Music Should Be Free (or at least cheap!)

I’m not big on torrenting music. With a SpotifyUnlimited account I can listen to pretty much anything that tickles my fancy, and MySpace or Last.FM are still worthy tools for checking out any recommendations that come my way. And of course, if I come across any mixtapes on my wanderings, I’ll snaffle them up too. The process of discovery is part of the fun.

Here are some of my favourite finds from the past couple of weeks.

The new Nine Inch Nails side project How To Destroy Angels has posted an EP on their site. If you like the idea of NIN with sweet female vocals, you’ll like this, s’all I’m saying.

90’s singer/songwriter Jane Siberry has decided to go the free/pay-it-forward route with her entire back catalogue. Her earlier albums are especially worth a listen, and it’s fascinating to track the changes she’s gone through over the years. Still touring, still writing, still got it.

As a taster for the new album out next week, Big Boi has dropped a mixtape of goodies that includes some Outkast classics. So fresh and so clean.

I’m not the biggest fan of La Roux. I find her work derivative, and her voice scrapes my nerve endings like cheese wire on glass. But her Jamacian vacation with remixers Major Lazer takes the material into strange, dubby new territory and has me bouncing around like the dancers in the ‘Pon The Floor video.

Omar Rodruiguez Lopez of The Mars Volta is constantly spraying out interesting psych-proggy weirdness, and has begun collaborating with John Frusciante. The last two albums documenting this collaboration are available for free, or donation to arts charities. The earlier of the two albums is especially good for zoning out to on a long train ride.

Finally, I’d like to recommend Zoe Keating’s new album, Into The Trees. Her cello-driven, darkly cinematic soundscapes are a must, and will come into their own this autumn. On downloads alone the album is already top 20 in the Billboard classical charts, and deserves to break big everywhere. The download will set you back $8, which is hardly a piggy-bank shatterer. Give it a go.