One of my cousins recently asked me to send him a playlist of about 5 to 10 (or more) tracks of new music that I like. But the original list I sent him was a little dated and I’ve been wondering why I couldn’t come up with more examples of songs produced in the last few years. This morning I finally figured it out. For the past few years, I’ve mostly been listening to online radio stations (while I’m working at the computer, driving in the car, waking up in the morning, etc.). So when I sat down to respond to his email, I looked through all the songs on my MP3 player (my iPhone) instead of looking at the playlists of the online radio stations I actually listen to.
For the past 10 years or so, I’ve been listening to a few select stations by a group in San Francisco called SomaFM. I listen to the Groove Salad station all day long while I’m working. I’ve loved almost every single song they’ve played for the past 10 years. I’m not even sure how to classify it exactly, but it really puts me in the right mindset to work on the computer and be creative, focused, and most importantly, not agitated by noise around me. Some people call it Ambient, Chill, or even Downtempo but the folks at SomaFM do a really great job of picking the perfect blend with a huge variety, so it’s quite a bit different from the standard stuff you might hear elsewhere.
Here are some others that I listen to regularly on the computer as well as on my iPhone with the SomaFM app (available on several smartphone types). Some of the stations might not be your style. What I can guarantee is that these stations play bands that you’ve probably never heard of… almost exclusively. I’ve only heard of a few of them from popular culture. I guess that’s what I like best about it… something new every day!
- Groove Salad – A nicely chilled plate of ambient/downtempo beats and grooves.
- Secret Agent – The soundtrack for your stylish, mysterious, dangerous life. For Spies and PIs too!
- Underground 80s – Early 80s UK Synthpop and a bit of New Wave.
- 480 Minutes – Live every Friday: What alternative rock radio would sound like if they played more than Nirvana sound-alikes.
- Beat Blender – A late night blend of deep-house and downtempo chill.
- Dub Step Beyond – Dubstep, Dub and Deep Bass. May damage speakers at high volume.
- Suburbs of Goa – Desi-influenced Asian world beats and beyond.
Also, here’s a link to all the SomaFM Playlists, with more links to “Charts” and “Recently Played” to the right of the station names and descriptions. There you can find artist names and individual track listings.
I hope you enjoy some of that. Let me know if you like them as much as I do.