There is nothing more convenient than opening Spotify or Apple Music, launching your favorite playlist, and sitting back in the driver’s seat while you commute to work. But where is the human element in media streaming? Sure, the playlists themselves are shareable and curated, but there’s something unbeatable about the familiar jargon, jokes, and repeatable bumpers of internet radio stations and their respective DJs. Call us nostalgic. We can take it.
If you are looking to keep up with the latest music trends from coast to coast and around the world, your best bet is to use an internet radio station. You might not know which one to listen to, but luckily we do.
Seattle’s Best Public Radio Station, a partnership between the University of Washington and Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project, showcases the best new alternative music from around the world. Best known for their live studio sessions, KEXP is often one of the first major media outlets to feature emerging bands, making it a great place to listen to new music before all your Spotify loving friends.
Owned and operated by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), The stream is an alternative adult hideaway for all things independent and local in the Minneapolis area. Hosted by over a dozen DJs, you’ll hear everything from dirty shoegaze and surf rock to experimental R&B. Various segments intermingle with music cuts including interviews, book and movie calls, and live concerts.
Undergoing several format changes over the life of its call sign, WMOT 89.5FM is a proven Nashville, playing a listener-fueled lineup of roots, American and bluegrass music. Current programs include the national program Hang on and sing, Chain, and Bel-Air promenade. If you’re looking to get an authentic taste of the city that gave music its heart and soul, look no further.
An NPR member station based on the Santa Monica College campus, KCRW was founded in 1945 to train former servicemen in then-emerging radio technology. Now it’s just a great place to find some emerging music. Creators of the famous The morning becomes eclectic The radio program, a show that showcases new music and live performances by talented independent artists, KCRW is a great place to listen to well-curated music selections, as well as keep up to date with national news.
Kiss your ears with the latest bars brought to you by Power 105.1, one of the best hip-hop stations in town that gave birth to the genre itself. The 105 horsepower is truly urban. The daily tour has a strong emphasis on mainstream and underground hip-hop and R&B with a touch of Latin and reggae crossover. It also houses several chat segments, but none are larger than the one hosted by Charlamagne Breakfast Club, one of culture’s most influential (and controversial) radio talk shows.
Portland’s most acclaimed independent radio station brings the sounds of the city’s popular underground music scene to global audiences. A crowdfunded station established in 2012, XRAY has offered a diverse selection of musical and progressive radio programs and has been broadcasting around the clock for years with the help of nearly 70 part-time DJs.
Dublab is an internet-only show that features the avant-garde of the DJ world five days a week. The station also offers each show live for download via its website. With a rotating cast of renowned DJs that includes world famous heavyweights such as Daedelus, Teebs, Flying Lotus, and more, Dublab is among the best streams in the world for fans of emerging beat music.
Owned and operated by the University of Texas at Austin, KUTX features a range of genre-specific programming, from indie and pop to disco, Latin and other genres. It’s an eclectic mix of shows, but they’re each extremely vibrant and well-organized, making them a great place to find something new and unexpected.
WFMU is everyone’s grandfather. The oldest independent radio station in the United States is also one of the best internet radio stations on the web. This listener-funded station offers a variety of eclectic free-form shows that are sure to appeal to everyone. Such free formatting can be a blessing and a curse, as certain hours will cause listeners to tune in elsewhere.
When it was launched in 2002, BBC Radio 6 became the first new station created by the BBC in more than three decades. A digital-only channel that focuses on alternative music from around the world, Radio 6 plays everything from guitar music to dance, jazz and soul. Unfortunately, the BBC’s mobile apps are only available to those who live on the UK shores, but anyone can just as easily go to the website to listen.
For those not fortunate enough to live in the Big Easy, WWOZ brings the sounds of its beautiful city to the world, featuring New Orleans’ famous jazz, soul, bounce and R&B every day. The station’s selections focus largely on the jazz tradition – which is still alive and well in the city – offering an incredible look inside one of the world’s most interesting and legendary sound universes.
Among the finest and most listened to classic radio stations in the world, New York’s WQXR is also one of the oldest FM stations in the world. It is also one of the best Internet radio stations. Showcasing the best of new and old songwriters, this is a great place to tune in when looking for some serious music for work or study. It is also the perfect pairing for that beautiful bottle of red wine that you have hidden away.
The extremely varied sounds of the Bay Area are best explored on KUSF, the University of San Francisco’s radio station. A glimpse of the region that delves deep into the complex communities that have thrived there for decades, KUSF’s programming is overtly Californian, providing listeners with hot-weather jams they’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
A community radio station that sits in the basement of a bike store in (you guessed it) Brooklyn, New York, Radio Free Brooklyn offers interesting independent programming, with a variety of talk shows and shows. interesting music shows to take you through your day in Brooklyn way.
Founded in 2011 by Boiler Room co-creator Femi Adeyemi, NTS Radio offers an extremely diverse selection of live and pre-recorded music, in a variety of genres, often curated by some of the world’s most influential artists. More than 200 presenters regularly appear on the station, whose slogan is âDon’t assumeâ. Famous artists who have curated content for NTS Radio include Thurston Moore, Gilles Peterson, Peanut Butter Wolf, Floating Points, and more.
There is nothing more fun and energizing than the sounds of Cuban music, and there is no better place to hear it than Radio Musical De Cuba, a Havana-based station with an assortment of sounds. Cubans continuously. Grab a cigar and a glass of rum and get ready to enjoy the sounds of one of the most interesting musical cultures in the world.
Cinemix is ââan all-soundtrack station that exclusively broadcasts songs from movies and television. A listener-supported station that broadcasts from Toronto, the station showcases the excellent works of iconic film composers like John Williams, Hans Zimmer, and more.
The BBC’s global arm provides up-to-date coverage of notable events around the world, as well as interesting interviews, travel and sports segments. Fans of world politics will love the pragmatic way the BBC covers these topics.