Back in college (well before the dawn of the iPod age), I recall passing a student wearing headphones and commenting to a friend that I’d love to have known what he was listening to. My friend responded by saying I should just go up and ask, which seemed awfully forward if not completely preposterous.
Today, that’s one of the things I most enjoy about Twitter, as many users lend their followers an earbud via the #NowPlaying hashtag. I particularly love being turned onto something new (or new to me) via friends whose opinions I trust and artists whose musical output I value. Years ago, a trek to Tower Records or Virgin Megastore typically resulted in leaving with several new treasures in hand, uncovered upon soaking in the sounds all around. But with those music retailers long ago shuttered, and traditional record stores found in ever smaller numbers (if, in fact, you can find one), Twitter has unexpectedly stepped in to help feed my addiction, serving as a music discovery tool for the modern age.
(I think this is vaguely the point of Ping, Apple’s social network for music, which can link your iTunes profile and purchases to Twitter, if you like. While I haven’t fully embraced Ping or sussed out its usefulness, the feature may be poised for bigger things in the near-future.)
Last week, Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters expressed his love of Little Dragon‘s “Nightlight,” tweeting, “Can’t stop playing it! So sick!” So, of course, I needed to check the track out, and indeed, I can’t either, because it is.
Released about a month ago, “Nightlight” is the first single from the Swedish electropop group’s new album, Ritual Union, coming July 12. I love the very airiness of “Nightlight,” and hope other artists might adopt Little Dragon’s minimalist approach to pop, a much-needed breather from relentess beats and compressed-to-the-heavens productions.
If you’ve yet to adopt Twitter or haven’t done much with the account you do have, get your feet wet by following a few of your favorites in a certain field, music or otherwise (though I hear @Popservations is pretty cool). I guarantee you’ll discover something new that your life will be all the better for. And look for me to share some more artists’ musical recommendations right here.