaneously discovering new acts from within the scene.
2. The Punk List
The music featured on this Spotify playlist proves that Punk is not a genre belonging solely to the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, there are countless artists still riding the punk wave, and keeping the genre fresh, exciting and innovative. The Punk List is also updated on a weekly basis and it should definitely be explored by fans of the genre who wish to find emerging punk artists.
3. Who We Be
The biggest new releases from Hip-Hop, Afrobeat, Dancehall and R&B artists are showcased on this Spotify playlist. It is a brilliant introduction to these genres, if you are not already familiar with them. Or, if you are already an avid listener, the playlist may open you up to some new artists from within these musical styles. The mix of genres works well throughout the playlist, and it features an equal number of tracks from each style, as well as a solid number of new, emerging artists.
4. Alt. Rocked
If you are on the lookout for an up-to-date selection of the best alternative rock tracks currently on offer, then this Spotify playlist has you covered. With alternative being such a wide and diverse genre, it may be difficult to know where to start in exploring it. However, this playlist focuses upon the rock side of the genre, and offers a great selection of new artists, alongside others that you may realise you already know. The playlist is a useful starting point for those looking to understand and unpack the alternative genre and will open listeners up to numerous artists who are certainly worth our attention.
5. Students’ Union
Most students will know the experience of quickly putting together a Spotify playlist for you and your friends to enjoy as you all get ready for a night out. Sometimes they can succeed, and establish an electric atmosphere as pre-drinks take place, or they can fade into the background. The Students’ Union playlist is certain to result in the former, as it showcases new music from a mix of indie, pop and rock artists. It is a great way to enjoy some of the best talent on the music scene right now, or to introduce friends to artists, or genres, that they may not be used to listening to.
6. Out Now
This Pride playlist features a range of new tracks from various artists who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. It advertises itself as showcasing ‘tracks that don’t hold back’, as well as celebrating that ‘Pride is every day’. Looking through the Spotify playlist, you may notice that a number of the tracks are by well established, popular artists. However, that isn’t to say that there is a lack of new talent, as several artists are fresh on the music scene. This is a fantastic playlist to uncover the best contemporary talent from the LGBTQ+ community, as well as enjoying what more well-known artists have to offer in their current repertoire.
Words by Orla Brady
Got another Spotify playlist you can’t stop listening to? Tell us what it is in the comments below or Tweet us – @indie_pendent