Dark matter remains one of the central mysteries of cosmology and particle physics. Here, I introduce a new set of strategies in the search for the universe's missing mass. I will present a series of recent theoretical developments that predict that molecules and nano-materials are optimal targets to use in next-gen detectors looking for dark matter beyond the weak scale. I will show that molecular detectors can be sensitive to the direction of the dark matter wind, producing daily-modulating signals. Additionally I will show that semiconducting nano-crystals (quantum dots) can produce inherently low-noise signals following dark-matter induced excitations. Finally, I will advocate for the further development of the theoretical formalism underlying these novel strategies and comment on emerging collaborations that aim to rapidly develop and deploy these promising detectors.