I'm always on the lookout for sites for finding new bands. My music tastes span most every genre and while I like a lot of the Top 40 hits, some of my favorite artists haven't quite hit yet. I don't just rely on streaming music services to suggest music I might like. Some of the best sites for finding new bands give you lists of similar artists. Who knows, you might just find the next Justin Timberlake years before they have a number one hit.
One of my favorite sites for finding new bands is TasteKid. It actually works for movies, books, games and TV shows too. Simply choose music as your category and enter a band or artist name. You'll be given a list of similar artists. Usually, I receive around 10 suggestions. You can also click any suggested bands to see more suggestions based on that band name.
I love using Last.fm to find new bands because you don't actually have to stream anything to see related artists. Search for a band or song and click on the matching result. To the right, you'll see a list of similar artists. If you decide to sign up for a profile, you can get even more music recommendations. Try searching for lesser known bands if you want to see results that aren't already well known names.
If you ever use Amazon to shop for music, you've probably already noticed the similar artists feature listed below the product details. I can't tell you who many great bands I've discovered simply by scrolling through Amazon's suggestions. Search for your favorite band and click on an album. I've found the results are better if you choose the MP3 album. I usually get between 5-15 sets of suggestions. While some are just additional albums from the same artist, most are from different bands.
Forget about traditional lists or just receiving a handful of suggestions. Music-Map gives you a mind map style list of suggestions. Enter a band name and you'll see what looks like a scattered tag cloud/mind map of other bands with the one you entered in the center. The bands are bunched together by similarity with those closest to the center being the most similar. Click on any artist to get an entirely new set of suggestions.
While TuneGlue takes a little getting used to, it offers a nice alternative to Last.fm and Amazon as it combines results from the two. Visit Audiomap.TuneGlue.net and enter an artist. Click the artist name when it appears and choose expand. You can keep doing this for each band that appears. The site basically creates a mind map. I love that it lists a wide variety of bands instead of just what's most popular at the moment.
I don't always have a set band in mind when I start searching for new bands. That's when I turn to Musicovery. It gives you band suggestions based on your mood and favorite genre. You can also enter any artist, genre or song title to create a custom radio station that's full of similar bands you might like. The site offers a nice variety of search options so you'll easily find something new.
I personally like LivePlasma simply for the colorful presentation. When you search based on a band name, similar artists appear in colorful mind-map style bubbles. You'll need to click and hold on an empty part of the screen and move your mouse around to see the full list of results. You can create radio stations based around any artist shown and play just that artist or similar ones. It can be a bit chaotic to look at, but the results are great.
IfYouDig offers the easiest on the eyes list of bands you might dig based on a band name you enter. It also offers the largest number of results. I love that it gives you a likelihood factor for each band so you know just how likely it is you'll be interested in a particular band. It even suggests songs from each artists. It partners with Spotify to play suggested songs.
If you want to listen while you find new bands, I highly recommend Jango. It kind of gets pushed to the background, but it's similar to Pandora and offers a wider variety of music without all the limits. It's free to use on your desktop and mobile. I tend to use it along with Shazam so I can keep a list of new bands to check out whenever I hear something new I like on Jango. Of course, you can always just write band names down.
As you can tell, I'm always searching for new bands. I tend to check at least a few of these sites once a month to see if any new artists appear. After all, why limit my music choices to just the few bands I hear on the radio? What are your favorite ways of finding new bands and music?