Who Says There’s No Good Music Anymore?

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I swear, not a week goes by when I don’t see someone post something on social media about how there’s no good music these days. It’s like a rite of passage — once you hit a certain age the only music that matters anymore is what you listened to when you were young. We have short memories. Don’t you recall driving with your parents when you were young and hearing them complain about how today’s music isn’t as good as when they were young? Their parents probably said the same thing to them. They don’t make ’em like Glenn Miller anymore!

The thing is, if you think there’s no good music anymore you’re just not listening. Either that or you’re closed-minded. Yeah, I said it.

Yes, the artists you grew up with are always going to have a special place in your heart. Eighties alternative is the music of my youth and I still listen to it today. My queue is always filled with The Clash, The Style Council, and Tears For Fears. But I love music so I’m always on the lookout for new things. Yes, that includes old artists. I didn’t discover John Coltrane until my 40s and I just recently started listening to alt-country.

But that also means I make it a point to listen to today’s artists and in return I have found many wonderful bands that didn’t start making music until around the start of the 21st century. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting I like today’s “pop” music. Damn if I’m going to listen to Cardi B, Charlie Puth or The Chainsmokers. Bad music is bad music and most of what’s played on the radio today is trash — as was Top 40 pop back in my day.

No, you need to do a little digging to find today’s great music. For me, that means I listen to The Spectrum on SiriusXM or a cultivated playlist on Google Play Music like Feel Good Alternative or Coffee Shop Indie. I also read reviews and listen to cuts recommended at RollingStone.com and Paste Magazine. Technology has actually made it easier to find new music without having to shell out $12 for a full-length album only to be disappointed.

This kind of musical exploration has led me to some amazing music by wonderful artists — some of which have etched a place among my all-time favorites. Arcade Fire didn’t release its first album until 2003 and they are without question one of my favorite bands.

With that as background, and because I always like to share what I’m listening to, here are just some of the 21st-century artists I love, starting with my top 10 favorite “new” artists:

Arcade Fire
The National
The Black Keys
Frank Turner
Fitz & The Tantrums
Franz Ferdinand
Arctic Monkeys
The Decemberists
Mumford & Sons

And here are a bunch of others I love:

Alabama Shakes
Band of Horses
Cage the Elephant
The Whitest Boy Alive/Erland Oye (solo)
Father John Misty
First Aid Kit
Jake Bugg
Joy Williams
Leon Bridges
Lord Huron
Michael Kiwanuka
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
Of Monsters and Men
Paolo Nutini
Rag’n’Bone Man
Scars on 45
St. Vincent
The Temper Trap
Two Door Cinema Club

There’s something for everyone on the list above (except for country or hip-hop because I don’t like most country or hip-hop). And all of them either launched after Y2K or close.  And if you don’t know some of them or haven’t had the chance to listen to some of them, just head over to Spotify or YouTube and give something new a try. You can’t argue with the cost.

Next time you think there’s no good music out there today, I encourage you to look and listen. Or send me a note and I’ll recommend something or make you a YouTube playlist!


4 thoughts on “Who Says There’s No Good Music Anymore?

  1. Capitalism produces shit music and culture. No surprises there. Anyway, western culture is dead inside. No wonder there is, nothing like a masterpiece these days.

  2. I’m feom 1978. I barely listen to anything from after 1980. When I was 14 I heard Neil Young. I instantly knew most of the music I listened to uptill then was basically uninspired crap. In two years time I acquianted myself with the music form the 60’s and 70’s and composers such as Bach and Tjaikovski. It’s not about the music youngrew up with, it’s about good music.

  3. Pingback: My Favorite Albums of the Decade | Days of Speed & Slow Time Mondays

  4. Through our technical revolution it has become much easier to make music yourself. Today we have a lot more. We have many more artists today than 40 years ago suspect even a hundred times as many. It is absolutely logical to conclude that these artists are far more unprofessional amateurish people than potential GOAT’s. So I think the problem of most people is not that they have a closed world view but that they don’t have the time to search for good music because of all the stress and obligations they have in their daily life. You should share your experience with other people. Your list has already helped a lot, I think it can be extended to a real music curation. I have spent hundreds of hours on soundcloud looking for good music and have also discovered some great artists over the years. However, due to the extreme competition and the winner takes it all principle that all music platforms follow, it is an incredible amount of work. I might find a good new song among hundreds of bad ones I have to listen to. So the desperation made me type in “there is no good music anymore?” on google. So I think there are a lot of people out there who would like to have music that would also evoke feelings but are unable to find them.

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