Hot music blogs: what to follow

(Graphic by Steph Truong)

While the discussion surrounding social media has largely been exhausted, its practical implications have had a resoundingly positive effect on the arts community.

Through the successful utilization of social media, many “mainstream” artists, such as Skrillex, Childish Gambino and even Justin Bieber have garnered a loyal fan base because they were able to freely showcase their music to a mass audience.

Where do these audiences come from? With a dizzying array of platforms through which listeners can find and share new music, but where to start?

Here’s a list of some of our favourite blogs that provide daily updates about the best new music from a variety of genres.


Rumour has it that this popular blog was started by a former University of Waterloo student. Currently based in both Canada and the United States, Earmilk reaches an international audience with contributors from across the globe.

Spanning across multiple genres including dance, hip-hop, indie, pop, electronic and experimental, Earmilk doesn’t hesitate to delve into more obscure subgenres such as moombahton, dreampop and glitch-hop. There are also daily updates and posts about chart-topping superstars as well as more niche musicians.

Beyond music, the blog delivers music-related news and organizes events and concerts in Toronto and New York City.

Ryan’s Smashing Life

With daily updates straight out of Boston, Ryan’s Smashing Life, or RSL, provides readers with music and entertainment news covering mostly indie and lesser-known rock bands.

Not limited to music releases, RSL reviews both movies and concerts related to subject matter that would be interesting to their 20-something demographic. Recent posts include a review of the movie Argo and reviews of recent concerts put on by The Counting Crows and Ben Folds Five.

The Music Ninja

Covering a multitude of genres from dubstep to hip-hop and even folk, The Music Ninja strives to bring up-and-coming artists to public attention.

Updated multiple times a day, the continuous play function that is built into the site makes listening to all of their posts easy and convenient. All songs include links to the artists’ Soundcloud or website, and more often than not, posts include free (and legal) downloads. Playing into the ninja theme, each week, contributors compile two MP3 playlists called “The Trap Dojo,” which contains the latest releases in the newly emerging genre of trap music and “The Indie Dojo,” with presents a variety of indie rock and folk songs.

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