Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

My Essential Guide to Listening to a Musical Artist

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

A few months ago, an old friend of mine went to one of Taylor Swift’s concerts in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where Phoebe Bridgers was starting off the night. In the days following the concert, unprompted, she sent me all of the videos she had of Bridgers’ set. She knew how big of a raging fan I was of her music. I was in awe of the thousands of people packed into the stadium listening in. I explicitly told her how this made my year since I hadn’t been able to catch her concert in 2021 due to the franticness of senior year finals week. 

She cautioned me that she wasn’t big as a fan as I was, but she let me know that she was looking forward to getting into more of her music after this concert. She asked me what my favorite songs were and how she could get more into Bridgers’ music.

I then proceeded to tell her my essential steps for listening to a new artist; steps that not only apply to listening to Phoebe Bridgers, but any new artist you want to tune in to.

The first step is to begin listening to the most popular songs.

Some people hate to admit if they admire an artist’s most streamed songs – but they are popular for a reason. I listed off some of her most popular songs: “Kyoto” from the album Punisher, along with “Motion Sickness”, and “Scott Street” from the album Stranger in the Alps. It’s important to try and get a feel of songs from a spread of the artist’s albums, so you can get a varying range of their sound.

Once you select a song that you enjoyed from a batch of popular songs, find the album from the song that particularly pulled you in.

The next step in this process is to listen through the album that is home to your favorite song thus far.

My friend told me that the song that caught her ear at the concert was “I Know the End”. So, I prescribed to her my favorite album of Bridgers, Punisher, which was her Grammy-nominated album, the album that gained her the most traction, and her (in my opinion) most gut-wrenching, hauntingly curated sophomore album.

If you still like what you hear from your artist, wonderful!

From here, you can listen to more of the artist’s albums, albums with a similar sound, or a project different from their usual sound. 

If you aren’t finding anything pulling your attention, that artist might not be for you. There are plenty of other artists waiting for you to tune in. This guide is a rinse-and-repeat routine. Part of the beauty of the modern age of the music industry is the ability to stream millions of artists. Take advantage of this.

Hopefully, these instructions can meld an unfamiliar artist into one that sneaks into your daily rotation. A new favorite artist can open up a wide world of friends, genres, and even more music to soundtrack your life. 

Music and a favorite artist can bring people together, like the way it brought my old friend and me together. Now, every time Phoebe Bridgers posts anything teasing new music, merchandise, or anything at all, she is quick to send it to me. A friendship that was given a rest was reignited from one interaction. 

So, go ahead and listen to one of your friend’s favorite artists that you have been hesitant to listen to. You won’t regret it.

Olivia Karczewski

West Chester '26

Olivia Karczewski is a sophomore at West Chester University working towards her bachelor’s degree in media and culture and earning a minor in journalism. In her free time, she likes to read as well as listen to (tons) of music. She loves to yap about Dominic Fike, what she's currently reading, or last nights hockey game.