Our curiosity was piqued this morning upon hearing that about 30 independent record labels -- including greats like Kill Rock Stars, Sub Pop, Anti-, and Daptone -- have partnered to create a new music discovery site called The New Record.
Unfortunately, we've been trying to download MP3s from the site all day -- and even though we've occasionally been able to get its beta-version pages to load, we haven't been able to listen to any music yet.
The idea, however, is cool. According to Hypebot, the New Record was founded by Bill Armstrong of L.A. label Side One Dummy, and aims to curate new, independent music in the form of streams and MP3s before their formal release. It doesn't say so explicitly, but The New Record is clearly a more label- and artist-friendly response to the pairing of streaming services like Spotify with Facebook -- with the goal of getting its users to buy actual records. No paltry payouts here, at least if users do actually end up buying stuff.
The site, from what we can see of it, is pretty simple. You create a profile, click around to find music that interests you -- much of which is available before its formal release date -- and can share and follow other friends. Of course, everything is free.
It isn't a huge universe of artists, but that's the idea. "As a fan, I felt that new music wasn't being organized in a way that made it easy to find," Armstrong told Hypebot. "I wanted a filtered environment with what I consider other high quality artists whom we might share similar or even some of the same fans."
We saw songs available from Dum Dum Girls, Samiam, and numerous artists. The labels said to be involved include Epitaph, Side One Dummy, VP, Asian Man, Bar-None, Brushfire, Equal Vision, Fat Wreck Chords, Hellcat, Relapse, Rhymesayers, and more.
Unfortunately, the site isn't working for us at the moment. Maybe you'll have better luck.