For those who want variety, but in an accessible way.
Regular general pop stations
- [Listen] BBC Radio 6 Music plays mainly pop and rock, and from time to time black or electronic music; both (good) mainstream and less mainstream stuff. Some tracks are decades old, other tracks are brand new. There’s much – and often useful – presentation. Heritage: UK.
- [Listen] Bruzz (during office hours) –> At night (Central European Time) the music is totally different. During office hours it’s a station presenting local news from Brussels and playing mainstream/semi-alternative music. Heritage: Belgium. It’s a Dutch spoken station btw, despite coming from Brussels. French is dominant there.
- [Listen] Double J is one of the pop stations of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; their public broadcaster. It’s a general semi-alternative pop station (pop, rock, black music and electronic stuff) with a complete program schedule, aimed at 30+ listeners. Despite that ’30+’ aspect it’s on the relatively hip side of general pop radio. Weak point: the flat sound quality. Heritage: Australia. Btw – The ‘listen’ link leads to the pop-up on their website instead of a stream url, because that mp3 stream loads very slow.
- [Listen] Ice Radio is a freeform radio station, but in reality mostly playing pop and rock. Despite the ‘freeform’ aspect, the station sounds very accessible (even like a general pop station; just presenting less clichéd playlists and more useful talk). The schedule is filled with presented shows, often brought by formerly KX Radio djs. Yes, that’s the station below this one. Heritage: The Netherlands. Note: lots of Dutch spoken talk.
- [Listen] KX Radio is a general pop station, originally established in the mid 00s as the predecessor of Ice Radio: the station above. Since 2017 it’s a station where young djs, officially related to the Dutch public pop/youth station 3FM, learn the tricks of the trade (besides some more experiences ones). The playlists are more streamlined compared to those on Ice Radio, but the station still sounds more original than the average general pop station. Heritage: The Netherlands. Note: lots of Dutch spoken talk.
- [Listen] RTS Couleur3 plays (semi)-alternative pop and rock, black music and electronic stuff. Many of the tracks on the playlist are quite recent, and there’s a complete program schedule. Recommended: Astrolab, playing the same kind of music as Lefto, Mr. Leenknecht, etcetera. Nice: You can download nearly every show on the website. Heritage: Switzerland.
- [Listen] Studio Brussel, often called ‘StuBru’, plays varied music: old and new, and a mix of mainstream and slightly alternative tunes. These are brought by many presenters, and about 50% of the dj staff is female. Heritage: Belgium (and this station is one of the public radio stations there). Note: lots of Dutch spoken talk.
Also general pop radio, but slightly more exotic
- [Listen] Alternative Radio is an amateur station (Radionomy) playing a mix of many kinds of guitar music and black music. The station is entirely non-stop. Heritage: France.
- [Listen] MondoBongo Radio is a slightly more powerful and more poppy alternative to (the regular version of) FIP. It’s an eclectic mix, entirely non-stop, and consisting of pop, rock, electronic music, exotic music, hip hop, jazz and soulful stuff. Heritage: Greece.
- [Listen] Nova plays lots of styles, ranging from exotic music to somewhat alternative pop. The music is both old and new, not extremely mainstream but also not that obscure. It a kind of a middle grond between BBC 6Music and FIP. There’s also much presentation. Heritage: France.