Friday, August 10, 2012

Free Music for the Cheap and the Impoverished

Listening to music is one of those writing-essentials for me, and putting new music into the mix is a must. The Pandora ads drive me nuts (also: it's terribly distracting), so every once in a while I hunt for new free stuff on Amazon and come up with some good finds. Here are some of the best:

1. Yuna - Live Your Life

Gentle indie-pop, this track isn't my favorite on the very economical album (that would be "Remember My Name), but "Live Your Life" is a good introduction to this up-and-comer. She recently played a benefit concert at Anthropologie in Seattle. If Anthro gets behind her, she's one to watch.

2. James Vincent Morrow - We Don't Eat

Haunting and minimalist. Don't know who to compare this too, possibly because (as my mother reminded me) I was raised Amish. (In truth, there was a lot of music in our home. It just happened to be written and composed largely by Misters Bach, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Gershwin, Berlin, Rogers, and Hammerstein.)

3. Christa Wells - You've Got a Home

I find a lot of CCM releases to be far too saccharine and samey, but Christa Wells is the real deal.  It's upbeat without making you want to smack your head on something.

4. Barnaby Bright - Gravity

If you like Over the Rhine or Hem, give Barnaby Bright a go. They've actually got several free tracks available on Amazon, but this one's my favorite.

6. Amy Stroup - Just You

If you enjoy Ingrid Michaelson, give Amy a listen. She's got another free track on Amazon, but this is my favorite.

7. Little & Ashley - Thousand Falling Stars

More upbeat but not so edgy as to be difficult to write to. Good to throw in the mix so you don't get sleepy.

8. Jesca Hoop - Born To

She's kind of Regina Spektor-esque. Also good to keep you from getting sleepy.

9. Allie Moss - Late Bloomer

Good buds with the aforementioned Ingrid Michaelson, they sound quite alike. Thoughtful indie-pop with some Cranberries-esque elements.

10. Allo, Darlin' - Capricornia

Sixties-flavored (or so I guess. See Amish-upbringing notes above), a nice track if you're a fan of The Weepies or Camera Obscura.

Those are my finds! What are your best cheap (and legal) music-finding tricks?


  1. LOVE "We don't eat." Will be checking the others out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I saw Jesca Hoop perform in Portland several years ago and she was lovely! I can't wait to see what she's up to now.


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