• Courtesy of Tim Mortensen
  • Tim Mortensen

Every day brings a glut of new song and album premieres appearing on music sites (including our own) and social-media platforms. The influx can work against artists, who are all vying for the public’s attention—figuring out which song premieres to check out becomes a job of its own for the listener. Fortunately Chicagoan and Into It. Over It. bass player Tim Mortensen is developing one solution for music lovers, and it’s a newish website called Debuts.

Mortensen’s got experience finding new ways to engage music diehards. A few years ago he cofounded Soundsupply, a download-in-bulk service that sells pre-selected bundles of albums at an inexpensive price; the site started out selling only digital downloads, usually ten albums for $15, but it’s since branched out into vinyl too. Mortensen says he got the idea for Debuts a few weeks ago, and part of the inspiration came from his routine work for Soundsupply.

“In a normal day, I try to listen to every single new song that gets released in an effort to track some upcoming albums that we’ll want to feature on Soundsupply,” Mortensen says. “I started to build Debuts as a tool to better keep track of song premieres.” He drew some inspiration from Product Hunt, which displays daily lists of new apps and tech gadgets supplied by users.

Debuts offers functions that are similar to Product Hunt: users submit URLs for the latest track premieres along with a simple description, and they can also upvote and comment on any song featured on the site. Debuts is in its soft-launch phase, and Mortensen is still building it out. He recently added categories for genres, configured the site to allow users to sign up through Twitter, launched a Twitter account, and added a logo.

Mortensen isn’t the only one taking cues from Product Hunt for a new music service. Justin Kan, who cofounded popular gamer live-streaming service Twitch.tv (which Amazon acquired last year for $970 million), recently launched a similar site focusing on electronic tracks called The Drop. But Debuts is different because it focuses on music that’s streaming in advance of a proper release, and Mortensen isn’t bound by genre.

At the moment the site skews towards indie rock and punk, but Mortensen hopes the focus will expand as Debuts’s user base grows. “I’d love for Debuts to be a part of someone’s daily routine,” he says. “They’d stop by the site and get a look at everything that was released into the music world that day and explore some new songs.” Premieres are theoretically meant to encourage average-to-avid music fans to take a chance on an unfamiliar band or artist just before a new album or EP comes out. If Debuts catches on it can not only make it easier to grasp what new music is coming out, but offer an interesting survey of the pop landscape.