New Year’s Promises: How to Become The Best Music Listener in 2023


So, January. We had holiday breaks and time to think and reflect on what was good in 2022 (a bit!) and what could be better next year (all this!), but now is the time. How do you manifest and support radical changes in your life, personality and beyond instantly and with minimal planning? This is no easy feat, and you probably should have thought about it before.

However, your music listening habits are quite lightweight compared to this. It takes quite a bit of attention to mix things up and open up a whole new world of sounds, possibilities and solutions to enhance the experience. Everyone will have different changes, and not all of them are so radical, but if you are thinking about some New Year’s promises related to music, here are a few to start with…

Discover new music!

It may seem painfully simple, but it can turn out to be revolutionary: this fuzzy, dizzying feeling when you stumble upon an aspiring artist and discover a new favorite is truly eternal. So why not make it a more important mission in 2023? We have just released The NME 100 2023, a comprehensive guide to the main aspiring performers that will brighten up your life this year. Check out the full NME playlist here.

There are huge new names on the horizon that can dominate your music: FLO, Dylan, Ice Spice, STONE and others. And then there are the growing scenes around the world to dive into. There is Amapiano, a South African genre that now has global roots and lights up dance floors all over the world; or maybe Loud LDN, a collective of young, all-female and non-binary musicians restoring their place in the drum and bass genre, is more suitable for you.

Start listening!

Music is not an exercise for show, but there are certainly ways to have fun and push your boundaries. Perhaps it’s time to dive into one of our lists of the 500 greatest albums of All time in 2013 and get acquainted with the cult classics that have passed you by, or revive an old favorite. Or how about a deep dive into the subject of an artist or genre that you’ve always wanted to get to know better? We have useful guides on post-punk, emo evolution and more.

Dive into the archives!

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” says the old idiom, but that doesn’t make it any less fascinating. Publishers of music books are gaining strength, given the demand from readers and the many stories that have yet to be told. Big names like Bono (“Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story”) and Bob Dylan (“The Philosophy of Modern Song”) have released works over the past year, and there are always tall tales from Patti Smith (“Just Kids”, 2010), Dave Grohl (Narrator, 2021), Elton John (Me, 2019) and more.

Elsewhere, there are new stories told by writers such as Caitlin Tiffany (“All I Need, I Get from You: How Fans Created the Internet as We Know It”), Marissa R. Moss (“Her Country: how the women of country music achieved the success they were”). “Never Should Have Been”) and much more dedicated to previously unknown scenes and subcultures; thanks to them, you will become a richer music lover.

Relive some of the best concerts of all time!

YouTube is your friend, here. An amazing collection of full shows live on the streaming service for free. You can go back to the past to watch the masters do their job, or recent legends demonstrating their strength at the top of their talents: there are legendary performances by Miles Davis, James Brown, Daft Punk and others that are available for viewing in full.

If you want something more modern, why not go back to Beyoncé Homecoming on Netflix or the recent performances of Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish on Disney+? Meanwhile, The 1975 have just released a concert movie from their rowdy New York show last year on Amazon Prime, where you can watch Matty Healy eat raw steak (ostensibly) in high definition.

Go to the show!

The year 2023 is filled with large-scale tours and long-awaited meetings, as well as an abundant selection of festivals around the world. Taylor Swift will kick off her Eras Tour in the US this summer, while Blur and Pulp are putting together a band again to perform in the UK and Europe. But perhaps there is an opportunity to descend to something unknown and immerse yourself in something completely new. Support your local performers, venues and stages and proclaim the stars of tomorrow by voting with your feet — they need you now more than ever.


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