Column: Audiotree great for finding new bands

Ryan Meyer

Audiotree is a Chicago-based platform known for their YouTube channel that features live performances of artists and bands. I have found some great artists from these bingeable videos and another good find from a recent post about a band called Gifts for the Earth prompted me to write about the site.

Gifts for the Earth is a German shoegaze and alternative band and their performance is one of the latest additions to Audiotree’s large catalogue. It’s yet another solid band that I’ve been introduced to through Audiotree.

Other bands that I’ve either found or enjoyed through the collections of performances include Snail Mail, Wander, Peach Pit and Deeper, among countless others. Even though I didn’t find all of these bands through Audiotree, having those performances available when one is becoming a fan is important because you can see performances of songs in a live setting where the emphasis is on the performance rather than crowd interaction.

Radio stations and platforms like Audiotree and Seattle’s KEXP have been instrumental during the pandemic in providing live music in the safest ways they can. The outlets have provided videos and livestreams of both established and up-and-coming artists. A live recording of a band you haven’t heard of or a video of a favorite artist playing stripped-down songs in their own living room can both pull their weight in providing that feeling that live music does like nothing else.

I’d recommend putting Audiotree’s Spotify playlist “Audiotree Live Sessions” on shuffle if they are looking for new music. Although all my picks are some variation of indie or rock music, there is truly something for everyone in the 257-plus hours of live, pristinely-recorded music.

There is something to be said for the engineers at both Audiotree and KEXP. The YouTube comments of countless videos are always filled with praise for those behind the scenes. The audio is clean but still sounds different enough from the familiar studio versions of songs to be enjoyable and unique.

In a Forbes article about Audiotree, founder Michael Johnston said that his goal was “to create something to help bands get discovered.”

This is an admirable feature of Audiotree, particularly in the midst of a time where many small artists aren’t getting the exposure they need to jumpstart their careers because of the pandemic.

Look into Audiotree for glimpses of promising artists and to help provide both the platform and artist, who split the profits 50/50.


Ryan Meyer is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]