Everyone Round Here Lives In Silence

At some point, I stopped discovering new music.

Once upon a time, doing that was easy. I was young and in the UK in the 1990s; I just listened to Radio 1 all day, through the Britpop daytime and into the evening Evening Sessions, Mark And Lard, John Peel, whatever. New music came to me that way, or during the weekly weekend trips to record stores where I’d buy singles based on their cover artwork or how strange a band’s name seemed.

A decade later, and it was the era of the mp3 blog, an online network of friends I’d never met sharing the sounds they’d discovered for themselves and gotten excited about. It wasn’t the same as before; it was slower and less passive, but I discovered a number of favorite acts that way. (Curiously, most of them being solo female performers; I don’t know whether that was a bias on my part, or the bloggers.)

Now, I rarely find new things. Perhaps it’s my age, or that delivery systems have changed again. (I’m on Spotify, I promise; I just rarely use their Daily Mixes or whatever.) I find myself reading reviews of things and then searching them out, instead of things finding me with the lucky happenstance of before. Occasionally, it still happens — I’ll hear something by chance and have that What was that, I have to hear more response — and it’s especially thriling when it does, now. But for the most part, I’ve stopped discovering new music.

It’s something I miss, dearly.

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