Where to Discover New Music online

Will Rathbone

There’s a time and a place for a Spotify playlist, and the artist radio function can sometimes show you something new, but Spotify can be a bit of an echo-chamber when it comes to finding new artists. Daytime radio can also get to feel a bit Groundhog Day at the moment… So here are some of our favourite internet radio stations, and the DJs we follow to spice up our musical lives. 


BBC 6 Music
An obvious choice perhaps, but there’s some real gold on this station - particularly at the weekends. On Saturday afternoon Gilles Peterson (who’ll we’ll come to later with his own station Worldwide) presents three hours of music which unites jazz, soul, Afro, Latin, electronica and more - basically anything that grooves! Sundays see Cerys Matthews share music from around the world and excerpts of poetry-reading, while Elbow’s Guy Garvey shares songwriting old and new on his always affable Finest Hour Sunday afternoon show. They also have a rotating residency, currently held by South London rapper Loyle Carner.

The Hackney-based internet radio station has come a long way since it’s humble inception back in 2011 - broadcasting live from as far afield as Europe, America and Asia - and there is a phenomenal amount of music available on their website. Some of our favourites include Kaifeng-based composer and DJ Yu Su’s monthly show of fuzzy electro and pop, Questing w/ Zakia explores spiritual grooves and Nabihah Iqbal’s fortnightly forays into music from across the globe informs and educates as well as being kind on the ears. Plenty of musicians host regular specials as well - try shows from saxophonist Nubya Garcia or electronic music-makers Four Tet or Floating Points out for size as they share records from their eclectic collections. 

Global (and time!) Travelling
A recent discovery that is sure to yield great results, Radio Garden is a website which allows you to scroll across the entire globe via a 3D-model of the Earth and tune in to hundreds of radio stations in real-time. From pirate radio in New York City to local stations in Uzbekistan, it’ll take some scrolling but tuning in is a lot fun! For a bit more curation, and the added bonus of time travel, radiooooo asks you to select a country, a decade and a feel (slow/fast/weird) then plays a selection of songs that match. Slow 1970s Japanese music, for instance, makes for a great mid-morning weekday soundtrack. 
Worldwide FM
Back to our old friend Gilles Peterson, who launched Worldwide in 2016 along with other like-minded DJs and producers. Worldwide is devoted to representing and championing music, subcultures and artists from all over the world. Favourites here include legendary soundsystem Channel One’s monthly show celebrating roots, reggae and dub music, Future Bubblers which showcases stellar new music each month, and DJ and ethnomusicologist Poly-Ritmo’s monthly exploration of sounds from South America and further afield.

Your inbox deserves a little culture! Get our monthly newsletter