Since the streaming era washed in, no more are the web-pirates sailing on the high seas of free music download. When King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released Polygondwanaland in 2017, fans were mesmerised. Not only was it an incredible psych-rock record, all distribution and marketing rights were given freely to the fans. That’s right! Legions of King Gizzard fans were able to create their own art, press their own vinyl and distribute as many as they wanted for profit. Yet lying deep below the frenzy was the calm and collected realisation that music’s value had finally reached it’s gradual decline.
With the radical rise in streaming services worldwide this was only a drop in the ever growing ocean. Since the early 2000s I was scouring Limewire for albums and entire discographies to download for free – and giving my computer the virus equivalent of HIV in the process. I got a huge rush out of downloading my favourite albums for free, but now that free music is the norm, I almost wish it would return to the way it was.
That being said, you can’t stop the machine so here’s the 5 best free music download sites on the web.
Fancy David Bowie’s 19 hour discography and live albums for free? We’ve got all your free music download dreams sorted from the comfort of the web.
The greatest thing about Jamendo is that every artist on there has agreed to give out there music for the public to enjoy. That means there’s no pirating going on and you can rest easy at night knowing you have a clear conscience.
What’s more is that you that their search engine is highly optimised to help you discover new music. There’s a ‘Latest Music’ feature to see all the top artists trending, as well as Jamendo Radio Channels. That way when you find an artist you like you can download one song or an entire album.
Much like Spotify they also have many more conceptualised playlists like Girls On The Rise, Funk Frenzy, Best Of July etc. To top it off with some seriously tasty icing on the cake, Jamendo doubles as a streaming service meaning you only have to download something if you like it.
Download Jamendo here.
I’m just gonna be straight up and say it. Amazon will want you upgrade to the paid version of it’s younger brother. However if you keep this in mind there is a tonne of incredible free music to download!
Plus once you’ve downloaded a few free Mp3s from Amazon’s free music download section, you can take them anywhere. That includes any smartphone, starting with iPhone (iOS) and Android devices.
Check out Amazon music here.
Much like Jamendo, Soundclick have gathered masses of signed and unsigned artists to their side in order to let people download their music and enjoy overwhelming happiness forever! Therefore, Soundclick is the ultimate portal for finding free music downloads and it’s morally clear as crystal.
Yep, no more long nights laying awake in bed pondering the survival of your favourite artists. With SoundClick, you can browse through the music charts and genres until you find a free music download you’d like to have and then either listen to or download that song.
You can also create your own custom radio stations, meet and greet other listeners based on mutual interests and follow your favourite Soundclick artists.
Check out Soundclick here.
ReverbNation is a top pick if you want to discover new of underground artists. Again not every song here is downloadable but it is a slick, fully functioning streaming service to run on your web browser.
The Discover page is a great place to start, otherwise you can search by genre in the charts section. Various big aritsts like Imagine Dragons and The Civil Wars started out on ReverbNation so it’s definitely worth a suss.
Go to ReverbNation here.
SoundCloud is essentially a free streaming service. But a lot of artists also allow free downloads as well. You have to search around and you may even have to like a Facebook page here and there but you’ll see a free music download option if the artist has enabled it.
Keep in mind that many larger artists only stream. Most major label artists actually have contracts that in fact prohibit the permission of free downloads. While this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker it does make searching for free downloads a little more difficult.
However, Soundcloud is still an incredible medium and social hub for discovering and hearing great new music. Here’s hoping they include a dedicated free download channel very soon!
Go to Soundcloud here.