Shfl is a random sampler built on thousands of album recommendations from musicians and music critics. It is designed to emulate as far as possible a physical record store, I miss that feeling of wandering through the aisles and constantly seeing new and interesting music.

Flipping through albums

category dropdown

The big ‘Next’ button at the bottom of the sidebar will show you a random album that somebody liked. If you want fully random that's all you need to know, but if you want to customize the kind of albums you see read on!

Browsing albums by category

category dropdown category cancel

In the sidebar on the left is a dropdown that allows you to filter on broad musical categories, like jazz, rock, or african music.

Once you've selected a category, it will show up in the ‘active filters’ section on the sidebar with a cancel icon next to it; to cancel the filter click on it.

Browsing albums by genre or era

category dropdown category dropdown

Shfl lets you explore genres, like death metal, Brazilian music, alt-country, southern hip-hop, classical choral music, and thousands of others.

You can search for genres using the search bar, or you can click on one while you're browsing. If you click on a genre, the sampler will only show you albums tagged with that genre. Clicking on the year will restrict the sampler to the decade surrounding that year.

Once these filters are active, they’ll turn red and also show up in the ‘active filters’ section of the sidebar, and they can be cancelled by clicking on them again.

Flipping through someone's recommendations

category dropdown

You can flip through albums recommended by musicians like David Bowie, Nas, and Elvis Costello, or music critics like Ted Gioia, Sasha Frere-Jones, and Anthony Fantano.

If you know the name of a critic you like, you can search for them. Also, there’s a list of all of the people who recommended a given album under the year and the genre — for instance, this album was recommended by Ted Gioia. If you want to restrict the filter to only show you albums recommended by a particular person, click the icon next to their name. There’s also a link to the page where they recommend the album on this line.

Recommender pages


If you click on a recommender’s name, you’ll be taken to their page, where there are pre-built filters that will allow you to sample from, say, their rock recommendations, or all of their recommendations from the year 2012.



The search bar is where we hide miscellaneous features. For instance, if you type in a year, like 1975, you’ll see an option to restrict the albums to ones that came out in 1975. This also works for decades, just tack on an ‘s’, like ‘1960s’. Filters for genres can also be added from search, and of course you can also search for albums, artists, or album recommenders. There are a few more features that can be accessed from the search bar, you can read about them here.

Other Features

category dropdown

Links to streaming services and where to buy the album are also in the sidebar, along with links to AllMusic and Wikipedia if we have them.

Lastly, there’s a couple of checkboxes in the sidebar - ‘more popular’ will restrict the sampler to more well-known albums, and ‘include unstreamable’ will show you albums that we don’t have streaming information for.

Have fun!

I hope Shfl works for you and you find some interesting new music!

If you have any questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. If not, click the Next button in the sidebar to get started!