Ways to keep up with new music when you are a busy parent

August 01, 2013

I recently made a confession to my friend Sonya who is one of those cool moms who you know she knows music. My confession? I have become musically challenge. I tried to explain, really I use to listen to great music. I even have music lover friends who have always led me to the best bands and I have cool stories of meeting amazing musicians from these friends. However, I am lost, I do not even know where to begin on what to listen to as far as new music goes. Somehow Wheels on the Bus got the better of me and I just(gulp) kind of gave up on music. I asked Sonya for her guidance and she delivered. Here is her advice on not only how to listen to good music, the avenues to which you can. Thank you Sonya!


Despite the fact that I work in the music business, I have to work very hard and make a concerted effort to keep up with new music. Being a parent to a 4-year old means that when I get home from work, I am generally busy with the rest of my life, and I don’t have time to just chill out and listen to music at home.

Here are some ways/resources that I use to keep up with what the “kids” are listening to.


NPR is a very smartly curated place to find great new music in all genres. Personally, I subscribe to the weekly “All Songs Considered” podcast (subscribe via itunes) and listen to it on my way to work. I have discovered a ton of fantastic new music thanks to this podcast and I really can’t live without it. They also do something called “First Listen” on the website, which is a column that hosts a stream of an album for the week prior to their release. It’s a great place to take an easy listen to something that hasn’t even been released yet.


This website is the preeminent bible for all that is new in “indie” music. They review 5 albums a day, and post songs, news and videos. They also have a weekly pre-release streaming feature called “Advance” and almost hidden at the very top of their page is a streaming player in which you can listen to songs they have given the coveted “best new music” title to.  


Spotify is a streaming service that allows you to play most albums for free! 

It also has some cool features you can use to check out what’s popular, and you can create your own radio station based on one artist. It will play songs by that artist, in addition to songs by similar artists. They also have “apps” which are basically lists curated by third party sites including Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and The Fader.


In addition to Rolling Stone and Spin (online only), music magazines actually do still exist. I like Fader, Filter, Under The Radar, Magnet, American Songwriter, etc, The New York Times has amazing music coverage too!


Oh My Rockness is the ultimate list for shows happening in NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles. In New York we are lucky to almost always have something interesting happening somewhere, and lots of interesting places to see bands. In the summer especially, there are a ton of free outdoor shows, and you will find them all on this site!


Here is some relatively new music that I personally am loving right now: Mikal Cronin, Foxygen, Vampire Weekend, Daft Punk, Laura Mvula, Night Beds, Bleached, Kanye West.


Some non-kids music my son is really loving right now includes Fountains of Wayne, Weezer, Titus Andronicus, AC Newman, Ted Leo, and Vampire Weekend.

Written by Sonya Kolowrat
Posted by Donna

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.