When American psychologist Timothy Leary first uttered the words “Turn on, tune in, drop out” in 1966, he wasn’t talking about the radio, but psychedelics. Yet if you’d have told him then that, in 50 years time, everyone would be listening to radio stations on something called the internet, he might have thought you were tripping. These days, though, you’ll find some of the most entertaining and diverse radio programming online – here are some of the best internet radio stations you need to know about.
What: “Don’t assume” is the mantra of London-based online station, NTS. Its programming promotes a similar open-minded ethos, with everything from an advice-meets-R&B-discovery show to programmes dedicated to free jazz, vaporwave, house, hardcore, and practically every other genre you can think of.
Who it’s for: The curious, in search of tunes to boggle their minds.
Tune in: At nts.live.
What: Founded by Gilles Peterson in 2016, Worldwide FM brings music from all over the global closer to you. With a diverse group of shows, you’re guaranteed to find something new with every listen, be it Afro soul, soca, tropical disco, post-rock, and more.
Who it’s for: Those who want to be taken on a round-the-world trip, without the hefty price-tag.
Tune in: Via Sonos or iTunes.
What: Apple’s very own 24/7 global radio station. Expect to hear the best new tunes from the hottest new acts and biggest artists first, and make sure you tune in to their huge range of artist-led shows, like Drake’s OVO Radio, or Time Crisis, hosted by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig.
Who it’s for: Pop kids, indie lovers, and hip-hop heads.
Tune in: Via Apple Music.
What: Seattle’s KEXP is legendary. Every band wants to play their live sessions. That’s why every music fan should be listening in – the station gets the best acts passing through their studios, creating some truly magical live recordings. Missed the likes of Calpurnia, St Vincent, Shame, Parquet Courts, and Hinds recently? Check out their huge archive online.
Who it’s for: Live music lovers who just can’t get enough.
Tune in: At KEXP.org.
NME 1 and NME 2
What: NME’s very own internet radio stations offer you two options for your listening pleasure. NME 1 brings all the best indie anthems together, while NME 2 will help you keep up to date with the best new music, as well as treating you to the best tunes of the past decade.
Who it’s for: Open-minded music lovers who want the best of the old and the new.
Tune in: Listen on Radioplayer or the TuneIn radio app. For more details, head here.
What: If you like beats, you’ll love this non-profit public radio station broadcasting out of Los Angeles. It broadcasts five days a week and has a number of big-name electronic music artists behind the decks, including Daedelus, Teebs, and occasionally Flying Lotus, giving you a glimpse into their record collections.
Who it’s for: Beat geeks who know the difference between minimal wave and minimal techno.
Tune in: At dublab.com.
What: Amazing Radio caters for indie kids, especially those who like being on the bleeding edge of new music. It’s one of the best internet radio stations for discovering your new favourite band, basically.
Who it’s for: Those who like to be the first in the know.
Tune in: At amazingradio.com.