best music magazines
Music Industry

15 Best Music Magazines to Read in 2023

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Written By Will Fenton
Music Industry

15 Best Music Magazines to Read in 2023

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Today’s post is dedicated to something that holds a special place in every music enthusiast’s heart – music magazines. 

Most print publications now offer digital versions, which certainly makes them more accessible and flexible. 

However, nothing beats the feeling of having a fresh music magazine in your hands. 

Regardless of which format you prefer, our list of the best music magazines will provide you with useful information about the world’s most remarkable publications.

1. Rolling Stone 

Rolling Stone

Let’s start with one of the most iconic music magazines out there – Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone magazine has produced some of history’s most iconic cover images and most memorable interviews and articles. 

In a way, Rolling Stone feels like a definition of a music magazine – and we mean that in the best way possible.

Articles and interviews are always on point, and images and design make the reading experience even more enthralling. 

Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967, and it still exists (and thrives) in its printed version.

But it now also shares news about film, TV, and politics, and offers additional content in a digital form. 

All in all, Rolling Stone is undeniably one of the best sources for music information and popular culture. 

2. Mojo 

Mojo

Founded in 1993, Mojo has been attracting music fans for more than 25 years. 

And Mojo really keeps living up to its reputation of being one of the most important music magazines. 

It always provides top-notch writing and visuals, and it stays true to its classic and slightly nostalgic vision. 

On the other hand, Mojo is always up to date when it comes to the latest releases and trends.

It primarily focuses on classic rock, but it also covers other genres and styles. 

It’s one of the best publications for sure, and with its digital version, you can access it from anywhere in the world.

Their website also features podcasts available on Spotify, Apple, and other similar platforms. 

3. Billboard

Billboard

Billboard has also been around for some time now – for more than 100 years, to be precise. 

The first issue of Billboard magazine came out in 1984, although it was completely different from today’s magazine.

Nevertheless, Billboard established itself as one of the most important publications.

Billboard now provides a lot of content – from articles and interviews to its iconic charts.

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And it covers a variety of music genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, R&B, and country. 

Although it can be quite versatile, the publication is known for its clear, straightforward writing focused on commercial culture.

But it also provides more detailed interviews and topics for dedicated music enthusiasts. 

Billboard now features both printed and online versions. 

4. NME

NME

NME (New Musical Express) is a well-known music magazine that has been around for more than 60 years now.

It was founded as a newspaper, but it ceased publication in print in 2018.

Nevertheless, NME continues to thrive as an online publication, offering a variety of content.

It provides articles, interviews, and news about music, film, TV, gaming, and festivals.

Although it doesn’t exist as a printed version anymore, NME is still an important source of information for music fans around the world. 

And it certainly deserves a place on this list, as one of the most iconic British music magazines of all time. 

5. Pitchfork

Pitchfork

Although it doesn’t offer a printed version, Pitchfork is still one of the most influential go-to sources of music information and reviews.

This online music magazine is known for its graded reviews (always interesting to check the grade for new releases), select playlists, and Best New Music picks.

The Pitchfork website also features a podcast section ideal for anyone who wants to dive deeper into reviews and conversations about new releases.

Plus, the publication always looks fresh and up-to-date, so even though it doesn’t produce iconic magazine covers like Rolling Stone, it provides a clean and easy way to access music-related information.

It’s one of the top music magazines out there for sure, offering content for both casual readers and dedicated music enthusiasts.

6. Under the Radar

Under the Radar

Under the Radar is another popular music magazine worth the read.

Unlike many of its fellow publications, Under the Radar exists both as a printed and digital magazine. 

And it’s hard to say which version is better – both offer top-notch writing, interesting articles, and original reviews. 

The publication is mainly focused on indie music, but it also provides content related to TV, literature, and culture. 

They also have a music news section ideal for anyone who wants to stay up to date with recent releases, announcements, and events. 

All things considered, Under the Radar is considered to be one of the best music magazines for a good reason.

And it’s a great choice for anyone who enjoys indie music.

7. The Quietus

The Quietus

If you’re looking for an online music magazine focused on rock music and pop culture, you should check out The Quietus.

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In fact, The Quietus is an independent music website, so there’s no printed version.

And the publication doesn’t really look like a magazine – but it’s not trying to be something it isn’t.

As the name suggests, The Quietus is a simple, modest online publication with a rather elegant look and straightforward content.

However, the writing and topics are fresh and appealing, covering a variety of genres.

Their interviews are also amazing.

Besides music, their main sections include film, books, opinion, and art. 

8. Spin

Spin

Spin is an American music magazine that currently runs as a webzine.

Founded in 1985, Spin has been a source of music news for some time now.

It’s known for its Best Album and Best New Artists lists, but the publication also brings the latest celebrity and entertainment news and gossip.

So, it’s a fun online magazine for anyone interested in music and entertainment.

Their website also has an interesting Archive section that features interviews from the 80s and 90s. 

Spin Archive interviews feature some iconic names, including Dalai Lama.

9. The Fader

The Fader

The Fader is another American music publication providing versatile content.

It’s primarily focused on music, style, and culture though.

Its music news section covers a variety of trendy genres, including pop, hip-hop, and R&B.

The publication is very informative, but it’s also engaging and fun to read. 

And The Fader covers are always on point –  they feature artists like Kendrick Lamar, Bon Iver, Cardi B, The Strokes, and many more.

All in all, The Fader is considered to be one of the best music magazines for a good reason. 

10. Consequence

Consequence (former Consequence of Sound) is an online publication that encompasses music, television, and film topics.

Their articles are well-written, well-researched, and easy to read, and their content is generally always fresh-looking and up-to-date.

The online publication also provides a variety of podcast shows.

And they have a Live Events section where you can find out everything about the upcoming gigs in your area.

So if you’re looking for a reliable and informative online music magazine, you should definitely check out Consequence. 

11. Stereogum

Stereogum

Stereogum is another popular digital music magazine that deserves a spot on this list. 

In short, Stereogum is a well-designed online publication covering a wide range of music genres and a variety of music-related topics. 

Their annual top-ten lists include jazz, country, hip-hop, rap, metal, indie, electronic music, and more. 

Besides top lists, they feature interviews, columns, news, new music, and reviews.

So, it’s a well-rounded platform made for music enthusiasts.

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Stereogum offers several membership plans, but you can also access their articles and content for free. 

12. Aquarium Drunkard

Founded in 2005, Aquarium Drunkard offers a fresh look into the latest releases in genres like jazz, garage, folk, funk, and avant-garde.

This well-designed online magazine stands out from the crowd thanks to its unique music taste and carefully crafted mixtapes.

After all, they present themselves as an ‘eclectic audio journal’, and that seems to be a fitting description. 

The name Aquarium Drunkard is somehow fitting too – it’s based on a reference to a lyric by the band Wilco.

Some of the artists they interviewed include Yoko Ono, Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, Kevin Morby, Angel Olsen, The National, Kris Kristofferson, and many more. 

13. Stereophile 

Stereophile 

This is a slightly different magazine, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. 

If you’re interested in music production and audio equipment, keep reading. 

Founded in 1962, Stereophile is a popular monthly magazine featuring audio equipment reviews and news. 

It’s a reliable source of information, news, and recommendations regarding loudspeakers, amplifiers, and music production accessories.

They also feature columns based on a variety of music-related topics.

And they have an active forum where you can join a conversation and find useful topics or contribute by sharing your own experiences. 

14. Uncut 

Uncut

Uncut is a monthly music magazine based in London.

It’s arguably one of the most popular British music magazines featuring interviews, in-depth album reviews, news stories, live reviews, and some truly amazing covers. 

Uncut online sections include Music, News, Reviews, and Film, and you can access everything for free. 

Without a doubt, Uncut offers some of the best guides for new music and movies, offering a perfect blend of information and entertainment.

All things considered, Uncut definitely deserves a place on the list of the best music magazines. 

15. Rock Sound 

Rock Sound is another British magazine that deserves a mention.

Rock Sound has been producing high-quality content since 1999, and it’s arguably one of the best sources of information for fans of the genre.

However, Rock Sound isn’t focused solely on rock – it also features news and reviews regarding other genres.

More importantly, the magazine continues to focus on emerging artists, and it’s important to mention that many of today’s popular bands and musicians were featured in Rock Sound before they rose to fame. 

Either way, Rock Sound is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for a reliable alternative music magazine. 

Best Music Magazines – Final Thoughts 

And that’s it for our list of the best music magazines to read.

We overviewed some of the most iconic music magazines of all time such as Rolling Stone and Billboard.

But we hope we also provided you with some new ideas and suggestions.

All of these publications are worth reading, and they surely won’t disappoint you. 

You may also like: 20 Indie Music Labels You Should Know

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Will Fenton

Introduced to good music at a young age through my father. The first record I remember being played was "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley, I must've been six years old. By the time I was seven, I was taking drum lessons once a week. The challenge but the euphoric feeling of learning a new song was addicting, and I suppose as they say the rest was history. Favorite album of all time? Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones Best gig you've ever been to? Neil Young at Desert Trip in 2016 Media mentions: Evening Standard Daily Mail

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