Free music at your fingertips

I’m an avid fan of all music — big band, pop, rock, metal, movie scores, but especially free music.

When a friend recommended an album to me, I followed the link to give it a listen. It was there that my wonderful relationship with began.

Noisetrade features albums from indie artists who are looking to broaden their fan base and share their music with the world. Every album is available for free download or you can donate any amount you choose via PayPal. The display is organized, attractive and professional.

++noisetradeIt’s simple: browse the bottomless sea of indie albums and when you find one you like, create an account (which only requires your country, email address and a password). Click download and a code is sent to your email for the full album download.

Well-known artists also post their music to pique the interests of indie music fans, such as Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, Fun, The Oh Hellos and Ingrid Michaelson, who have free albums online now.

I’ve found some of my favorite artists on Noisetrade: The Native Sibling, Jillian Edwards, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Sleeping at Last and Let There Be Hope, to name a few.

Most of the artists I’ve come across have three times the talent of mainstream musicians, leaving me to deduce that the indie world is largely undiscovered and underrated.

Before you imagine all the hipsters recording live albums in organic coffee shops, let me tell you that Noisetrade hosts a variety of genres. Hip hop, rap, R&B, alternative and classical are just a few tabs on their music bar. They also have an indie book section which I haven’t even begun to venture into.

A word of caution, though. Because any artist can share their music, there is a slew of poorly-recorded albums and half-decent singers online. I can usually determine which ones are the best by their album art. In this case, it’s perfectly all right to judge an artist by the album cover.

Noisetrade is full of incredible vocal and musical talents. Artists get publicity; listeners get free music. It’s a beautiful system. Did I mention it’s free?

Rating: A+

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