I’ve never been crazy about music blog websites. I feel like I have to dig too much in order to listen to the music or find what I was really looking for (aside from hillydilly.com, which rocks from its song selection to layout.)
With the launch of Jay-Z’s subscription-based music streaming service Tidal, it’s interesting (and a little painful) to consider how complicated music streaming has become. The cheapest option on Tidal, for example, is $9.99 a month.
But staying updated on music doesn’t have to have a huge price tag. That’s why I find most of my music through audiovisual music blogs on YouTube. Although the commercials can be annoying, their durations don’t come close to the amount of those played on Spotify or other music streaming sites.
Here are a couple of my favorite YouTube channels that keep me informed on the current music scene, as well as provide some of the greatest tracks of the past.
Majestic Casual was the first YouTube music channel I discovered, which prompted me to continue using YouTube as my main music-streaming source. It’s just that good. In fact, it was one of the first music blogs on YouTube in 2011, which is evident from its hundreds of songs and large presence on the YouTube music scene.
This channel holds a jumble of genres, and the description of the channel boasts itself as representing “the best of electronic music, deep house, experimental, hip-hop, indie, pop and many more.” Majestic Casual is also notorious for its remixes that usually can’t be found on any other site. Speaking of notorious, listen to the Woody remixes of The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” and “One More Chance.” Majestic’s take on the classic ‘90s rap tracks don’t necessarily live up to the original versions, but they do spruce up the sounds in a modern and unique fashion.
All the Majestic videos feature the channel’s logo in the center of some cool photographs. These photographs usually consist of fashionable hipsters traveling the world, standing in breathtaking scenery, or just doing any cool hipster activities such as laying in a bed of flowers wearing sparkly hippy glasses (refer to the Majestic video of Kerri Watt’s “You” Oliver Nelson Remix for this one).
The Majestic brand is based in Stuttgart, Germany, but people all over the world stream from the site. Whether you’re a hip-hop enthusiast or that music hipster who always needs to find the newest and coolest chill beats before your other hipster friends, Majestic Casual is the YouTube channel worth checking out.
For all you old souls, check out the Gigamesh edit of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. For all you modern-day indie music lovers, listen to Ellie Goulding’s cover of English indie rock band Alt-J’s “Tessellate.”
If you’re devout to local music, check out Chicago rapper Towkio’s newest single, “Heaven Only Knows,” which features Chance the Rapper.
If you haven’t heard of American indie pop duo Sylvan Esso, now is the time to check them out.
I first encountered the band (which is currently one of my favorite groups) on the KEXP 90.3 FM YouTube channel, an extension of the Seattle-based radio station.
The station films most of the performances that happen in-house, and the flawless sound quality along with the exquisite tastes in artist selection make KEXP one of the absolute best ways to find music — and to hear/see your favorite artists perform.
The video stream is updated often, which offers followers the chance to stay on top of the current alternative and indie rock scene.
From bands such as British indie rock trio London Grammar to the more mainstream folk rock band The Lumineers, KEXP seeks out the best in indie pop music. The commentary between each song with the host and the bands also adds a special authenticity to the performances.
For some summer beach music, look up Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco’s live set from April of this year. If you’re more in the mood for some funky, intense jams, look up the KEXP set with indie R&B artist FKA twigs. Other notable sets include performances from rock bands Band of Horses, The Pixies, The Shins and Iron & Wine.
Whether you need a music compilation to blast while exploring the city, or if you are just looking to spruce up your playlists with some new artists, explore these different outlets.