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Photo and Feature Photo: Yuliya Libkina

Bored with your music collection? Feeling out of the musical loop? Matador Editor-At-Large and globetrotting music journalist Paul Sullivan offers us fifty music sites that offer some of the best and most up-to-date sounds on the planet.

Whether you dig the Spice Girls, The Strokes or Stockhausen, you’re bound to find something here. If not, just try one of the streaming / aggregate sites like Spotify or We7 for even more suggestions.

20 Jazz Funk Greats

Psychedelic disco, progressive, general freaky stuff.

Absolute Punk

Former Blink 182 fansite now ground zero for emo, punk and indie.

Aquarium Drunkard

Justin Gage bridges the gap between contemporary indie, vintage garage, psych, folk, country – and a bit of New Orleans funk, r&b and soul.


Every genre imaginable covered by the UK’s “Auntie Beeb”.

Beat Electric

Specialising in boogie, rare disco, laser soul and proto house

Black Cab Sessions

A new “gig” each week – all performed in the back of a London black cab.

Black Classical

Jazz, funk and soul rarities with occasional great playlists/mixes.


Grime and dubstep covered in a consistently reliable fashion.

Brooklyn Vegan

This NYC blog is international in scope, with news, show reviews, tour dates and MP3s.

City sounds

A mash-up of Flickr and SoundCloud and a device that lets users post their own songs makes for truly global listening.

Classical Archives

Browse by composer, performer, period, even instrument plus download MP3s and create online playlists.

Closet Curios

Three writers covering modern composers and early electronic music.

Cocaine Blunts

All things hip hop, from Roc Raida to Lil Wayne.

Cyclic Defrost

Electronic music, avant-rock, experimental sound art and leftfield hip hop.


No songs from recorded works here, but exclusive, re-worked, alternate versions of old songs and unreleased tracks by bands.

Dereks Daily 45

Think rare American and Northern Soul. Lots of it.

Donna Slut

Totally random, always fun. Click on some artwork and see what happens!

Drowned In Sound

A revered British resource for all things indie-rock related and beyond.


Going since 2003, FACT is bursting at the seams with incredible dance music. Their free mixes are some of the best out there.


Matthew Perpetua has been posting MP3s nearly every day since 2002. He knows his onions.

Freshly Served Hip Hop

Old skool, new skool, true skool. Plus mixtapes.

Good Bad Music

Interesting and obscure early punk tracks ripped from the original vinyl.

Gorilla vs. Bear

Once described as “the New Yorker of hipster blogs,” these guys blog about relevant artists of the day, with no particular genre-specific focus.


Dedicated coverage of dancehall reggae, bashment and Caribbean rave.

Hype Machine

The Hype Machine is an aggregator that keeps track of what music bloggers are writing about and handpicking the best.

I Guess I’m Floating

Highly lauded site for under-the-radar bands.

Type in your fave artist and will stream free music by that act and others like it.

The Love Unlimited

A collective-run site covering all things disco and house related.


Experimental, electronic, avant-garde sounds.


Comprised of various renowned bloggers, this is the blog equivalent of a supergroup.


Boston-based site that runs great concert reviews from all over the world.


Browse what’s happening in every corner of the planet via continent, or genre.

Music For Robots

Minimal techno, indie rock, post-punk and hip-hop covered by a handful of contributors.

National Geographic Music

The musical branch of the lauded magazine. As global as you’d expect.

The Needle Drop

Rock, pop, electronic and experimental, with daily Youtube updates, podcasts, radio and blog posts.


Bootleg recordings of shows by the likes of Yo La Tengo and more, all posted with the artist’s permission.

Orgy In Rhythm

Multiple bloggers writing about old and rare jazz, afro and Latin albums.

Pitchfork Media

What to say? Increasingly dissed, Pitchfork still delivers on many levels.

Pretty Much Amazing

Daily mp3 updates, podcasts, mixtapes covering everything from LCD Soundsystem to Vampire Weekend.


Mostly mainstream pop, but famously tongue in cheek.

The Quietus
Rock, pop and so much more. One of the UK’s best new music blogs.

Resident Advisor

Alongside FACT, RA is one of the most reliable sources for electronic grooves.

Said The Gramophone

One of the world’s very first MP3blogs. Posts “really good songs” daily.

Slutty Fringe

Lots of hot electronic music of the dancefloor variety as well as the odd yacht rock tune.

Smithsonian Global Sound

A treasure trove of ethnological recordings and an incredible resource for world-music fans. Everything from Indian ragas to throat singing bands (plus or Alan Lomax’s field recordings of American folk artists).

Scads of soulful rarities and hip hop from professor and journalist Oliver Wang.


Streaming access to a mindblowing amount of music, all legal and all without charge (though with ads).


Lots of news and MP3s on music of all kinds, from Phoenix to Devendra Banhart.


Nearly four million tracks. Allows you to stream, compile playlists and send recs to friends. Plus no registration!

You And Me On Jamboree

Old School Jamaican Music: Ska, Rocksteady, Early Reggae, Calypso, Dub, Soul and some Roots Reggae.

Community Connection

Interested in the connection between music and travel? Hop on over to BraveNewTraveler and have a look at 8 Reasons We Love Music on the Journey.

Music + Events


About The Author

Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan is a freelance writer, author, editor and photographer covering music, travel and culture. His writing and photography work has been published in The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel, National Geographic UK, Matador Network, Wax Poetics, XLR8R and more, and he has scribed/snapped several guidebooks for Time Out, HG2, Rough Guide, Cool Camping and others. He currently lives in Berlin, where he runs the sustainable travel portal Slow Travel Berlin. Check out his photography website, follow him on Twitter or join hisFacebook photography page.

  • Candice

    Holy what a selection! Thanks Paul.

  • Caitlin

    One I would add to the list is

    I am amazed by practically all the music they post. They post some good “world” music too.

    • 2tall

      great list indeed. i’m definitely bookmarking a handful of these. and let me add to the mix… it’s where i get my dose of techno, house, trance, dubstep, electro, etc.

  • david miller


  • Julie

    Wow- I’m headed to check out Smithsonian’s Global Sounds site ASAP.

  • Kate

    This is absolutely amazing!! I am constantly looking for new (and old I suppose) music to rock it to.

    I love Aquarium Drunkard and Pretty Much Amazing.

    Thank you so so much man!

    Any suggestions for Spanish music? Flamenco perhaps?

  • joshua johnson

    50 direct links! this is dope!!!!

    Thank you so much for doing the dirty work for us, now it’s time to BOOGIE!

  • Paul Sullivan

    Thanks for comments all.

    Kate, check out Rodrigo y Gabriela if you haven’t yet, they’re amazing live and on wax: As for trad Flamenco, the Rough Guide to Flamenco is good. And this site seems to cover good Latin sounds in general but sadly looks like they stopped.

  • Anthony F.

    I matter? I had no idea!? :-D

  • Ryukyu Mike

    Stumble has over 9 Milloin followers and only 10,000 of them have come here today. Whats wrong with people !?

  • Paul Sullivan

    Anthony, you matter a great deal. And so does your needle :)

  • Bruce

    Wot no NME.COM? I guess no room for the biggest music site in Europe

  • Paul Sullivan

    Hi Bruce. This list wasn’t about size, it’s about style of coverage and personal connection.It’s a subjective, not a definitive list and there’s always going to be stuff left out. I personally don’t think they’re an essential resource given the superior coverage of similar music from sites like Drowned In Sound and The Quietus, although I am glad you mentioned them so other folk have a chance check them out…

  • David Page

    Wow! Thanks Paul. Way to give the new year a new sound!

  • Matt Scott

    I’m always looking for something to listen to online while I work- I won’t run out of choices for a long time. Thanks

  • Nancy

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop on where to find the freshest beats. I’ve already e-mailed the link to my music-devoted friends.

  • Adam

    Ohno! You’ve left of! It’s a good way of previewing songs (and I think they sell them for cheap, too). Also, Google now lets you preview songs when you search for them. It’s a really cool feature that I’ve noticed on Google only recently.

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  • Rob

    Nice list wow, i would like to add some… No mainstream tunes but really fresh stuff. All reggae, dub, dubstep etc. etc.

    Thanks and enjoy!!

  • johnny nowhere

    I can’t believe everyone is ignoring Great site from NYC with loads of free downloads. I visit it everyday…

  • Paul Sullivan

    Rob, Johnny – good calls, thanks for adding these. RCRDLBL is great and should have been on there. If we get enough we’ll do a Part 2 a bit later on :)

  • John Power

    Great list! Wer’e honoured to be included in such company.

    People who want to check us out though should probably head to rather than the old wordpress site as otherwise you’ll miss out on about 6 months worth of new music.

    Thanks Paul

  • Ben!

  • Kai

    wow, great list but some major omissions

    PopMatters – intelligent, excellently written criticism that explores each subject within a wider cultural context

    NME – top of the game for news

    Spotify – revolutionary, simple to use, addictive

    MissingToof – THE best site for free electro mp3s, mixes, mix-tapes and mash-ups

  • johnny nowhere

    thanks for the shout, was just going to mention that SoundCloud was missed but saw you linked to them on your Twitter page. They may be one of the single best sharing sites I’ve ever seen/used. Hell, they’re previewing the new Four Tet before it’s released, how cool is that.

  • boz

    no ?

  • Anne Neumann

    He, what about ? Should be on the list in my opinion!

  • Michael König

    He! I think should be on the list as well! It’s a great resource for experimental and contemporary music!

  • Paul Sullivan

    Thanks for the additions guys – all great sites (I love Tokafi – in fact I work for them!) – there just wasn’t room to include everything and we wanted to get a decent spread of sounds and styles, hence there are inevitable omissions (the list was never meant to be definitive). But I already see a Part 2 coming up so please keep listing your faves and let’s keep sharing and spreading this wonderful thang called MUSIC.

  • Sara

    I am a big fan of Largehearted Boy for its free and legal mp3 downloads,as well as the way it marries music & books with features and interviews.

    I also love Hype Machine…

  • Kip

    Been meaning to update by Google Reader with some fresh faces. Thanks Matador for this collective.

  • DW

    Delicious Scopitone. Bleeding edge indy, weirdo-folk, noise-and-space-pop. Interesting mix-tapes. Beeyoutifull eye-candy. Commentary half in French, the rest in gently-fractured English.

    After I discovered them I spent most of a Saturday going through their archives.

  • Ryan …and the treat :)

  • scott

    I can’t believe you guys missed Indie Rock Cafe at – I’ve been following that blog for almost two years

    They consistently out-match over hyped blogs like I Guess I’m Floating and definitely Gorilla vs. Bear (which just throws stuff on a page without much thought and has ugly design). Indie Rock Cafe is the best blog for under the radar bands and more “mainstream” indie blog and they put plenty of prep and thought into they posts (obvious if u follow them).

  • jp

    Love these sites! Needle drop also has an awesome podcast that you should check out. I write and create a lot of content for


  • j

    You forgot the pirate bay LOL

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  • nubs

  • nyctaper

    Honored to be on this list. Thanks for the recognition Paul.

  • dan

    what about !!! About 2 years old so fairly new, great site check it out!!!

  • Jada Kiss

    mp3nova matters! lol no but seriously why isnt pandora on here?

  • Jean

    Fantastic sites – thanks so much!

  • Andreas

    Hey thanks to you i discovered a negative narrative, wich is a great page. Thanks dude.

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  • Lucas

    Great list, I had heard of a few, but there are some new ones worth checking out to expand my musical horizon!

  • Ra

    Check out this other great site:

  • Annearchynow

    This list looks awesome. But what about NPR Music? Gotta spread the love, dude. 

  • Frightenedrbbt is also a great indie music blog

  • Bullseyeradio

    Hi There !

    Im John Michaels , owner of BullsEye Radio and I warmly invite you to Join us for some of the greatest oldies of all time 24 hours a day – 7 days a week , after 6pm EST we are LIVE on air and you can join us by clicking here ( Or copy Paste into browser address window ) and choose your player, the music will automatically open:

    You can also Join us LIVE in the Official BullsEye Radio Chatroom at : ( again , either click or copy and paste ) Just create your Screen name and a password and come on in ! A totally free video chatroom which is drama free ! Not like all the other chats all over the web !

    This chat has mods and anyone that causes trouble gets kicked out. So you can actually kick back , relax , enjoy good conversation , meet some new really nice people , enjoy great music and not have to worry about the crap that goes on like in OTHER chatrooms !

    I’d love to have you come in meet you , and if you like it , tell your friends that theres a new place to hang out without all the traditional chatroom drama ! Hope to see you there !

    All my best

  • Alekhya

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  • rose

    I’d love to have you come in meet you , and if you like it

  • Tom

    Great list. But, you missed

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