Switched on Pop

Switched on Pop

By Vox

What makes pop songs so catchy? Musicologist Nate Sloan & songwriter Charlie Harding pull back the curtain on how pop hits work their magic on our ears & our culture. You’ll fall in love with music you didn’t even know you liked.

Episodes

Black Is King (ICYMI Beyoncé's Gift To Africa ft. Ivie Ani)

Beyoncé' has released "Black Is King," a visual album based off of music that she released last year. We're rerunning that piece so that you can place the visual component of "Black Is King" in context to the music. For the live action remake of the Lion King, Beyoncé, (who voices Nala in the film), recorded and curated a companion soundtrack called The Gift. She worked with leading Afropop stars to expose the music of the continent to a global audience. In her piece, “Diversity Is in the Details: What Beyoncé’s ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ Gets Right and Wrong,” Okayplayer music editor Ivie Ani argues that the album highlights music while unintentionally treating the continent as a monolith. Ani joins Switched On Pop to break down this album and what it means for Afropop. SONGS DISCUSSED Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, Oumou Sangaré – MOOD 4 EVA Oumou Sangaré – Diaraby Nen Burna Boy – JA ARA Fela Kuti – Water No Get Enemy Fena, MDQ, Mayonde, Kagwe, Blinky Bill – PARTY NATION BONUS Listen to Blinky and Ivie’s East African playlist recommendations Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/08/2039m 0s

folklore: taylor swift's quarantine dream

Taylor Swift has released folklore, her unexpected eighth studio album. It is an understated work that firmly puts celebrity gossip behind her (there are no who's-dating-who easter eggs to be found). Instead we're gifted Swift's greatest strength: songwriting. The lyrics blur "fantasy and reality." There are imagined teenage love trysts, recreated dynasties and intimate reflections on modern love. We break down the sounds and lyrics that make up Swift's strongest album yet. SONGS DISCUSSED Taylor Swift - the 1, illicit affairs, my tears ricochet, august, epiphany, cruel summer, this is my trying, hoax, peace, you belong with me, mirrorball, epiphany, our song, cardigan, the last great american dynasty, betty The National - Light Years Bon Iver - 666 BONUS The correct term for the piano line is a "turn" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/07/2040m 48s

The Women Reclaiming Nu-Metal ft. Rina Sawayama

Nu-Metal, the mid 90s creation that blended metal, rap and pop, is one of the most critically derided pop genres. So it is strange that this genre is having a comeback. But whereas its first incarnation was dominated by men, now women are leading the way. Artists like Poppy, Grimes and Rina Sawayama have recast the heavy guitars, sung-rap lyrics and gaudy aesthetic to fight back the patriarchy. SONGS DISCUSSED Korn - Freak On A Leash Rina Sawayama - STFU! Limp Bizkit - Break Stuff Poppy - I Disagree Nine Inch Nails - Head Like A Hole Grimes, Hana - We Appreciate Power Rina Sawayama - XS Britney Spears - Gimme More Britney Spears - Toxic MORE Check out Finn McKenty's YouTube channel The Punk Rock MBA starting with his video on what killed Nu-Metal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATllyNXF3Kg&t Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/07/2042m 3s

Rosie: Investigating a Crime at the Heart of the Music Industry

Listen closely to the start of the 2015 hit "Hey Mama" by David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Afrojack, and Bebe Rexha and you'll hear voices intoning a chant: "Be my woman, girl, I'll be your man." It's sample from a 1948 recording called "Rosie," and it's the propulsive hook of "Hey Mama," driving the song to over a billion views on YouTube. The voices in the sample belong to CB Cook and ten other unidentified prisoners at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, aka Parchman Farm. These men never got credit for their work, even though it's been reused by everyone from Guetta to the Animals to Nina Simone. We investigate the story of "Rosie" to understand an inequity that lies at the heart of the music business and our national consciousness. Songs Discussed David Guetta ft Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha, and Afrojack - Hey Mama CB Cook and Axe Gang - Rosie The Animals - Inside Looking Out Grand Funk Railroad - Inside Looking OUt KRS-One - Sound of Da Police Jay Z - Takeover Nina Simone - Be My Husband Check out Kembrew McLeod's and Peter DiCola's book Creative License to learn more about the law and culture of digital sampling. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/07/2028m 4s

Song of Summer 2020: TikTok Jams, Protest Anthems, Breezy Bops & Bummer Bangers

The 2020 song of summer competition is underway. We asked you for your favorite songs and put them in a head-to-head tournament. Find out which is the song for this very unusual summer.  ROUND 1 - TikTok Jams SAINt JHN - "Roses" Imanbek Remix  Megan Thee Stallion - Savage Remix (Feat. Beyoncé) The Weeknd - Blinding Lights ROUND 2 - Protest Anthems Beyoncé - Black Parade Anderson .Paak - Lockdown  YG - FTP ROUND 3 - Breezy Bops Dua Lipa - Physical Chloe x Halle - Do It Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar ROUND 4 - Bummer Bangers Taylor Swift - Cruel Summer Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness HAIM - Up From A Dream Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/07/2041m 48s

The Many Colors of Lady Gaga’s ‘Chromatica’

Lady Gaga’s 6th album is a conceptual release about a future that is neither utopian nor dystopian. Despite its sci-fi visuals, the album looks more to the past and present than the future. Chromatica gives us a world that sounds like 90s house music made for this summer’s cancelled Pride parties. It is lyrically somber, but musically upbeat, a productive tension that inspires hope. Gaga shared that she made this album to help her and her ‘little monsters’ dance through the pain. So we called on our listeners to dig up the most meaningful moments on the album and help us tour the world of Chromatica. SONGS DISCUSSED Lady Gaga - Chromatica I, 1000 Doves, Alice, Bad Romance, Stupid Love, Fun Tonight, Paparazzi, The Fame, Rain On Me, Since From Above, Babylon Gwen McCray - All This Love Cassius - Feeling For You Avicci & Sebastien Drums - My Feelings For You MORE "Welcome To Chromatica" playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6nIb85jPqtjhjuOB3DUI49?si=Vy9LLNWcSAeih_V2Amq6Aw Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/06/2035m 32s

I Am America (w Shea Diamond and Justin Tranter)

Shea Diamond has experienced so many facets of America as a black trans woman, and with songwriter Justin Tranter, she's woven those experiences into "I Am America," a blistering, funky anthem about community and belonging. Her track is also the theme song for the new HBO show "We're Here," which follows a team of a drag queens bringing drag shows to small towns across the country, challenging our assumptions about who makes up the "real America." We sit down with Diamond and Tranter to discuss singing as preaching, what it means to release this track during Pride month, why the flat seventh hits so good, and how the horns on the song feature producer Eren Cannata's dad Richie on sax, making this bop a true family affair. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/06/2022m 22s

Baz Luhrmann’s “Sunscreen Song” — The 90s’ Most Unlikely Hit (with Avery Trufelman)

In 1999 filmmaker Baz Luhrmann released the song “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen,” a 7-minute-long graduation speech set to downtempo electronic music. It was a highly unlikely hit that made its way across continents and eventually into the ears of a young Avery Trufelman via the album NOW That’s What I Call Music Volume 2. For over 20 years, Trufelman has applied the song’s advice to her daily life: “wear sunscreen… be nice to your siblings… do one thing every day that scares you.” This unusual song has left a lasting impression, and yet for Trufelman, it makes no sense that “The Sunscreen Song” was commercially successful. We investigate the song’s many architects — novelist Kurt Vonnegut, Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich and Baz Luhrmann himself — to unpack one of the internet’s first conspiracy theories that turned into Billboard’s greatest outlier.  SONGS DISCUSSED Baz Luhrmann - Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) Think - Once You Understand MORE The BBC documentary on “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cszvtr Another speech set to music, Byron MacGregor/Gordon Sinclair’s “Americans,” peaked at #4 in 1974 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/06/2052m 54s

Jacob Collier on staying creative and his 646 track song “All I Need”

Quarantined in his family’s music room, musician Jacob Collier has been remarkably productive. Known for his polymathic musical talents, Collier has used this time to reflect on, and release new music. His latest song “All I Need,” was created with new technology that let him record remotely with his collaborators Mahalia and Ty Dolla $ign. The song is uplifting. It modulates into arcane keys that evoke the euphoria of newfound love. Collier’s also been convening live streams with artists like Tori Kelly and Chris Martin where Collier seemingly defies the laws of physics to collaborate, in time, over long-distance video chat. Collier is a hopeful voice, demonstrating how music can boost our spirits in dark times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/06/2035m 48s

What it means to make music in 2020

The pandemic has upended the art and business of making music. Producing, performing and releasing — every aspect is new and uncharted. The need for social distancing means that it’s unsafe to collaborate in small studios or perform for large crowds — not to mention finding the right thing to sing about in such a charged moment. We’re telling three stories about how artists are working within these constraints: Ricky Reed and John-Robert have found a way to generate a creative spark remotely, Jacob Collier has defied the laws of physics to master live performance over the internet, and Dua Selah has released a powerful new track that helps support the protests in Minneapolis. Everything is radically different than it was a few months ago, but these stories shine a light on why making music matters more than ever in 2020.  SONGS DISCUSSED Lizzo - Juice John-Robert, Ricky Reed, Zach Sekof - Favorite Boy Bill Withers - Lean On Me performed by Ty Dolla Sign & Jacob Collier Jacob Collier - All I Need D’Angelo - Feel Like Making Love Stevie Wonder - You And I performed by Tori Kelly and Jacob Collier Dua Saleh - Body Cast Dua Saleh - Sugar Mama Dua Saleh - Moth Dua Saleh - Smut Sister Rosetta Tharp - This Little Light Of Mine MORE Watch Nice Live on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC24tNtu1NuD9yZ9t2YUATIQ Dua Saleh's "Body Cast" BandCamp campaign: https://duasaleh.bandcamp.com/track/body-cast Listen to Dua Saleh's new album Rosetta: https://duasaleh.bandcamp.com/album/rosetta Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/06/2035m 33s

Big Floyd And The Influence Of Houston Chopped N Screwed Music

In a Rolling Stone article titled “He Shook The World: George Floyd’s Legendary Houston Legacy”, writer Charles Holmes reveals the musical past of the man who has become an international symbol for justice since his murder. Known as “Big Floyd” in his Houston community, he was part of the city’s Screwed Up Click, a hip-hop collective centered around the now-legendary producer DJ Screw. This underground scene created a style of slowed-down “chopped and screwed” hip-hop that seeped into mainstream hip-hop, and has even been appropriated by bubblegum Top 40. In this episode we unpack how this chopped and screwed sound took over pop and shine a light on George Floyd’s involvement with the Screwed Up Click. MORE Read Charles Holmes’ Rolling Stone article: '”He Shook the World': George Floyd's Legendary Houston Legacy” SONGS DISCUSSED DJ Screw - Sittin On Top Of The World ft. Big Floyd Mike Jones - Still Tippin’ Mikes Jones - Back Then Chamillionaire - Ridin Chamillionaire - Roll Call Paul Wall - Sittin Sidewayz Nelly - Grillz ft Paul Wall Kanye West, Paul Wall - Drive Slow Drake - November 18th A$AP Rocky - Purple Swag The Weeknd - Initiation Beyoncé - Bow Down THE SCOTTS - THE SCOTTS Travis Scott - Sicko Mode Travis Scott - R.I.P. Screw DJ Screw - In The Air Tonight E.S.G. DJ Screw - Swangin and Bangin DJ Screw - Screwed Up Click - Red pt 2 DJ Screw - 3 In The Morning DJ Screw - June 27th Freestyle DJ Screw and Lil’ Keke - Pimpin Tha Pen Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/06/2032m 7s

Carly Rae Jepsen: Meeting The Muse

They say you should never meet your idols, that you’ll only be disappointed. We had this possibility in mind going into our first interview with Carly Rae Jepsen, the pop star who inspired us to start our podcast Switched on Pop when Nate taught “Call Me Maybe” as a case study in music theory. Six years later and hundreds of pleading emails later, the time had come to meet the muse and unpack her latest offering, Dedicated Side B. In the course of composing her last two albums, E•MO•TION and Dedicated, Jepsen wrote over 200 songs. Many of her favorite works didn’t make it on either final album, so she’s started a tradition of releasing “Side B” records on the one-year anniversary of her last release. Her newest collection of unreleased music fluidly crosses decades of musical history and spans a vast emotional range. We spoke with Jepsen over Zoom about how she curated her latest B-Side release from a massive body of work. Would this beatific figure, once described by poet Hanif Abdurraqib and the “most honest pop musician working,” live up to her reputation? Listen to find out. SONGS DISCUSSED Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe, Julien, Party For One, Now That I’ve Found You, No Drug Like Me, Want You In My Room, Cut To The Feeling, Run Away With Me, Window, This Love Isn’t Crazy, Solo Squeeze - Tempted By The Fruit Irving Berlin - God Bless America performed by Kate Smith Vulfpeck - Back Pocket Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/05/2042m 14s

Why lo-fi is the perfect background music

Lo-Fi hip-hop has emerged as a hugely popular genre and internet subculture. Its millions of loyal fans rely on curated lo-fi playlists and live-streams to write to, study to and even fall asleep to. Heck, we even wrote a good chunk of our book to Spotify’s lo-fi beats playlists. There’s just something about those ambient, spacey, plodding beats that place us in a state of determined zen. But what of its musical roots? Who are its stars? And why, despite its mass following on YouTube, Spotify and elsewhere, is it nearly impossible to spot on the Billboard? We trace lo-fi from its godfathers to its moments in the sun, to the complex creative ecosystem playing out on streaming platforms today. MORE You can find music from this episode on this week’s Spotify playlist Sign up for Cherie Hu’s newsletter Water & Music that sent us down the lo-fi hip hop rabbit hole Check out Seneca B on Spotify: Check out weird inside on Spotify Check out eevee on Spotify SONGS DISCUSSED Brenky - Bye Brenky - People J Dilla ft. Common, D’Angelo - So Far To Go Isley Brothers - Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love), Pts. 1&2 Charlatan - Wasted Jazz Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/05/2037m 42s

Eurovision Lives! (with Netta)

Like many events, the international song competition Eurovision 2020 has been canceled. Sadly, there will be no champion crowned this year... or will there?! Charlie and Nate comb through the emotional, the catchy, and the downright bizarre entries, then—with some help from our audience and 2018 Eurovision winner Netta—pick the best song in all the land. Come for the Lithuanian moose dance, stay for the unshakeable power of pop glory in a world gone mad. Songs discussed Netta - Toy Netta - Ricki Lake Senhit - FREAKY! Tornike Kipiani - Take Me as I am Go-A - Solovey Efendi - Cleopatra Gjon’s Tears - Repondez-moi The Roop - On Fire Dadi Freyr - Think About Things Roxen - Alcohol You Little Big - Uno Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/05/2042m 20s

How To Soundtrack A Villain: Killing Eve

When BBC America reached out to do a piece about the music of Killing Eve, we jumped at the opportunity. The series antagonist, Villanelle, is an unpredictable assassin. On a dime she shifts from cold and calculating to child-like and jocular. Her personality swings are accompanied by a captivating psychedelic pop soundtrack. Whether you are familiar with the series or not, this no spoilers episode breaks down music from the 1960s that has earned its place on primetime.  SPONSORED BY BBC AMERICA Songs Discussed Unloved - We Are Unloved  Psychotic Beats - Killer Shangri-:ah The Ronettes - Walking In The rain The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Brigitte Bardot - Contact Betty Hutton - It’s Oh So Quiet Björk - It’s Oh So Quiet Jo Stafford - Some Enchanted Evening Duke Ellington - Skin Deep Roxette - Listen To Your Heart Jacqueline Taieb - La Plus Belle Chanson The Beatles - Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! Support explainer journalism — all things pop included — by making a contribution to Vox today: Visit bit.ly/givepodcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/05/2039m 36s

Did Fiona Apple Just Release a Perfect Album?

Since 1996, Fiona Apple has only ever had one hit, “Criminal.” Nonetheless, every album she’s released has been nominated for a Grammy. Her newest work, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, has received near universal acclaim. Apple’s songs are simultaneously idiosyncratic and relatable, tackling unusual themes for pop songs: middle school bullies, uncomfortable dinner conversation, toxic masculinity and female friendship. Apple accompanies her idiosyncratic lyrics with homemade percussion and only minimal piano. The final product is on the borderline between crafted composition and impromptu improvisation. It is this duality which makes the work relatable and timeless. Her two song suite “I Want You To Love Me” and “Shameika” have connections to Beethoven, Yeats, and Patti Smith, which we break down in the first half. And listeners call in during the second half to share what moved them about the album.  Songs Discussed Fiona Apple - Fast As You Can, Criminal, Under The Table, I Want You To Want Me, Shameika, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, Ladies, Heavy Balloon  Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata Patti Smith - Gloria: In Excelsis Deo Van Morrison - Gloria Support explainer journalism — all things pop included — by making a contribution to Vox today: Visit bit.ly/givepodcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/04/2035m 24s

Doja Cat’s “Say So” is a Masterclass in Good Times

Doja Cat has gatecrashed the Top 40 with her effervescent hit “Say So.” How did this Internet personality best known for a song whose chorus is “B***h, I’m a cow!” join the ranks of Dua Lipa, Drake, and The Weeknd? The answer involves a voice that careens from gentle soul to fierce rapping, a catchy chorus that grabs you from the first measure, and most importantly, interpolating the guitar patterns of Nile Rodgers, the secret sauce behind four decades of smash hits.  Songs featured: Doja Cat - Say So, Juicy, Fancy, Moo Chic - Good Times Sugarhill Gang - Rappers Delight Diana Ross - I’m Coming Out David Bowie - Let’s Dance Daft Punk - Get Lucky Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/04/2030m 46s

Were We Wrong About Kanye West?

A lot of people miss the old Kanye. The last time we reviewed his music was back in 2016 when he released the work-in-progress album “The Life Of Pablo.” Since then, Kanye has put out four albums: Ye, Kids See Ghost (with Kid Cudi), Jesus Is King, and Jesus Is Born (with the Sunday Service Choir). In the same period he’s also caused a media ruckus with his union to the Kardashian family and his foray into political punditry. His public persona has largely overshadowed his musical offerings. But what does the music communicate when we separate it from its messenger? We take the opportunity to listen with an open mind, especially to his most recent two albums. In the first half we examine his recent innovations as one of hip-hop’s best produced with the help of RapAnalysis.com’s Martin Connor. In the second half we speak with music industry veteran and gospel expert Naima Cochrane in order to place Kanye’s spiritual turn in a larger arch of gospel history.  Songs Discussed Kanye West - Follow God, Closed On Sunday, Father Stretch My Hands, Freestyle 4, Every Hour, Golddigger, Famous, Jesus Is Lord, I Thought About Killing You  Fat’s Domino - The Fat Man Run DMC - Walk This Way (ft. Aerosmith) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/04/2047m 50s

Aussie2Aussie: 5SOS on Tame Impala (with Luke Hemmings & Calum Hood)

The band 5 Seconds Of Summer have just released their fourth studio album, Calm. Lead vocalist Luke Hemmings and bassist Calum Hood join us to talk about some of Australia’s biggest hits. In the first half of our conversation we discuss the catchy rhythms and vocals in Tame Impala’s song “Borderline,” a song driven more by vibe than conventional structures. Then on side B, 5SOS break down their new single single “Wildflower” and its countless 80s references. One sound in particular, the “stab” or “orchestral hit” in "Wildflower's" chorus, truly evokes the 80s. The song’s producer, Rami Yacoub, had used the sound before on Britney Spears “Lucky,” as had 100s of other artists who first got their hands on this sample from an Australian inventor who forever changed the sound of music. Songs Discussed 5 Seconds Of Summer - Youngblood 5 Seconds Of Summer - Who Do You Love 5 Seconds Of Summer - Lie To Me (ft. Julia Michaels)  AC/DC - Highway To Hell Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning  Tame Impala - Same Ol Mistakes  Tame Impala - Borderline Post Malone - Circles Slipknot - Before I Forget  Massive Attack - Teardrop  Tom Petty - Wildflowers 5 Seconds Of Summer - Wildflower  Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood Cindy Lauper - Time After Time Oasis - Wonderwall INXS - Need You Tonight Talk Talk - It’s My Life Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World Enya - Orinoco Flow Stravinsky - Firebird Suite Afrika Bambaataa- Planet Rock Pet Shop Boys - Always On My Mind Britney Spears - Lucky  5 Seconds Of Summer - Red Desert  More Estelle Caswell’s Earworm Video on Peter Vogel’s Fairlight CMI and her playlist of Orchestral Hits Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/04/2037m 16s

The (murder) Ballad of Joe Exotic “Tiger King” (with Robert Moor)

Scandal and intrigue surround Joe Exotic, the central character of the new Netflix documentary Tiger King. Among the many bizarre traits of this zoo keeper, Exotic tries his hand at country music. Interspersed throughout the series, Joe sings about his love of big cats as well as his hatred for his nemesis in a gruesome murder ballad. But it turns out that amongst his many lies, Exotic’s country career may be yet another fabrication. Charlie speaks with journalist Robert Moor, host of the podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King about who’s really behind the music.  Songs Discussed Joe Exotic - I Saw A Tiger Vince Johnson Band - He’s Loving You Jake Owen - Down To The Honkytonk  Lonestar - My Front Porch Looking In Joe Exotic - Here Kitty Kitty Spindrift - Speak To The Wind Johnny Cash - Long Black Veil Joe Exotic - This Is My Life George Straight - Living For The Night Sean Watkins - I Saw A Tiger More Robert Moor’s Twitter Thread on what Tiger King left out NY Mag: Tiger King Joe Exotic and His American Animals  Podcast: Joe Exotic: Tiger King Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/04/2037m 11s

D’Angelo and the Legacy of Voodoo (with Faith Pennick)

In the year 2000, D'Angelo released Voodoo—with some help from Questlove, Angie Stone, Raphael Saadiq, and a band of jazz veterans—an album that has cast a long shadow with its unique sound of stripped-down soul, Faith Pennick, who literally wrote the book on the record, joins to break how D'Angelo broke the "shiny suit" regime of R&B, explore how he conjured the spirits of J Dilla, Prince, and Roberta Flack, and consider how one video almost derailed his career. Check out D'Angelo's Voodoo by Faith Pennick, from Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 Series Songs discussed: D'Angelo - The Line, The Root, Spanish Joint, Chicken Grease, Untitled (How Does it Feel) Rev JC Burnett - Amazing Grace Prince - Kiss Justin Timberlake - Damn Girl Thundercat - Them Changes Slum Village - CB4 Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola - There Used to be a Nightclub There Roy Hargrove - Strasbourg / St. Denis Solange - Cranes in the Sky Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/03/2044m 44s

"Happy Birthday" is the Worst (with Anne-Marie)

With Nate’s birthday around the corner, it’s time to admit that our go-to birthday song is actually the worst to sing to someone. There are reasons both musicological and cultural why this wooden celebratory number needs to go, ranging from funereal rhythms to Wagnerian opera to the Wizard of Oz. Tune in to uncover the horror of “Happy Birthday” and consider some of the alternatives on offer, including a recent Anne-Marie hit that takes birthday wishes and turns them around 180º. Songs Discussed Frédéric Chopin - Piano Sonata No 2 in B-Flat Minor, III John Williams - The Imperial March Judy Garland - Over the Rainbow Richard Wagner - Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde The Beatles - Birthday Anne-Marie - Birthday Fetty Wap ft. Monty - Birthday Stevie Wonder - Happy Birthday Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/03/2034m 24s

Bad Bunny Has A Message For Your Mom

Latin Trap megastar Bad Bunny may be best known to American audiences for his feature on Cardi B’s #1 “I Like It’, but the Puerto Rican native is known to music-lovers worldwide for more than just those few bars. Bunny started off as a student in Universidad de Puerto Rico studying audio visual communications. He was bagging groceries at a supermarket in PR when he posted his song ‘Diles’ on SoundCloud. That moody, 808-fueled track turned into a record deal, as well as huge feature opportunities with bigger acts like Becky G, and of course--Cardi. His newest project, YHLQMDLG (an acronym that stands for the Spanish translation of “I do what I want”) is currently smothering the Hot Latin Billboard Chart. The albums opening track, "Si Veo a Tu Mamá" had us listening to the origins of Bossa nova, and investigate how elevator music-sounding samples and overused chord progressions add up to latin trap magic for El Conejito Malo.  Special thanks to Bad Bunny super fan and listener Maita, for never giving up hope :) Songs discussed: Bad Bunny - Diles Becky G ft. Bad Bunny - Mayores Cardi B ft. Bad Bunny, J Balvin - I Like It Bad Bunny ft. Drake - MIA  Bad Bunny - Si Veo a tu Mamá Antônio Carlos Jobim - The Girl From Ipanema Bad Bunny - Soliá Bad Bunny ft. Kendo Kaponi, Arcangel - P FKN R Bad Bunny ft. Jowell & Randy, Nengo Flow - Safeara Missy Elliot - Get Ur Freak On Bad Bunny - <3 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/03/2035m 50s

The Fire & Fury Of Overcoats

Gone are the days of a clear dividing line between “mainstream pop” and “conscious” music. Many of the world’s highest-grossing pop stars are climbing the charts with lyrics that seem to get right at the very weight of human existence. They’re tackling climate change, and drug addiction, crippling anxiety, inequality, sexism and racism. It’s a fascinating shift to witness. That’s why this week, we’re especially thrilled to be chatting with folk-pop duo Overcoats. JJ Mitchell and Hana Elion are known for otherworldly harmonies that sound more like a single voice diverging in two rather than the other way around. We discuss two singles off their new album “The Fight” (out now), and reflect on how seemingly small decisions about a song’s arrangement can make things like anxiety and microaggressions feel a bit easier to carry. Here’s a teaser quote from the episode that we’ll be thinking about for a while: “We often use repetition as a way of saying something until you believe it...that’s very true for this song as well. We’re singing ‘There’s a fire / There’s a fury’...it feels apocalyptic. But the more you say ‘We’ll get through it’ and the more voices join in, it starts to feel true, and starts to feel hopeful.” SONGS DISCUSSED Overcoats - The Fool Overcoats - Fire & Fury The Supremes - Stop In The Name Of Love LCD Soundsystem - Watch The Tapes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/03/2038m 33s

Can't Help Falling in Lauv (the interview)

This week, Charlie talks to Lauv, the singer, songwriter and producer behind unfailingly catchy tracks such as “Mean It” and “I Like Me Better.” Lauv’s a master at making the sad feel fun—masking themes of anxiety and betrayal with upbeat, percussive production. He even does a bit of the opposite, too, by infusing his joyful songs with vulnerability and emotional complexity. You’ll soon be able to hear all of that and more on his debut studio album, ~how I’m feeling~, out later this week. Our conversation explores Lauv’s song-making process and touches on everything from T Swift (Lauv counts himself a fan), “mind” rhymes, and the particular nuances of loneliness in the internet age. Today’s episode also features the voices of some of our wonderful listeners--special thanks to Katy, Sadie, Robert, Genevieve, Keen and everyone else who wrote in with questions for Lauv. Songs Discussed: Lauv with Anne-Marie - fuck, i'm lonely Lauv & LANY - Mean It Lauv - I Like Me Better Lauv & Troye Sivan - i’m so tired... Lauv - Changes Lauv - Modern Loneliness Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/03/2033m 56s

What Happens When Justin Bieber Samples Your Music

When Bristol-based producer Laxcity logged onto Twitter to find out that Justin Bieber sampled his music, he was at first unphased. The sampled material came from a royalty-free sample pack on Splice.com, free for Splice users to add to their track. Then accusations of theft started rolling in. Another artist, Asher Monroe, had used the same sample just a few weeks earlier and he accused Bieber of copying the idea. Laxcity inserted himself into the argument to show that the so-called offending sound, was in fact his, but not limited to anyone’s use. This mixup led to Bieber shouting out Laxcity, giving the nascent producer a career boost. On his episode we speak with Laxcity, Splice CEO Steve Martocci, PEX COO Amadea Choplin and Verge reporter Dani Deahl (who first reported the story) to unpack how sampling works in today’s music. Then we hear how Beiber’s new album, “Changes,” interprets the sample to convey Bieber’s personal evolution in the public eye. Songs Discussed Laxcity - Good Morning (Splice Sample) Asher Monroe - Synergy Justin Bieber - Running Over, Sorry, Available, Yummy, Intentions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/02/2035m 6s

Return Of The Guitar: Halsey, 5 Seconds of Summer, Joji

In 2019 guitar made a comeback in the top 10. According to analysis from Hit Songs Deconstructed, about a third of all songs featured the electric guitar, a nearly 10% jump from the year before. In 2020 this trend isn’t stopping. Recent releases by Halsey, 5 Seconds of Summer and Joji all prominently feature electric guitars tones. They reference 90s nu-metal, grunge and metal genres. More than a nostalgic nod, these songs draw from an era that was self-consciously “alternative” to convey disaffection, frustration and longing. SONGS DISCUSSED Khalid, Normani - Love Lies Juice WRLD - Lucid Dreams Halsey - Without Me Joji - Slow Dancing In The Dark Joji - Run Metallica - Enter Sandman Santo & Jonny - Sleep Walk Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode Buddy Holly - That’ll Be The Day LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge 5 Seconds Of Summer - No Shame Nirvana - Come As You Are Halsey - Experiment On Me Rage Against The Machine - Bulls On Parade Limp Bizkit - Break Stuff MORE Listen to our conversation about MIA’s “Paper Planes” and Drake’s “God’s Plan” with Sam Sanders on NPR’s It’s Been A Minute Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/02/2027m 44s

Look At Selena Gomez Now with Justin Tranter & Ian Kirkpatrick

Selena Gomez has her first #1 song on the Hot 100. “Lose You To Love Me” is a confessional look at her past five years of heartbreak and health challenges. By contrast, her single “Look At Her Now” is a testament to moving on and moving up. Each of these songs inhabits a different musical and lyrical world and we were lucky to get to speak with her collaborators on the songs to take us behind the scenes of how they came to be. Justin Tranter and Ian Kirkpatrick are two of today’s most in-demand writers. They walk us through how Selena takes her personal emotions and translates them into public catharsis on her album “Rare.” Songs Discussed Selena Gomez - Vulnerable, Lose You To Love Me, Look At Her Now Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmmm Dua Lipa - New Rules More Watch Selena Gomez interviewed by Zane Lowe on Beats One. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/02/2037m 56s

Five Directions: How do the solo efforts of One Direction stack up?

The boy band One Direction has been on hiatus for nearly five years, yet only now have all of the members of the group released a solo album. But how do these efforts from Niall, Liam, Harry, Louis and Zayn stack up? Vox Writer (and One Direction fan) Alexa Lee compares albums as a challenge for each member to rise to their greatest artistic potential. SONGS DISCUSSED Zayn - Let Me Zayn - Entertainer Niall Horan - Nice To Meet You Niall Horan - Put A Little Love On Me Liam Payne - Strip That Down Liam Payne - Hips Don't Lie Louis Tomlinson - Walls Louis Tomlinson - Kill My Mind Harry Styles - Adore You Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar Harry Styles - Cherry MORE Read Alexa’s piece “2 winners and 3 losers from One Direction’s solo albums” Listen to Nate convince Charlie to love One Direction in an early episode of Switched On Pop Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/02/2036m 40s

Post Malone has us Running in Circles

Post Malone has confounded your hosts since he emerged on the scene, so this week we sit down to try and get to the bottom of our cycles of attraction and repulsion through deep analysis of his current hit, "Circles." Along the way, we discuss trenchant questions such as: How is the minor IV always the saddest of all chords? Why does Posty tend to sound like a certain ruminant mammal? And, what happens when you plug Tchaikovsky into a Wu Tang name generator? Songs Discussed: Post Malone - Circles, Rockstar, Stay, Congratulations, Candy Paint, Fleetwood Mac - Landslide Tchaikovsky - Symphony No 6, Finale And don't forget to enter the Wu Tang Name Generator Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/01/2040m 14s

Hopes and Fears of Mac Miller, Future, Drake, and Billie Eilish

Mac Miller, Future and Billie Eilish all have good and bad news to share. On Miller’s posthumous album, Circles, he exposes personal struggles with fame, addiction, and mental illness — sobering topics given his unintentional drug overdose last year. Yet at the same time we hear him searching for “good news,” practicing self care and accepting that “there's a whole lot more” waiting. Future & Drake’s celebration of material excess also finds them “working on the weekend” just to keep up appearances. Similarly, Billie Eilish has achieved “everything [she] wanted,” but dreams of death and darkness overwhelm her. But she’s buoyed by the support of her brother FINNEAS. Many pop songs are about a single emotion: love, heartbreak or exuberant joy. But these great songs evoke more complex emotions, existing somewhere in a liminal space between our hopes and fears. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/01/2044m 7s

Dua Lipa’s Disco Fever

Dua Lipa remembers the disco era in her hit “Don’t Start Now.” What may sound like just another dance floor track, upon deeper listening unfolds as a celebration of the genre. References to Gloria Gaynor, Chic, Giorgio Moroder and The Bee Gees are all waiting here for the curious listener to uncover. But so are the Italian and Daft Punk inspired bass lines. Yet the song is more than just one big disco ball cliché. It is brilliantly written too. We asked our listeners to help us highlight the best moments of the song as this is a song that continues to sound anew upon each playback. In 2020, the influence of Disco is still very much alive and Dua Lip’s “Don’t Start Now,” written with Caroline Ailin, Emily Warren and Ian Kirkpatrick, is a shining example of a great contemporary disco track.  Songs Discussed Dua Lipa - Don’t Start Now Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive Chic - Good Times Giorgio Mordoer - Baby Blue The Bee Gees - You Should Be Dancing The Michael Zager Band - Let’s All Chant MFSP - TSOP Todd Terje - Strandbar Piano Fred Falke and Alan Brav - Intro Daft Punk - Voyager Ryan Paris - Dolce Vita Madison Avenue - Don’t Call Me Baby Marvin Gaye - Got To Give It Up Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/01/2038m 54s

ICYMI: Chance The Rapper, Kehlani, & The Shifting Sound of R&B — with Oak Felder

The sound of R&B is difficult to pin down. Since the 1950s, the label has been used both as a genre and as a catch-all for the entirety of black popular music. Soul, funk, disco and even hip-hop have at times been covered by this "R&B" umbrella. On Chance The Rapper's new album, The Big Day, all of these influences come through—and he's not alone. On recent Kehlani records, 90s R&B and 2000s trap both play a role. But both these artists are a far cry from the 50s R&B sounds of Sam Cooke. To understand how R&B has changed over time, we consult with Trevor Anderson, manager of Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop chart. Then we speak with R&B super-producer Oak Felder to understand how R&B is progressing and what it might become. Songs Discussed Chance The Rapper – Hot Shower Chance The Rapper – I Got You Sam Cooke – You Send Me Elvis Presley – Crying In the Chapel The Temptations – I Can’t Get Next To You Mtume – Juicy Fruit Biggie – Juicy Toni Braxton – Breath Again Janet Jackson – That’s The Way Love Goes Boys II Men – I’ll Make Love To You Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing) Diddy – I’ll Be Missing You (feat. Faith Evans & 112) Nelly – Dilemma Kehlani – Distraction SWV – Weak Aaron Hall – I Miss You Usher – You Make Me Wanna Brandy – Sit-in Up In My Room Dru Hill – In My Bed Silk – Freak Me Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry Jodeci – Cry For you Mariah Carey – Vision of Love Kehlani Everything Is Yours Chance The Rapper – All Day Long Queen – Fat Bottom Girls Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out For an in depth history of R&B on Billboard, read Chris Molanphy's feature on Pitchfork. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/01/2055m 53s

ICYMI: Billie Eilish is a Different Kind of Pop Star (ft. FINNEAS)

On a trajectory to be one of the biggest pop stars for this generation, seventeen year old Billie Eilish is not, however, your typical pop star. Her music speaks to the real anxieties of young people without any veneer. She sings from the perspective of monsters and villains. Her hushed voice, baggy style, and direct demeanor subvert the norms of the pop princess. And her music is dark, but still catchy. Billie co-writes and produces her sound with her older brother Finneas O’Connell. Together this family duo have crafted the second biggest selling album of 2019, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” On this episode, we examine how Billie and Finneas crafted a cultural phenomenon, why their message speaks to this generation, and we speak with Finneas about the creation of their hit song “Bad Guy.” MORE Watch Billie and Finneas break down “Bury A Friend” on The New York TimesBillie Eilish – Ocean Eyes Billie Eilish – Bored Billie Eilish – You Should See Me In A Crown Billie Eilish – Bad Guy Billie Eilish – Bury A Friend Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People The Doors – People Are Strange Nine Inch Nails – Closer Billie Eilish – ilomilo Billie Eilish – All Good Girls Go To Hell Billie Eilish – Xanny Frank Sinatra – Dream A Dream Billie Eilish – I love you John Carpenter – Halloween Theme Billie Eilish – Bellyache MORE Billie Eilish explained on Vox.com Watch Billie and Finneas break down “Bury A Friend” on The New York Times Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/12/1946m 49s

Dolly Parton's America (with Jad Abumrad)

There are icons, and then there’s Dolly Parton. The country singer-turned-actress-turned-cultural phenomenon has produced a nearly unparalleled body of work, in both quantity (Parton is the sole or co-author of more than three thousand songs) and in legacy. Despite releasing her first album over 60 years ago, Parton’s songs are still covered and performed live by today’s pop artists. Presidential candidates are still selecting her songs as official walk-on music. So what is it exactly that makes her music so enduring? Today, we select four essential Dolly songs for dissection and try to answer that big question with the help of composer, longtime radio-maker and host of the new hit podcast, Dolly Parton’s America--Jad Abumrad. Whether or not you identify as a Dolly Parton fan, or even a country music fan, we think you’ll love this one. Songs discussed Dolly Parton - Dumb Blonde Dolly Parton - Down from Dover Dolly Parton - Jolene Dolly Parton - Light of a Clear Blue Morning Kesha - Praying Mariah Carey - Hero Andra Day - Rise Up Dolly Parton - 9 to 5 Stevie Wonder - I Wish Dolly Parton - Mule Skinner Blues Thanks to Jad, producer Shima Oliaee and the rest of the Dolly Parton’s America team. You can check out the eight episodes they’ve released so far, and keep an eye out for the final one at www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/dolly-partons-america. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/12/1940m 50s

Who's Afraid of the Sound of TikTok? (w Cat Zhang)

Bass distorted to the edge of audibility; voices croaking out dark and violent lyrics; a hacked-together DIY aesthetic. This isn't a fringe musical movement, this is the sound of TikTok, the video app used by millions in Generation Z. And soon enough it might also be the sound of pop as we know it. Cat Zhang from Pitchfork stops by to clue us into the sonic reality of music's newest platform, from Gordon Ramsay to pumpkins screaming in the dead of night. Songs Discussed Savage Ga$p, 93FEETOFSMOKE - Pumpkins scream in the dead of night haroinfather, Savage Ga$sp - Tunnel of Love Arizona Zervas - ROXANNE HL Wave, Jhonny Flames - Gordon Ramsay Hooligan Chase - Asshole Comethazine - Walk Peter Kuli, Jed Will - ok boomer Young Spool, Jakob - WTF Check out Cat's article The Anatomy of a TikTok Hit on Pitchfork Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/12/1936m 8s

Paper Planes, Chandelier & What the #@%! is Timbre? (with Constance Grady)

We hand over the hosting duties to Constance Grady, book reviewer for Vox.com, to discuss our new book/baby - Switched on Pop: How Popular Music Works and Why it Matters, and go deep on two specific concepts we haven’t touched nearly enough on the show: timbre (with the help of Sia’s “Chandelier) and sampling (via M.I.A.’s iconic “Paper Planes). The book of course goes further, devoting a full chapter each to sixteen different concepts we’ve explored on the show (think harmony, modulation, syncopation, genre), and pairing those concepts with the pop tracks that really bring them to life.  There are so many people who helped us get this thing from concept to bound stack of papers that you can hold in your hands, but right now, right here, we want to shout out: our listeners. You all shape the show every week by suggesting incredible episode ideas and recommending songs for us to break down. You also inspired this book, when you asked us year in and year out for a definitive guide to the essential musical knowledge necessary to understand contemporary pop. We hope you like it, and know that your emails, tweets and analysis continue to delight and inspire us to no end. SONGS DISCUSSED Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe Sia - Chandelier M.I.A. - Paper Planes MORE Switched on Pop: How Popular Music Works and Why it Matters is available now! Find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound or buy directly from Oxford University Press. Book illustrations by the indomitable Iris Gottlieb: https://www.irisgottlieb.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/12/1939m 43s

Prelude & Feud on a 'G' Thang: Biggie vs Tupac

The East Coast / West Coast hip hop feud between Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls is full of tragedy and conspiracy, but what did it really sound like? For the third season of of the hit podcast Slow Burn, host Joel Anderson and producer Christopher Johnson dig up untold stories about this infamous rivalry, and they join Nate and Charlie to break down boom bap, G Funk, and the surprising points of overlap between two titans of rap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/12/1945m 11s

Pop is the Sound We Need Right Now (with Electric Guest)

Electric Guest (Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton) take a left turn towards pop on “Dollar" — a song about making more out of less, something too many people find themselves to do right now. The music follows the same principle, turning cheap synths and canned horns into a symphony of sound. We chat with Asa about how the track — equally inspired by Stevie Wonder and Bertolt Brecht —came to be and why pop can be a balm in dark times. Songs Featured Electric Guest - Dollar Stevie Wonder - Uptight (Everything's Alright) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/11/1941m 32s

The Past, Present, and Future of EMO (with Allegra Frank)

Nate doesn’t know much about the musical style known as emo. Sadly, he was too busy nerding out on jazz during his youthful years to catch the moment. That’s a shame, because emo is experiencing a revival right now - most surprisingly within the world of hip hop. All of which leaves Nate in the awkward position of not really having any idea what’s going on, so thank goodness for some schooling by Vox culture reporter Allegra Frank, who spent her teenage years the right way: getting emotional to the soundtrack of emo. Her first lesson about this endlessly fascinating subculture? It’s way more than just a sound.  Songs discussed: Sunny Day Real Estate - Seven Jawbreaker - Do You Still Hate Me?! My Chemical Romance - I’m Not Okay (I Promise) Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We’re Goin Down Panic! At the Disco - I Write Sins not Tragedies Jimmy Eat World - Lucky Denver Mint Jimmy Eat World - A Praise Chorus Jimmy Eat World - The Middle American Football - Never Meant Foxing - Lich My Prince  The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die - Heartbeat in the Brain Check out more of Allegra’s work here: https://www.vox.com/authors/allegra-frank And learn more about Tom Mullen and Washed Out Emo here: http://www.washedupemo.com/about Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/11/1953m 13s

When Pop and Classical Collide (with James Bennett II)

Once upon a time, classical music was pop, so today it's worth stepping back and asking: where does one genre stop and the other begin? Can classical ever be popular again? And why do only some classical tracks makes for good samples? Luckily James Bennett II of classical station WQXR is on hand to break down these and other musical conundrums, including but not limited to: killer opera clowns, Bach hip hop hybrids, and the namesake album of this very podcast. Songs discussed: Dessa and the Minnesota Orchestra - Chaconne Enrico Caruso - Vesti la Giubbia Mario Lanza - Because You’re Mine Wendy Carlos - Prelude and Fugue in C Minor Jackie Evancho - Nessun Dorma Jackie Evancho - Burn Lindsay Stirling - Underground Vitamin String Quartet - Shallow Florence Price - Symphony 1 Nas - I Can Black Eyed Peas - Back 2 Hip Hop Victoria - Impropreia Kanye West - Gone Check out more of James's writing here: https://www.wqxr.org/people/james-bennett-ii/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/11/191h 0m

Unlocking the Rhythms of Rosalía

Back in the fall of 2017, our producer Megan Lubin went for a stroll near her house, popped in earbuds, and heard a song that’s stuck with her ever since: “Si Tú Supieras Compañero” (“If you only knew, my friend”), by the Spanish pop star Rosalía. Since then, Rosalía’s star has continued, especially after the 2018 release of “El Mal Querer,” Rosalía’s genre-blending album of R&B and flamenco.  On this episode, we dig into Rosalía’s sound to try and figure out what stopped Megan in her tracks back then, and what keeps us coming back. With the help of New York Times Magazine writer Marcela Valdes, we break down key elements of the flamenco tradition, like the hard-to-define magic of duende, and count out some of the diabolical rhythms that keep us dancing.  Songs Discussed Rosalía - Si Tú Supieras Compañero Rosalía - BAGDAD (Cap.7: Liturgia)  Rosalía - PIENSO EN TU MIRÁ (Cap.3: Celos) Episode Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4zRce31m3RhCjVwmSSMz2Q Read “Rosalía’s Incredible Journey from Flamenco to Megastardom” by Marcela Valdes: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/08/magazine/rosalia-flamenco.html Watch Rosalía performing “Me quedo contigo”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32d1bq-kG5c More coverage of Rosalía from The FADER magazine: https://www.thefader.com/artist/rosalia **A previous version of this episode claimed that Alicia Key's "Fallin'", Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man", "Marvin Gaye's "Here, My Dear" and Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" were all written in 3/4 time. That was in error, and we've edited the episode to reflect that. CORRECTION After airing this episode, listeners informed us that many Romani people consider the term “gypsy” to be antiquated, discriminatory and derogatory. We apologize for airing this this word in the episode, and will avoid its usage in all forgoing work. See the NOW foundation’s explanation for further detail: The “G” Word Isn’t for You: How “Gypsy” Erases Romani Women Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/11/1949m 39s

Rihanna Party! (with Gina Delvac)

Last year, NPR Music ran an audacious headline: "Rihanna Is The 21st Century's Most Influential Musician." Millions and millions of fans the world over agree, and while we try to avoid overt expressions of pop favoritism, we think they’ve got a strong case. It’s for that reason and a dozen others that we were thrilled to welcome Gina Delvac of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend back to the show to discuss the legendary career of one Ms. Robyn Rihanna Fenty. As we all await her ninth studio album (R9), join us for a virtual* blunt-smoke-laced tour through the hit songs that defined her early sound, and a delectable deep dive into her most recent album, ANTI. *Zero blunts were enjoyed at the time of recording. Songs Discussed Rihanna - Pon de Replay Rihanna ft. Jay-Z - Umbrella Rihanna - What’s My Name Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris - We Found Love  Rihanna - Cheers (Drink to That) Rihanna - You Da One Rihanna - B*tch Better Have My Money Rihanna ft. Drake - Work Rihanna ft. SZA - Consideration Rihanna - Needed Me Check out Jenny Gathright's NPR article “Rihanna Is The 21st Century's Most Influential Musician” here: https://www.npr.org/2018/08/15/638551793/rihanna-is-the-21st-centurys-most-influential-musician And find even more work from our wonderful contributors this week down below: Gina: http://ginadelvac.com/ Ivie: https://ivieani.contently.com/ Zoe: https://zoehaylock.com/ Cate: https://www.cate-young.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/10/1955m 15s

Why U Love 2 Listen 2 Prince (with Anil Dash)

Anil Dash is obsessed with Prince. Since he’s the host of the tech podcast Function, he has a unique perspective on the Purple One’s complicated relationship with technology. Anil joins the show to break down the many ways that Prince predicted the sound and science of modern pop, from drum machines to online distribution to internet culture. We’ll discuss how Michael Jackson jacked Prince’s electronic experimentation for Thriller, why Prince liked to lurk in fan chat rooms, and how he found ways to change his sound without ever sacrificing his integrity. We’re only beginning to understand Prince’s legacy, but Anil takes us one step closer to fully appreciating the ahead-of-their-time talents of a once-in-a-century artist.  Songs featured: Prince - 1999 Kraftwerk - The Robots Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message The Human League - Don’t You Want Me Baby Prince - Little Red Corvette Michael Jackson - Thriller Santana ft. Rob Thomas - Smooth Prince ft. Eve - Hot Wit U Prince ft. Ani Difranco - Eye Love U, But Eye Don’t Trust U Anymore Prince - How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore Prince - Black Sweat Prince - THIS COULD BE US Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/10/1934m 29s

A Brief History of Men Singing Really High

Men singing high is so ubiquitous in modern pop that we might take it granted, never pausing to ask: has it always been this way? Estelle Caswell, who makes the Emmy-winning Earworm series for Vox, decided to find out, and she stops by to share results from her painstaking study of male falsetto in pop music from 1958 to today. Some of her findings may surprise, like 1996 was the peak year for falsetto, Justin Timberlake doesn't sing as you high at might think, and falsetto has been around as long as pop itself.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/10/1946m 56s

Total Request Live! Taylor, Lana, Kim, and More (with Sam Sanders)

NPR's Sam Sanders stops by to break down the tracks that Switched On listeners have been loving. Swedish dancefloor confessionals, songs that stop time, the specificity of Lana Del Rey, and the awkwardness of descending fourths: it's all on the table in this freewheeling conversation of deep musical nerdiness. Songs DiscussedTove Lo ft Kylie Minogue - Really don’t like uCamila Cabello - LiarAce of Base - All That She WantsTyler the Creator - EARFQUAKETaylor Swift - Cruel SummerLana Del Rey, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus - Don’t Call Me AngelLana Del Rey - Happiness is a butterflyKing Princess - ProphetKim Petras - Hillside BoysIDK - PornoJai Paul - Str8 Outta MumbaiJai Paul - Genevieve (Unfinished)Many thanks to everyone who called in for this one: Amanda, Jackie, Melanie, Alec, Madeleine, John B, Steve, Courtney, Julia, Zach, Lee, Tara, Habbi, and of course - John from Baltimore. For more of Sam's great takes on culture, check out It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders.  CORRECTION: A version of this episode incorrectly stated that Jack Antonoff was a writer on the song "Lover." Taylor Swift was the sole credited songwriter on that song, while Jack Antonoff has a production credit on the piece. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/10/1942m 48s

Mastering Music (with Dallas Taylor of Twenty Thousand Hertz)

Dallas Taylor, host of the stellar sound design series Twenty Thousand Hertz, stops by to fill Nate in on the science and style of mastering: the subtle art that explains why Metallica had to re-release a controversial album, Kanye sounds so crisp, and why the best pop really pops.  Songs Discussed Lizzo - Juice Kanye West - Heartless Led Zeppelin - Stairway to heaven Pink Floyd - Money Daft Punk - Get Lucky Metallica - The Day That Never Comes DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper The Beatles - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Intrigued by mastering? Get your fix with the Twenty Thousand Hertz episode The [Compressed] History of Mastering. We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: https://voxmedia.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ewVXHPZIsQNlxCR?Source=note Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/10/1956m 38s

Jazz 1959

Charlie's out on parental leave, which means no one is here to stop Nate from going off the rails. And you know what means... JAZZ! As soon as dad left the room, Nate enlisted his favorite journalist, jazz and sports writer Natalie Weiner, to come on the show and discuss her incredible 1959 Project — a day-by-day chronicle of jazz during one of its most pivotal years. We listen to classic 1959 albums Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and Dave Brubeck's Take Out, discuss the complex legacy of Billie Holiday, and dig into some of the year's forgotten gems. Sixty years later, jazz is no longer the cultural juggernaut is once was — but it still has much to teach us about pop culture of the present. Playlist: •Miles Davis - So What •Dave Brubeck - Take Five •Billie Holiday - Blue Moon •Billie Holiday - Billie's Blues •Erykah Badu - On & On •Amy Winehouse - There Is No Greater Love •Muriel Roberts - Sleigh Ride •Terry Pollard - Laura •Willene Barton and her Trio - Rice Pudding Check out the 1959 and 2019 jazz cuts we're listening to. We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: https://voxmedia.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ewVXHPZIsQNlxCR?Source=note Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/09/1949m 9s

BONUS: Charli XCX and The Future of Music (with Dani Deahl)

The pace of new music releases these days is dizzying. Sometimes it’s like watching someone do a magic trick--we *swear* those songs weren’t there a second ago! But then, there they are, popping up in batches right out of thin air. Of course, behind each individual release sits months of decision-making by the artist: who to collaborate with and when, how to structure the musical product of that collaboration, what to call it, how to release it, when, and on what platform. The list is long, and each of those choices has a big impact on how we hear the song. The Verge’s Dani Deahl recently sat down with reigning Princess of Pop, Charli XCX, to discuss how she approaches those decisions, and how that approach is bucking long-established norms in popular music. In this special bonus episode of Switched on Pop, Dani rings up Charlie (not XCX) to recap that conversation and put Charli (XCX)’s artistry in context. Via Dani, we learn that for Charli collaboration is more than just an artistic choice; and release strategy is much more than a major label playbook. There’s a total freedom in the way Charli releases music, and we love it. Huge thanks to Dani for bringing us this peek into her world. Songs discussed:Charli XCX - Boom ClapCharli XCX, Christine and the Queens - GoneCharli XCX ft. Lizzo - Blame It On Your LoveLizzo - Truth HurtsCatch the rest of Dani’s conversation with both Charli/es in the newest episode of The Verge’s ‘Future of Music’ video series, We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: https://voxmedia.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ewVXHPZIsQNlxCR?Source=note Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/09/1934m 46s

The “Baby Shark” Phenomenon (with Andrea Silenzi)

For most parents, “Baby Shark” is the nightmare that will not end. Ever since the South Korean educational company Pinkfong released the song earlier this year, it’s almost impossible to avoid. The infectious children’s tune has more than 2.3 billion views on YouTube and made it onto the Billboard Top 40 list. So what makes this song so catchy and irresistible to children? And how do the rest of us cope with the unavoidable hit while keeping our sanity? Andrea Silenz, host of the parenting podcast The Longest Shortest Time, and Charlie explore the phenomenon that is “Baby Shark. Songs DiscussedPinkfong - Baby SharkFrank Zappa - Baby SnakesStevie Wonder - Isn’t She Lovely Suzanne Vega - Tom’s DinerBaby Shark/ Tom’s Diner mashup “Baby Diner”The Weeknd - I Can’t Feel My FaceRadioheadPinkfong - The Penguin DancePinkfong - Lions in LoveDrake - God’s PlanMicheal Jackson - Billie JeanWhitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With SomebodyBruno Mars - Uptown FunkBeastie Boys - Brass MonkeyVanilla Ice - Ice Ice BabyJosh Groban - River The Beatles - All You Need Is LoveHarry Potter theme Raffi - Baby Beluga  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/09/1936m 52s

BONUS: Who are the Picassos of pop? (with Ross Golan)

Ross Golan is no stranger to Switched on Pop. This week, the songwriter and host of the hit podcast And The Writer Is… joins Charlie for a BONUS episode (cue siren) about the surprising lessons learned from a collective seven years behind the interview mic. Tune in as Ross and Charlie discuss the infinite shelf-life of classic songwriting techniques, the happy accidents behind some of your favorite hit songs, and the essential qualities of a good listener. Find more Ross on Switched on Pop in Episode 58, ‘What’s to Love About Ed Sheeran?’, and catch more of And The Writer Is… when Season 5 premiers this Monday, September 9th — anywhere you listen to podcasts. Episodes discussed:#80 How to ‘Make Me Feel’ with Lizzo#123 What BTS’s “Boy With Love” ft. Halsey Can Teach Us About K-pop#99 Entering Beard Phase (with Mike Posner)#107 How Streaming Changed the Sound of PopSongs Discussed:Lizzo - Truth HurtsSister Nancy - Bam BamPaul Anka - Put Your Hand on My ShoulderBTS ft. Halsey - Boy with LuvAriana Grande - Break Free Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/09/1947m 24s

Switched Off Book the Improvised Musical (with Jess McKenna and Zach Reino)

On this very special episode, we join forces with the hilarious podcast OFF BOOK. When our powers combine, Zach and Jess of Off Book, plus their killer backing band of Scott, Dana and Brett create an improvised musical, while Nate and Charlie break down the sound and structure of a Broadway show. Stay tuned for deep thoughts about what separates pop music from musicals, wild speculation about the origin of the word “vamp,” and an ENTIRE FREAKING MUSICAL COMPOSED FROM SCRATCH that will make you laugh your face off. This is not one to miss. Find more episodes of Off Book on their website h.earwolf.com/off, or anywhere you find podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/09/191h 31m

ICYMI: How to 'Make Me Feel' with Lizzo

"Make Me Feel," is the first hit from Janelle Monáe's 2018 album Dirty Computer,  and a sensual song about the fluidity of desire. In the pre-chorus, the singer proudly expresses that she is a "sexual bender." Fans have embraced the song for breaking free of normative sexual expectations. But these non-binary statements aren't limited to the lyrics. The message is reinforced with musical concepts drawn from the blues, Prince and Michael Jackson. To help break down this track, Nate and Charlie are joined by singer/rapper Lizzo. She and Monáe both collaborated with Prince, making Lizzo uniquely qualified to unwind his influence on the song. We also discuss Lizzo's song "Truth Hurts" and her podcast "Good As Hell" where she talks to the queens of hip hop. Hands down, Lizzo is one of the most talented, knowledgable and fun guests. You don't want to miss this episode. Songs DiscussedJanelle Monáe - Make Me FeelMichael Jackson - The Way You Make Me FeelMichael Jackson - Beat ItFats Domino - Blueberry HillPrince - KissYing Yang Twins - Wait (The Whisper Song)Lizzo - Truth HurtsSister Nancy - Bam Don't miss Lizzo's podcast "Good As Hell" on Spotify Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/09/1952m 16s

ICYMI: Why is 90s Pop so Bizarre?

Today we're revisiting an episode inspired by a pair of classic VH1 shows: “Behind the Music” and “Where Are They Now?” Our subjects are two songs representing the lunatic fringe of 90s culture, “Cotton Eyed Joe” and “How Bizarre.” In the course of our musicological investigation, we uncover dark truths about these seemingly anodyne hits that will make you question everything you know about pop music. And in the end, we reach a definitive answer to a perennially vexing question: “WTF was 90s music so weird?” Songs Discussed Rednex: Cotton Eye Joe Pop in an Oak The Way I Mate Cotton Eyed Joe: Fiddlin John Carson Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys Karen Dalton Chieftains Nina Simone OMC: How Bizarre Right On Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/08/1948m 30s

Songs of Summer Call-in Special

Every year, critics and media outlets the world over put out definitive song-of-summer guides based on... well, we’re not always entirely sure. Certainly popularity, as measured by streams and radio play; not to mention that bewildering feeling that creeps up some time mid-July, prompting whispered exclamations of: “man, this song is everywhere.” But the most ubiquitous track isn’t necessarily the one you’ll have on repeat on those steamy summer commutes to work, nor is it the song you’ll want soundtracking this year’s vacations, graduations, summer flings and backyard cookouts. In this episode, we abandon the pursuit of a single song of summer, and ask the question we’re more interested in: What does summer sound like? To answer that question, we asked you, our listeners, and got some downright awesome suggestions in return. Your voicemails covered everything from Hot Girl Summer anthems and nostalgia-inducing dance jams, to globally infused collaborations and just-released future-feeling indie rock cuts. Today, we travel across the full spectrum of summer feels, and the music that comes through when we need it the most. Songs DiscussedMUNA - Number One FanAmber Mark - Put You OnJonas Brothers - Only HumanShawn Mendes, Camila Cabello - SeñoritaCharlie XCX, Christine and the Queens - GoneBTS, Zara Larsson - Brand New DayKaty Perry - Teenage DreamPost Malone - SunflowerLil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus - Old Town RoadPinkfong - Baby Shark Khalid - BetterMegan Thee Stallion - Big ol’ FreakMegan Thee Stallion, Juicy J - Simon SaysSaweetie - My TypePetey Pablo - Freak-A-LeakCity Girls - Act UpMegan Thee Stallion, DaBaby - Cash ShitClairo - Sofia HAIM - Summer GirlLou Reed - Walk on the Wild SideMother’s Daughter - Miley CyrusRosalía - Aute CutureAriana Grande - NASABANKS - GimmeGrimes, Hana - We appreciate powerLizzo - Truth HurtsPaul McCartney - JetDon Henley - The Boys of SummerSantana, Rob Thomas - SmoothBritney Spears - ToxicThe Slits - I Heard it Through the Grapevine Missy Elliott - SlideFreddie Gibbs, Madlib - CataractsVampire Weekend - 2021 Misc extras Listen to all of these songs and more on the Switched on Pop Songs of Summer 2019 Playlist.  Note In this episode we made light of PTSD by using the term irreverently - thanks to listener feedback we're better aware of how destructive such diminishing comments can be to people dealing with trauma. We apologize for the misuse and will strive to avoid it in the future.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/08/1953m 59s

Chance The Rapper, Kehlani, & The Shifting Sound of R&B — with Oak Felder

The sound of R&B is difficult to pin down. Since the 1950s, the label has been used both as a genre and as a catch-all for the entirety of black popular music. Soul, funk, disco and even hip-hop have at times been covered by this "R&B" umbrella. On Chance The Rapper's new album, The Big Day, all of these influences come through—and he's not alone. On recent Kehlani records, 90s R&B and 2000s trap both play a role. But both these artists are a far cry from the 50s R&B sounds of Sam Cooke. To understand how R&B has changed over time, we consult with Trevor Anderson, manager of Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop chart. Then we speak with R&B super-producer Oak Felder to understand how R&B is progressing and what it might become. Songs Discussed Chance The Rapper – Hot Shower Chance The Rapper – I Got You Sam Cooke – You Send Me Elvis Presley – Crying In the Chapel The Temptations – I Can’t Get Next To You Mtume – Juicy Fruit Biggie – Juicy Toni Braxton – Breath Again Janet Jackson – That’s The Way Love Goes Boys II Men – I’ll Make Love To You Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing) Diddy – I’ll Be Missing You (feat. Faith Evans & 112) Nelly – Dilemma Kehlani – Distraction SWV – Weak Aaron Hall – I Miss You Usher – You Make Me Wanna Brandy – Sit-in Up In My Room Dru Hill – In My Bed Silk – Freak Me Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry Jodeci – Cry For you Mariah Carey – Vision of Love Kehlani Everything Is Yours Chance The Rapper – All Day Long Queen – Fat Bottom Girls Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out For an in depth history of R&B on Billboard, read Chris Molanphy's feature on Pitchfork. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/08/1955m 19s

Beyoncé's Gift To Africa (with Ivie Ani)

For the live action remake of the Lion King, Beyoncé, (who voices Nala in the film), recorded and curated a companion soundtrack called The Gift. She worked with leading Afropop stars to expose the music of the continent to a global audience. In her piece, “Diversity Is in the Details: What Beyoncé’s 'The Lion King: The Gift' Gets Right and Wrong,” Okayplayer music editor Ivie Ani argues that the album highlights music while unintentionally treating the continent as a monolith. Ani joins Switched On Pop to break down this album and what it means for Afropop. Songs DiscussedBeyoncé, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, Oumou Sangaré – MOOD 4 EVAOumou Sangaré – Diaraby NenBurna Boy – JA ARAFela Kuti – Water No Get EnemyFena, MDQ, Mayonde, Kagwe, Blinky Bill – PARTY NATIONListen to Blinky and Ivie’s East African playlist recommendations Leave us a voicemail about your favorite songs of summer: 385-626-6179 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/08/1938m 45s

LCD Soundsystem and the Unbearable Sameness of Restaurant Playlists

Why is it that every hip restaurant plays the same music? When Eater restaurant editor Hillary Dixler Canavan kept hearing similar songs while dining for work assignments, she compiled a playlist of what she heard. It included songs by LCD Soundsystem, M83, Grimes, Biggie, Beck and the like. Her subsequent article about this music, “This Is Every Generically Cool Restaurant’s Playlist,” went viral. She’d captured the elusive sound of small plate dining. But what left her guessing was why this sound? And how did it reach so many restaurants in cities across the U.S.? She brought this question to Switched On Pop to understand why this 00s mostly indie sound was the ideal background for post-industrial chic establishments. Investigating the issue, she discovered a small bubble of music selectors who curate these lists for businesses. She spoke with Yvette Bailhache, a D.C. based music selector for restaurants and bars about how these lists are made. And she asked Jonathan Shecter, founder of the Las Vegas based background music service Playback Prodigy, about what makes an ideal background sound. What she discovered is surprising. The sounds in the background may dictate more of our foreground than you’d expect. Music DiscussedLCD Soundsystem - I Can ChangeM83 - Midnight City Grimes - GenesisIce Cube - It Was A Good DayWu-Tang Clean - CREAMThis Will Destroy You - KitchenListen to Hillary’s Every Restaurant Playlist and for more stories and news on food, subscribe to Eater's podcast Upsell Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/07/1935m 54s

The $50M Beat Marketplace That Broke the Billboard

Lil Nas X licensed the beat for “Old Town Road” from an e-commerce platform. He originally bought a non-exclusive copy of the backing track for just $29.99 from a 19 year old Dutch record producer called YoungKio. And he’s not the first hitmaker to do so. Desiigner, Bryson Tiller and Queen Naija have all made hit songs from internet beats. These beats are big business. The arguable market leader, BeatStars, has paid its producers over $50M since its inception in 2008. The platform allows producers to market their beats to MCs and singers, boasting 340,000 active sellers and 1.5M tracks. BeatStars CEO Abe Batshon originally created the company to connect artists who may not live in the music industry hubs in L.A., N.Y., Nashville and Atlanta. His global ambitions were realized—producers on the platform come from all over the world. They release a steady stream of new music, marketing their original and sound-a-like beats to aspiring and emerging artists everywhere turning into ad music, Instagram stories and even Billboard Hot 100 hits. While BeatStars increases access to music, could this commoditization of music devalue the creative process? We speak with Abe as well as producers on the platform—songwriter Breana Marin and producer Dansonn—to understand how online beat selling is effecting the sound of pop music. Music Discussed:Lil Nas X - Old Town RoadBryson Tiller - Don’tYBN Nahmir - Rubbin off the PaintDesiigner - Panda’Queen Naija - MedicineCERTIBEATS - MojoBEATDEMONS - NohoBrytiago ft Bad Bunny - NETFLIXXXBreana Marin’s BeatStars pageDansonn’s BeatStars pageListen to “Bouncing On The Band Stand” by Marian Hill’s Jeremy Loyd (Clear Eyes) and Charlie (Charlatan). You can even license it for $29.99 for your own production. Vote for Switched On Pop in this year's People's Choice Podcast Awards! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/07/1930m 38s

Shawn Mendes and the Rhythm of Rhyme

Shawn Mendes’ hit song “If I Can’t Have You” is so ridiculously catchy that Charlie had it stuck in his head after the first chorus. How is that possible?! Declamation, or the way that text is set to music, is a big part of the song’s appeal—every word that Mendes sings is perfectly in rhythm. In this episode we use Mendes’ latest track to explore creative declamation throughout history. How do artists from Whitney Houston to Queen to Taylor Swift keep finding new ways to sing the word “somebody”? Why did the composer Georg Friedrich Handel get in trouble for a bit of awkward text setting in one of the most famous pieces of Baroque music? And, does Beyoncé even know how to pronounce “sandcastles”? Finally, Mendes’ hit leads us to ask: is “incorrect” declamation is something to celebrate, or criticize? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/07/1933m 49s

Space, The Final Frontier: Madonna, Stephen Puth and Street Studios

Find out how music creates a feeling of space in this three part episode. First, we may not realize it when we listen to Madonna's new record, but the location of her music is essential. In exploring her catalogue we hear the sound of different eras by just the space evoked in a song. Second, the same is true for Stephen Puth who uses spacial effects for brilliant creative purposes on his song "Look Away." When music is recorded in a studio with perfect acoustics, engineers manipulate that audio to place it in a 3D virtual space using reverb, delay, volume, panning and filters. Each of those effects changes our relationship to the music, and in Steven's case, the lyric. Finally, when we get outside the studio, like with Found Sound Nation and Make Music Day's “Street Studios”, music can echo the geography it is made in. Take this wild journey with us and truly expand your listening.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/07/1959m 28s

What BTS's "Boy With Love" ft. Halsey Can Teach Us About K-pop

How should we listen to K-pop? This music has become a global phenomenon, charting on the Billboard Hot 100, taking over social media feeds, and touring the world. In particular, the group BTS has captured the ears of millions, building an Army of fans along the way. As uninitiated listeners, the language and culture barrier left us uncertain about how to approach listening to, let alone breaking down their music. So we sought out the support of Dr, Suk-Young Kim, Professor of Critical Studies and the Director of the Center for Performance Studies at UCLA, and KCON's Vanessa Augsbach. Dr. Kim's research on K-pop helps to expand our ears and understand the genre's history and aesthetics, while Augsbach helps us better appreciate the fandom. Applying their insights, we listen to "Boy With Luv" as a  first foray into the wonders of K-pop. Read Dr. Kim's book K-pop Live: Fans Idols, and Multimedia Performance, Watch Vox's Netflix series Explained on the history of K-pop Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/07/1940m 53s

"Prince Ali" and Why We're All Music Theorists

Fans are not happy with Will Smith's update of the classic Disney song "Prince Ali" in the live-action Aladdin. Their complaint? The new "Prince Ali" is slow, sluggish, and dull. Indeed, the Smith version is 8 BPM (beats per minute) slower than Robin Williams's 1992 original—a subtle musical detail. We dig into the properties of tempo and key to understand why people have such a visceral reaction to a relatively small change and consider whether it suggests that we—meaning all of us humans, from musicians to amateurs—are more musically literate than we think. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/06/1930m 15s

Jamestown and the Quest to Build a Utopia in America (with Avery Trufelman)

Nice Try! is a new podcast from Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network that explores stories of people who have tried to design a better world, and what happens when those designs don't go according to plan. Season one, Utopian, follows Avery Trufelman on her quest to understand the perpetual search for the perfect place. Enjoy this special preview of the first episode, Jamestown: Utopian for Whom, and subscribe to Nice Try! for free in your favorite podcast app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/06/1923m 38s

Why Does Every Intro Sound Like It's Underwater? (Live)

Ever notice that wobbly, drunken and underwater sound common in so many contemporary pop songs? In an era of pristine recording quality, music producers are referencing old and impure technologies to add character to their recordings. Digital cassette hiss, tape wobble, and vinyl crackle are intentionally added to productions as a facsimile of "authentic" recording technology. Why the sudden nostalgia? Where does this underwater sound come from? What does it mean? How is it made? Find out on a live episode of Switched On Pop, recorded at Recode's annual Code conference with guest host Estelle Caswell, creator of Vox's Earworm video series. Listen to Estelle's Spotify playlist of underwater intros.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/06/1926m 35s

The Man Behind the Rocketman with Giles Martin

Rocketman is a spectacle the size of Elton John, four films in one. It contains a biopic, jukebox musical, addiction recovery story and a romance between friends. The soundtrack ties the story together by taking historical liberties to tell a fantastical story about one of the best living songwriters. Charlie is joined by Vox’s film critic, Alissa Wilkinson to breakdown the film and deconstruct how its melodic themes create an emotional arc. He also speaks with Giles Martin (son of 5th Beatle George Martin) who music directed the film and soundtrack about how he assembled an entire life’s work into a singular narrative. Songs Discussed Taron Egerton - RocketmanQueen - Bohemian RhapsodyTaron Egerton, Jamie Bell - Goodbye Yellow Brick RoadKit Connor & Gemma Jones & Bryce Dallas Howard & Steven Mackintosh - I Want LoveTaron Egerton - Crocodile RockTaron Egerton - Your SongTaron Egerton - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest WordMozart - Requiem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/06/1952m 51s

The Greatest Pop Stories Never Told (with Jessica Hopper)

On the KRCW series Lost Notes, Jessica Hopper plumbs pop music history for the most important stories never told. She brings us a bevy of lost gems, from Fanny, an all-female quartet of rockers that was one of David Bowie's favorite bands, to the Freeze a late-70s punk outfit now coming to terms with the offensive lyrics of their youth. Tune in to discover another side of pop, one that's rarely been heard.  Songs Discussed:Fanny - Charity Ball (Live Version)Fanny - Ain't that PeculiarThe Freeze - I Hate TouristsCat Power - The Greatest Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/06/1942m 50s

Should You Care About Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber?

A pop star collaboration is a foolproof way to grab the attention of two audiences at once. But do more collaborators actually make a better song? Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber put this question to the test in their new song "I Don't Care." The track takes us inside the head of an antisocial party hopper, who'd rather be back home with his lover. Nate and Charlie investigate how the songwriters works that message into their music and speak with Ross Golan about Ed Sheeran's songwriting brilliance. Songs Discussed • Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber - I Don't Care • Ed Sheeran – Shape of You • Justin Bieber – Love Yourself • Kygo ft. Ella Henderson – Here For You • Maroon 5 – Don’t Wanna Know Check out And The Writer Is… With Ross Golan: https://www.andthewriteris.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/05/1953m 29s

The Smooth Sound of NPR Morning News

What do Bach and smooth jazz have in common? Both score the unmistakable theme song for NPR's flagship show Morning Edition, listened to by millions across the country every day since 1979. This is undeniably pop music, a daily soundtrack to the lives of many. So why does it sound the way it does? And why, after forty years, why does NPR want to change it? Featuring: BJ Leiderman - Morning Edition  Chuck Mangione - Feels So Good Herbie Hancock - Chameleon George Benson - Breezin' Kenny G - Songbird  Don Voegeli/Wycliffe Gordon - All Things Considered Take 6 - All Things Considered Phish - All Things Reconsidered Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/05/1941m 25s

Is There An Indie Rock Conspiracy? (Featuring Joywave)

Many people write us with musical maladies and conspiracies. A recent one caught our attention. Daniel Armbruster, lead vocalist of indie band Joywave, has been hearing the same melody in tracks across the Alternative Songs charts. He believes that this hook could be the secret to securing a spot on the Billboard 100. Nate and Charlie investigate this issue, traveling from the contemporary charts all the way back to a fundamental musical scale. The stakes are high: is it possible to hack your way into a hit alt-rock song? Songs Discussed Young The Giant - SuperpositionCold War Kids - FirstSir Sly - &RunJoywave, KOPPS - TonguesMaroon 5 - Moves Like JaggerLady Gaga - Bad Romance AJR - Burn the House DownTwenty One Pilots - ChlorineThe Black Keys - Lo/HiBillie Eilish - Bury A FriendCatfish and the Bottlemen - LongshotCage The Elephant - Ready To Let GoPanic! At The Disco - High HopesSHAED - TrampolineOliver Tree - HurtThe Lumineers - Ho Hey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/05/1931m 15s

Lizzo And The End of Genre (with Sam Harris of X Ambassadors)

On her new album, Cuz I Love You, Lizzo shows off her genre bending musicality. We speak with X Ambassadors lead singer, Sam Harris, who helped co-write three songs on the album, including its eponymous track. We discuss how Lizzo's songs glide across sixties soul, seventies rock rock, eighties new wave, and nineties hip-hop. But we find that her music is much more than a history lesson in genre. Lizzo's writes vulnerable and courageous lyrics about self love, body positivity, female empowerment, and black identity. Rather than craft a singular sound for her album, Lizzo utilizes the genre that best fits the message of any given song. Her subversion of genre to the mood of her lyric matches changes in music consumption. According to Chartmetric, more people than ever are listening across genres to context based playlists. Does this mean genre no longer matters? Nate and Charlie try to find out with the help of Lizzo's genre busting music. Songs DiscussedLizzo - Better In ColorLizzo - Cuz I Love YouLizzo - JuiceLizzo - TempoMissy Elliott - Get Ur Freak OnLizzo - JeromeRadiohead - CreepLed Zeppelin - Royal OrleansPrince - When Doves CryLizzo - Exactly How I Feel (ft. Gucci Mane)Aretha Franklin - RespectAretha Franklin - Say A Little PrayerAretha Franklin - Chain Of FoolsAretha Franklin - I Knew You Were WaitingEurythmics ft. Aretha Franklin - Sisters Are Doin' It For ThemselvesListen to our Lizzo playlist that pairs each song on her new album with a song from the past. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/05/1951m 16s

Taylor Swift Causes a PANIC!

When a listener asked us about the "sorcery" behind Taylor Swift's new song "ME!" we knew we had to investigate. And because the track features Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco, we couldn't resist digging into their concurrent hit "High Hopes." Along the way we cover baby talk, dreamy augmented chords, drumlines, and songs with exclamation points in their titles — all to explain why you can't get these two out of your head. Featuring: Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie - ME! Swift - Shake it Off Swift - The Way I Loved You Gustav Mahler - Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder! Shania Twain - Up! Panic! At the Disco - High Hopes Western Carolina University Drumline - High Hopes Check out two great pieces on "High Hopes," one by Top 40 Theory and the other by Rolling Stone article citing Flypaper's Dean Olivet.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/04/1941m 35s

Sounds Like Teen Spirit (with Elle Fanning)

Pop is inseparable from reality TV singing competitions. From Eurovision to American Idol, scores of stars got their start in singing competitions. We’ve long overlooked this influence on pop, but were inspired to look into the phenomenon by the release of Teen Spirit, a pop-musical film about a fictional singing competition . What is the history of these shows? Who got their big break on one? Is there a singing show musical aesthetic? We hit the books and records to find out, and the answers might surprise. Finally we speak with Elle Fanning, who plays contestant Violet in the film, about what it takes to train to be a singer primed for national fame. Songs DiscussedElle Fanning - Dancing On My OwnFrank Sinatra with The Hoboken Four on the Major Bowes Amateur HourGladys Knight on the Original Amateur HourAbba - WaterlooCeline Dion - Ne Partez Pas Moi Alanis Morisette on Star Search Girls Tyme with Beyoncé on Star SearchKelly Clarkson - A Moment Like ThisWhitney Houston - I Have NothingNina Simone - Feeling GoodJanis Joplin - Piece of My HeartSusan Boyle - I Dreamed A DreamElle Fanning - Don't Kill My Vibe (originally by Sigrid)Recommended listeningMavis Staples - AnytimeAnderson Paak - VenturaThe Beths - Future Me Hates MeMax, Quinn XCII - Love Me LessKhalid, John Mayer - Outta My Head* Correction: Though non-European countries do compete in Eurovision, Canada has not competed in the contest. Celine Dion represented Switzerland in her performance of "Ne Partez Pas Moi Celine" in 1988. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/04/1955m 58s

Lil Nas X: Country at the Crossroads

Lil Nas X currently holds the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his surprise hit “Old Town Road.” But though the song is dripping with country twang, you won’t find it anywhere on the country charts. That’s because Billboard removed it, on the grounds of not having enough “musical elements” of country—a move that in turn left many wondering if the vanishing had something to do with Lil Nas X, a black artist, venturing into a field dominated by white musicians. We dig deep into the history and musical matter of “Old Town Road,” then pit it against other country hits to test its deep fried bonafides. Songs DiscussedLil Nas X - Old Town RoadNine Inch Nails - 34 Ghosts IVBeba Rexa - Mean to Be (feat. Florida Georgia Line)Kelsea Ballerini - Miss You MoreSam Hunt - Speakers / Ghetto Cowboy - Bone Thugz N' HarmonyFilmore - Love That About You Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) Mason Ramsey - Walmart Yodeling KidHank Williams - Love Sick BluesEmmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers - Lock Sick Blues  Other LinksTanya Texas Tucker's list of Black artists and their collaborations with country starsJezebel interview with Bri Malandro, originator of the "Yee Haw Agenda" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/04/1942m 39s

Billie Eilish is a Different Kind of Pop Star (ft. FINNEAS)

On a trajectory to be one of the biggest pop stars for this generation, seventeen year old Billie Eilish is not, however, your typical pop star. Her music speaks to the real anxieties of young people without any veneer. She sings from the perspective of monsters and villains. Her hushed voice, baggy style, and direct demeanor subvert the norms of the pop princess. And her music is dark, but still catchy. Billie co-writes and produces her sound with her older brother Finneas O’Connell. Together this family duo have crafted the second biggest selling album of 2019, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”  On this episode, we examine how Billie and Finneas crafted a cultural phenomenon, why their message speaks to this generation, and we speak with Finneas about the creation of their hit song “Bad Guy.” Songs Featured: Billie Eilish - Ocean EyesBillie Eilish - BoredBillie Eilish - You Should See Me In A CrownBillie Eilish - Bad GuyBillie Eilish - Bury A FriendMarilyn Manson - The Beautiful PeopleThe Doors - People Are StrangeNine Inch Nails - CloserBillie Eilish - ilomiloBillie Eilish - All Good Girls Go To HellBillie Eilish - XannyFrank Sinatra - Dream A DreamBillie Eilish - I love youJohn Carpenter - Halloween ThemeBillie Eilish - Bellyache Watch Billie Eilish and Finneas break down “Bury A Friend” on The New York Times Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/04/1946m 49s

BONUS: Bhi Bhiman's 'Peace of Mind' Episode 1

Switched on Pop is pleased to present Episode 1 of Peace of Mind -- the new album (released as a podcast) by singer/songwriter Bhi Bhiman. In this episode Bhi digs into the fear and madness that characterizes so much of this crazy time in America. Guests include author Dave Eggers, Snap Judgement's Glynn Washington and renowned social psychologist, Lee Ross. The song for this episode is “Brother Can You Spare Some Peace of Mind?” Subscribe to Peace of Mind here: https://fanlink.to/PeaceofMind Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/04/1929m 22s

Bhi Bhiman Puts the Music Before the Message

Bhi Bhiman joins to explain the "nerd punk rock" behind releasing his new album Peace of Mind with an accompanying podcast. Since Bhiman explores issues like deportation on the track "Beyond the Border," there's a lot to say about each song. Even though he tackles tough topics, Bhiman make sure he puts music before the message. "Beyond the Border" summons a vast range of funky influences, from Van Halen to the Allman Brothers, to ask what America really means. Featuring •Bhi Bhiman: Beyond the Border, Moving to Brussels, Bread and Butter, There Goes the Neighborhood, Guttersnipe •Van Halen - Jump •Allman Brothers - Ramblin' Man Listen to our Spotify playlist of contemporary politically motivated music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/04/1946m 53s

Comeback Kids: The Jonas Brothers are Back

After a six year hiatus, Nick, Joe, and Kevin Jonas are back with a new single and the stakes couldn't be higher. With each brother attaining a higher plane of celebrity during their time off, the three must achieve pop success or face public humiliation.  How do they do it? With three ingredients that ensure a hit song in 2019: 1) whistle while you work, 2) Homer the funky drummer, and 3) tune in, turn in, drop out.  Songs Featured: Jonas Brothers – SuckerEdward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – HomeFlo Rida – WhistleDaya – Sit Still Look PrettySharon Jones – How Long do I Have to Wait for you?Bruno Mars – 24k MagicEmily King – Remind MeJason Derulo – Want to Want MeRina Sawayama – CherryPost Malone and Swae Lee – SunflowerSurvey We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than three minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3X6WMNF Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/03/1934m 27s

Lost & Found: The Drama of Pop Form with Emily King

Live from SXSW: Grammy nominee songwriter Emily King didn’t set out to write a perfect pop song with “Remind Me.” Instead, she bent the rules of song structure to fit her message: the magical feeling when you find something you’ve been long missing. Mirroring this theme, the chorus doesn’t come when you expect it. The climax arrives late, after an “aha” moment that fills in the forgotten details. Each instrument fits perfectly together like a lost memory coming into focus. Even after she finds what she’s been missing in her life, she deceived us once again with a diminutive ‘down chorus.’ At every turn, King shows how songwriting mastery opens up immense creative freedom, even within the constraints of a prototypical pop song. Featured Songs:Emily King - Remind MeZedd, Maren Morris, Grey - The MiddleSam Smith, Normani - Dancing With A StrangerTaylor Swift - DelicateSurvey We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than three minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3X6WMNF Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/03/1930m 42s

How Streaming Changed the Sound of Pop

Streaming hasn't just changed the way we listen to music, it's changed the way that pop music sounds. After years of losses due to the death of the CD and the rise of file sharing, the music industry has finally found a profitable business in streaming services. Streaming has overtaken all other music sales. Digital music platforms are the new Virgin megastore. But these services are more than just a distribution mechanism, they have created a whole new music economy. Album sales have been replaced by "album equivalent units," a business fiction that equates 1,500 streams to one physical sale. Artists are now effectively paid by the song. With ad-supported and subscription based business models, these platforms have upended incentives so significantly that it can be heard in the songwriting. Songs are getting shorter, albums are getting longer, and there is an entirely new section of the song that draws from the classical past: the "pop overture." In this episode, Nate and Charlie are joined by Aisha Hassan and Dan Kopf to unpack the sound of pop in the streaming era.  Be sure to check out their article on Quartz: "The Reason Why Your Favorite Pop Songs Are Getting Shorter." Songs FeaturedLil Pump - I Love ItBenny Blanco - Eastside ft. Khalid & HalseyKodak Black - Calling My SpiritPost Malone - Better NowLeonard Bernstein - West Side Story OvertureDua Lipa - One KissDrake - God’s PlanPost Malone - I Fall ApartAriana Grande - NasaTommy Dorsey - All The Things You Are Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/03/1936m 15s

Top 40 Activism with Justin Tranter

Can political protest exist within the confines of commercial popular music? Songwriter Justin Tranter is equal parts songwriter and activist. You've likely heard his contributions to songs by Britney Spears, Julia Michaels, Selena Gomez, Janelle Monae and Ariana Grande, but unless you were paying close attention, you may have missed the essential subtext in his work. As an LGBTQ activist and board member of GLAAD, Justin brings his activism into Top 40 pop music lyrically and otherwise. On this episode, he breaks down his newest hit "Swan Song" which was co-written with Dua Lipa. This song is a triple threat serving as the end credits for the film Alita: Battle Angel, a Billboard hit, and a protest against the silencing of marginalized people. Justin shows us how representation in songwriting is inseparable from politics. And he's creating an open mic for new voices and stories that have been historically ignored by the pop industry. Songs Discussed: Dua Lipa - "Swan Song"Charlie Puth - "Attention"Selena Gomez - "Good For You"Imagine Dragons - "Believer"Taylor Swift - "Love Story"Halsey - "Bad At Love"Haydn - "Farewell" Symphony No. 45Shea Diamond - "Seen It All" Listen to D. Orxata's Queering Pop Music playlist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/03/1947m 8s

What Makes An Award Winning Song?

What if music awards were given out for only musical qualities? It may seem like celebrity and spectacle are more important than ever at the 61st Grammy Awards, but we believe many of this years winners earned their accolades with noteworthy music. Still, we thought the winners should be heralded by new, more musical categories. Find out how And The Awards Go To: Best Chord Progression: H.E.R. - "Hard Place" & "Focus" Best Throwback: Silk City & Dua Lipa ft. Diplo & Mark Ronson - "Electricity" Worst Metaphor: Lady Gaga ft. Bradley Cooper "Shallow" Best Conceptual Song: Childish Gambino - "This Is America" Best Bridge: Kacey Musgraves - "Rainbow" Also Featured The Weeknd - "Often" Khalid - "Location" Alison Limerick - "Where Love Lives" Cher - "Strong Enough" Elton John - "Mellow" Bonus Listen to Ezra Klein's discussion with Jill Lepore on America's two revolutions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/02/1941m 43s

What Makes a Song Sexy?

Author Courtney Smith joins to offer her expertise on an urgent topic in advance of Valentine's Day: Can we abstract the sexiest songs of all time into a universal list of arousing musical qualities? We try our best by examining five decades of pop sexiness, discovering lyrical lingerie, and consider the most (and least) seductive instruments. Featuring: Nina Simone - I Want Some Sugar in My Bowl Donna Summer - Love to Love You Baby INXS - Need You Tonight Portishead - Glory Box Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire The Weeknd - Often Check out Courtney's article Let's Talk About Sex, Baby: Every Trick You Need to Seduce Someone with a Playlist on Refinery29 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/02/1934m 44s

The Deep History of '7 Rings'

"7 Rings" is Ariana Grande's latest smash, a glittering banger that owes much to Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1959 classic "My Favorite Things." 60 years later, Grande updates the track for a modern audience, making her the latest artist to repurpose this anthem from the "Sound of Music." When it comes to Ari's flow, however, questions of appropriation arise. Author Lauren Michele Jackson joins to break down who has the right to repurpose sonic history. Featuring: • Ariana Grande - 7 Rings • Julie Andrews - My Favorite Things • John Coltrane - My Favorite Things • The Doors - Light My Fire • Lauryn Hill - Black Rage • Migos - Bad and Boujee • Princess Nokia - Mine • Two Chainz - Spend It • Soulja Boy - Pretty Boy Swag Check out Lauren Michele Jackson's article, "To Whom Does '7 Rings' Owe its Sound?," hear more connections between Coltrane and the Doors in this NPR story, and discover the triplet Migos flow on Vox's Earworm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/01/1939m 3s

Do You Believe in Life After Autotune?

Auto-Tune may be the most divisive effect in music. Artists have protested it publicly at the Grammys, and critics have derided the effects for its inauthentic reproduction of the voice. And yet, nearly a decade since Jay-Z prophesied the death of Auto-Tune, the sound is alive and thriving in contemporary pop and hip-hop. Journalist Simon Reynolds has written a definitive history of Auto-Tune for Pitchfork that fundamentally changed how we hear this sound. This deep dive criss crosses geology, technology, and the evolution of pop as we know it. Songs Discussed:Cher - BelieveKaty Perry - FireworkRihanna - DiamondsFuture - F*ck Up Some CommasEmma Robinson - Stay (Cover) Imogen Heap - Hide And Seek Zapp & Roger - Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing) T. Pain - Chopped N Screwed ft. Ludacris Lil Wayne - “How To Love”Kanye - “Heartless”The Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow”Jay-Z - Death Of Auto-TuneElvis - Mystery TrainThe Beatles - Tomorrow Never KnowsWhispering Jack Smith - Baby FaceKesha - Tik Tok Bon Iver - WoodsFuture & Juice WRLD - Jet Lag ft. Young Scooter Shek Wes - Mo BambaThe Carters - Apeshit Further Reading:Simon Reynolds - “How Auto-Tune Revolutionized the Sound of Popular Music" Simon Reynolds -Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/01/1948m 50s

Slay Bells, All Year Long

This winter season unwrap a deep dive through a pop subgenre of monumental importance: non-holiday songs that feature sleigh bells, from Bonnie Tyler to Nas, On Side B, we rebroadcast our episode on Mariah Carey's classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You"...and more sleigh bells.  Featuring: •The Beach Boys - God Only Knows •Gustav Mahler - 4th Symphony, I •Michael Jackson - Jam •Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart  •Miles Davis - On the Corner •Nas - Halftime •Kygo ft. Conrad Sewell - Firestone •Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas Is You Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/12/1840m 18s

Look What You Made Us Do

Four years into Switched On Pop, Charlie and Nate finally reveal what was behind the entire series. We may have not been totally honest with you from the beginning. Back in 2014 we were more pop skeptics than fanatics. The genre was, to some degree, the sugar that made the musical analysis medicine go down. And then something happened. Just as people started to listen to the show, we too began to open our ears. Now, in our 100th episode, Charlie interviews Nate about how transforming the way you listen to pop can truly make life better. And we get raw about the constraints of pop and where we plan to go in our next 100 episodes. Songs discussed: Beethoven's 7 & 9Santana - "Smooth" Martha and the Vandellas - "Heat Wave" Zedd - "Stay" Pink Floyd - "The Great Gig in the Sky" Adelle - "Hello"  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/12/1857m 37s

Entering Beard Phase with Mike Posner

Mike Posner has written hits for himself like "I Took a Pill in Ibiza," and for stars from Justin Bieber ("Boyfriend") to Maroon 5 ("Sugar"), so he has insights for days on what makes a pop song work. We dig into Mike's excellent new track "Song About You," which leads to an exploration of songs that reuse the same melody for verse and chorus—from Prince to The Boss to Post Malone. Last, we consider "beard phase": a moment of artistic reinvention that every artist has in their career, whether you're Mike Posner, Ludwig van Beethoven, or Taylor Swift. Featuring: Mike Posner - Song About You Jean Ritchie - Barbary Allen Original Sacred Harp Singers - New Britain (Amazing Grace) Prince - I Wanna Be Your Lover Prince - Let's Go Crazy Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A. Post Malone - Rockstar Beethoven - String Quartet No 1 Op. 18/1 Beethoven - String Quartet No 10 Op. 74/III Beethoven - String Quartet "Grosse Fuge" Taylor Swift - Teardrops on My Guitar Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Taylor Swift - ...Ready For It? Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever Dennis Wilson - River Song Peaches ft. Iggy Pop - Kick It  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/11/1852m 59s

How Dirty Projectors Make You Feel Energy (with David Longstreth)

Dirty Projectors are known for their kaleidoscopic soundscapes. They make strange bedfellows of  music techniques like 14th vocal harmonies and African guitar rhythms. But in the backdrop of their obscure orchestrations you will hear the indelible marks of pop music. Longstreth has recently collaborated on songs with Solange, Rihanna, Kanye and Paul McCartney. On his new track "I Feel Energy" we can hear that pop influence shine through. Together we break down his unpredictable 808s to see what gives you energy. We also build connections between Dirty Projectors and other artists in the top 100 including Marshmello, Ella Mai and Khalid. Songs Featured:Dirty Projectors - I Feel EnergyDirty Projectors - Up In HudsonMarshmello ft. Bastille - HappierElla Mai - TripKhalid - Better Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/11/1855m 22s

Stairway To Hell: Greta Van Fleet’s Scorching Album Review That Went Viral

Classic rock climaxed a half century ago, yet it still survives in two places: FM radio & Greta Van Fleet. The later are an upstart of four boys from Michigan who have found stardom by dusting off the mantle of guitar driven rock. Their latest album, Anthem Of The Peaceful Army, bares an uncanny sonic resemblance to Led Zeppelin. Jeremy D. Larson, senior editor of Pitchfork, gave the album a 1.6 out of 10 calling it "stiff, hackneyed, overly precious retro-fetishism." His vicious and hilarious takedown went viral and caused a rift amongst music fans on the internet. We ask Jeremy to join us to reveal what it means to earn such a bad review. After, we do something we've never done before: a track-by-track album breakdown. In a game of musical Pictionary, Charlie challenges Nate to find every Led Zeppelin reference on the album to answer the question: is it a copy or an homage? We have a feeling this will be a divisive episode... Songs Discussed: Greta Van Fleet - Age of Man Led Zeppelin - Rain Song Led Zeppelin - In The Light Led Zeppelin - What Is And What Should Never Be Led Zeppelin - Your Time Is Gonna Come Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song Led Zeppelin - Kashmir Greta Van Fleet - The Cold Wind Led Zeppelin - Custard Pie Greta Van Fleet - When the Curtain Falls Led Zeppelin - Wanton Song Greta Van Fleet - Watching Over Led Zeppelin - Since I've Been Loving You Greta Van Fleet - Lover, Leaver Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love Spirit - Taurus Muddy Waters - You Need Love Small Faces - You Need Love Willie Dixon - I Can't Quit You Babe Greta Van Fleet - You're the One Led Zeppelin - What Is And What Should Never Be Greta Van Fleet - The New Day Led Zeppelin - Over The Hills And Far Away Greta Van Fleet - Mountain of the Sun Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day Greta Van Fleet - Brave New World Led Zeppelin - Achilles Last Stand Greta Van Fleet - Anthem Led Zeppelin - Tangerine Lover Leaver (Taker, Believer) Read the Pitchfork review of Greta Van Fleet's Anthem Of A Peaceful Army Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/10/1859m 22s

Charli XCX and Troye Sivan Love the 90s

Charli XCX and Troye Sivan conjure late 90s nostalgia in their latest banger. "1999" drips with lyrical nostalgia for the last decade of the millennium — but does the music follow suit? We think the pair are missing prime opportunities to bring back some neglected musical tricks from the early oeuvre of Britney Spears. The 90s bug goes beyond Charli and Troye. Anne-Marie and Lauren Alaina also pine for the Clinton era in their millennial bops. Which makes one ask: is the present so bad that we miss the paranoia of Y2K? As usual, Prince has the answer. Featuring: Charli XCX ft Troye Sivan - 1999 DJ Bobo - Somebody Dance with Me Real McCoy - Another Night Paradisio - Bailando Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time Britney Spears - Oops! I Did it Again Anne-Marie - 2002 Lauren Alaina - Ladies in the 90s Prince - 1999 Check out Megan Lavengood's examples of the complementary chorus. Marshall Jefferson's "Move Your Body" from 1986 might be the ur-source of the ubiquitous 90s house piano. Jefferson recorded the original in his Chicago prophet on a Prophet 2000, but never got the rights to the song and saw little proceeds from its success.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/10/1837m 36s

Sicko Rap and Drunk Country

Four songs on the Hot 100 pop chart reveal the new directions in which music is headed. Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode" boasts an unprecedented formal structure that points to the future of hip hop. Meanwhile, in the world of country, Jason Aldean, Mitchell Tenpenny, and Dan + Shay are putting a modern spin on one of the style's oldest tropes: drinking bourbon. Together these tracks make up the vanguard of their respective genres, but are fans willing to take the plunge? Featuring: Travis Scott - Sicko Mode Skrillex - Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites John Zorn - Cat o Nine Tails Jason Aldean ft Miranda Lambert - Drowns the Whiskey Mitchell Tenpenny - Drunk Me Adele - Hello Justin Bieber - Sorry Dan + Shay - Tequila Recommend Reading: Kathryn Schulz on Chris Janson's "Drunk Girl" Recommended Viewing: Rich Redmond's studio drumming Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/10/1836m 13s

The Side Effects of Pop Music with Emily Warren

Emily Warren is one of the great rising stars of contemporary songwriting. Her song "Side Effects" with The Chainsmokers is currently rising up the charts. You’ve also heard her writing on Dua Lipa’s "New Rules." She’s collaborated with many of the best performers in music earning her a Grammy and multi-platinum success with “Don’t Let Me Down.” She's also recently released her single "Paranoid." Emily is a real songwriters songwriter. Her process is as much therapy as art. Together we break down her latest work and uncover her creative process. Her album "Quiet Your Mind" is out on October 5th. Songs discussedThe Chainsmokers - Side EffectsBach - Prelude in F# Minor from the Well Tempered ClavierEmily Warren - Paranoidbülow - You & JenniferTeyana Taylor - Gonna Love MeNick Jonas - Touch Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/09/1845m 25s

Drake vs Drake

Drake, per usual, has been inescapable this summer. "In My Feelings" and "Nice For What" top the charts, but there's depth to these bangers. We argue for hearing one as a meditation on fragile masculinity, the other as a paean to NOLA Bounce. Continue the conversation with us on Instagram and Twitter: @SwitchedOnPop Songs discussed:Drake - In My FeelingsDrake - Nice For WhatLauryn Hill - Ex FactorThe Showboys - Drag Rap (Triggaman)Cameron Paul - Brown BeatCheeky Blakk - Let Me Get That OutchaBeyonce ft. Big Freedia - FormationBig Freedia - Karaoke ft Lizzo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/09/1843m 20s

Summer Heat of the 2000s: Beyoncé and Black Eyed Peas (Pt. II)

The final episode of our Switched on Summer throwback series finds us deconstructing more early aughts bangers. Under consideration: two of the biggest hits since Y2K, Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" and the Black Eyed Peas' "I Got a Feeling." Tune in to dig how these tracks keeps the temperature rising through harmonic suspension, and to ask if will.i.am cribbed "Chopsticks." Switched On Summer Winner: Slow Dance Congrats to Slow Dance for winning our Switched On Summer contest with their song "I'm Your Guy Tonight." Listen to the whole track here: https://soundcloud.com/slowdancemusic/im-your-guy-tonight You can get all of our song of summer chord loops, song packs and listen to the awesome entires to our Splice Firestarter competition on Splice here: http://splice.com/onpop Songs Discussed: • Beyoncé - Crazy in Love • The Chi-lites - Are You My Woman • Jay Z - 99 Problems  • Black Eyed Peas - I Got a Feeling Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/08/1827m 42s

Summer Heat of the 2000s: Nelly + Katy Perry (Pt. 1)

What made summer jams of the aughties like Nelly's "Hot in Herre" and Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" so hot? The answer: big, sweaty, doses of harmonic tension. Specifically, each track relies on the Baroque technique of the ground bass. Wait, we mean: the Baroque technique of PEDAL POINT!  When the chords in these songs don't match up with their bass notes, the ratcheting tension adds heat—fueling both dance moves, and controversy. Featuring: Nelly - Hot in Herre Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl Katy Perry - Teenage Dream All summer Switched On Pop & Splice have been diving into the DNA of summer hits, and now we want you to show us what you’ve learned. Get inspired by sound packs and chord progressions created by Switched on Pop and share your best song of summer with us and the world. Hosts Nate & Charlie will be listening and will choose their favorite submission to win a year of Splice Sounds and have their track played on the podcast. Check out all the details at http://splice.com/onpop-fire And, read Owen Pallett's excellent article on the use of harmonic tension in Teenage Dream. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/08/1825m 25s

Why is 90s Pop so Bizarre?

The Switched on Pop Summer Throwback Series continues! This time, with a deep dive into the musical detritus of the 1990s. In true 90s fashion, our episode is inspired by a pair of classic VH1 shows; "Behind the Music" and "Where Are They Now?" Our subjects are two songs representing the lunatic fringe of 90s culture, "Cotton Eyed Joe" and "How Bizarre." In the course of our musicological investigation, we uncover dark truths about these seemingly anodyne hits that will make you question everything you know about pop music. And in the end, we reach a definitive answer to a perennially vexing question: "WTF was 90s music so weird?" Songs Discussed Rednex: Cotton Eye Joe Pop in an Oak The Way I Mate Cotton Eyed Joe: Fiddlin John Carson Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys Karen Dalton Chieftains Nina Simone  OMC: How Bizarre Right ON Start making your summer hit track on Splice and check out our chord pack at splice.com/onpop-chords Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/07/1849m 41s

The Resistance is Dancing in the Streets

Our Switched on Summer Throwback Series continues with "Dancing in the Street," the 1964 Motown hit by Martha and the Vandellas that was co-written by none other than Marvin Gaye. Over 50 years and countless covers later, we explore how this song still manages to get people off their feet and onto the streets—not just to dance, but also to raise their voices in joy, catharsis, and protest. Also, start making your own summer hits with our Switched On Summer repack on Splice at www.splice.com/onpop-pack and use promo code ONPOP for a 1 month free trial. Featuring:Martha and the Vandellas - Dancing in the StreetMarvin Gaye - Stubborn Kind of FellowThe Mamas and the Papas - Dancing in the StreetThe Grateful Dead - Dancing in the StreetVan Halen - Dancing in the StreetMick Jagger and David Bowie - Dancing in the StreetKendrick Lamar - AlrightPharrell Williams - Happy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/07/1830m 33s

Switched on Summer: Getting Around with the Beach Boys

Our Switched on Summer throwback mini-series begins in the heart of the 1960s, with the Beach Boys' perennial school's-out jam "I Get Around." We explore how every aspect of Brian Wilson's two-minute-long masterpiece is perfectly calculated to literally "get around"—harmonically, melodically, and lyrically—creating that unbeatable feeling of cruising all over town with the top down on a hot summer's night.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/06/1830m 11s

Announcing Switched On Summer Throwback Series

This summer we’re going to be doing a Switched On Summer series, breaking down your favorite summer pop hits from the 60s to the present. We’re talking about Beach Boys to Beyonce. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/06/181m 23s

The Pure Pop of Charlie Puth + Carly Rae (ft Hanif Abdurraqib)

Part I: The Doctors Are In! We diagnose a listener's musical malady, namely: "why does Charlie Puth's new jam 'BOY' make us feel so weird?!" Part II: Guest Hanif Adburraqib, author of They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, helps break down Carly Rae Jepsen's epic "Cut to the Feeling" to understand why CRJ is a different kind of pop star. Featuring: •Charlie Puth - BOY •Ismael Miranda - Recordando •Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Nobody's Baby •The Beatles - She's a Woman •The Cars - Since You're Gone •Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No 5 in C Minor, I •Carly Rae Jepsen - Cut to the Feeling Check out more of Hanif's work at his website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/06/1846m 39s

Afrofuturism in Kali Uchis & Clipping (with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes)

Parliament Funkadelic has had waves of influence on popular music. Their Afrofuturist message and infectious grooves built the backbone of 70s funk, was revived in the 90s with Dr. Dre's G-Funk, and is once again in vogue with in the music of Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Kali Uchis. Bootsy Collins, bass player of Parliament Funkadelic, collaborated with Kali Uchis and Tyler the Creator on the track "After The Storm," which draws on the P-Funk sound. Similarly, Clipping pay homage to the P-Funk lineage through their Hugo nominated song "The Deep," which was produced in collaboration with This American Life. The story explores a mythology created by the band Drexciya. In the story, an underwater civilization birthed from African slaves crossing the Atlantic battles their makers to save their habitat. Listen to hear what makes both infectious tracks so effective.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/05/1849m 51s

Finding Equanimity In 'No Tears Left To Cry'

Ariana Grande has returned with a track that is jarring yet simultaneously catchy. She uses sophisticated musical techniques to tell a story of healing, resiliency, and hope after the attack at her concert in Manchester. Listeners will learn techniques like tempo rubato, modal interchange and amen breaks, which weave together this equanimous narrative. Songs featured:Ariana Grande - No Tears Left To CryAriana Grande - Into YouAriana Grande - Break Free ft. ZeddThe Winstons - Amen BrotherThe Prodigy - MinefieldN.W.A. - Straight Outta ComptonOasis - Do You Know What I meanFuturama Theme Song    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/05/1838m 38s

Can AI 'Algorhythms' Write Pop Songs? (With Taryn Southern)

There is a lot of scare about the impending future of artificial intelligence making humans irrelevant. Musician Taryn Southern examines this narrative through her song “Life Support,” written with the aid of AI composition tools. We dispel current myths about AI music and discuss its future opportunities. In the second half of the show we run a musical 'Turing test' to see if you can identify music made by a bot from that composed by the hand of a human.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/05/1855m 12s

Listening Differently to Lorde | with MARIAN HILL

Samantha Gongol and Jeremy Lloyd are songwriting duo Marian Hill and they are here to share their annoyingly sharp insights on music. They come bearing the wistful pop of Lorde's "Ribs," and we deconstruct its primordial roots in classical composers like Scelsi, Beethoven and Haydn. Then, we turn to Marian Hill's new single "Differently" to uncover the subtle musical shifts that outline a complex dialogue lurking among the track's sparse, funky textures. Songs Discussed: Lorde - Ribs Broken Social Scene - Lover's Spit Giacinto Scelsi - Memories Ludwig van Beethoven - 9th Symphony Franz Josef Haydn - Creation Kid Rock - All Summer Long Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA Marian Hill - Mistaken Marian Hill - Differently Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/04/1845m 42s

Kacey Musgraves Gives Us Butterflies

On her single 'Butterflies,' Kacey Musgraves demonstrates a tour de force of songwriting. This song is a wild success because it incessantly reinforces one core emotional concept: that queasy anxious feeling in your stomach. No we're not talking about your leftover lunch, we're talking about love. But this is not just a simple little love song. It is a masterclass of creativity. Musgraves uses every element of music to reinforce her core idea. The lyrics fold back onto themselves with dual meanings as the harmony, melody, orchestration and rhythm all interweave to literally give the listener butterflies. Caution: this song may induce feeling of tender sorrow and longing for mutual crushes and anxious kisses. Songs Discussed:Kacey Musgraves - Merry Go RoundKacey Musgraves - Butterflies Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/04/1829m 18s

Gucci Gang and the Neural Substrate of Subjective Time Dilation

In which Nate tries to convince Charlie that Lil Pump's SoundCloud Rap hit "Gucci Gang" warps the perceptual present. Featuring: Lil Pump - Gucci Gang Gustav Mahler - Der Abschied / Das Lied von der Erde Franz Schubert - String Quintet / Adagio Conlon Nancarrow - Study for Prepared Piano 21 Check out Jonathan Berger's article on musical time in Nautilus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/03/1827m 23s

How to 'Make Me Feel' with Lizzo

"Make Me Feel," is the first hit from Janelle Monáe's upcoming album Dirty Computer. It is a sensual song about the fluidity of desire. In the pre-chorus, the singer proudly expresses that she is a "sexual bender." Fans have embraced the song for breaking free of normative sexual expectations. But these non-binary statements aren't limited to the lyrics. The message is reinforced with musical concepts drawn from the blues, Prince and Michael Jackson. To help break down this track, Nate and Charlie are joined by singer/rapper Lizzo. She and Monáe both collaborated with Prince, making Lizzo uniquely qualified to unwind his influence on the song (Prince was recently named as a collaborator on the track). We also discuss Lizzo's song "Truth Hurts" and her podcast "Good As Hell" where she talks to the queens of hip hop. Hands down, Lizzo is one of the most talented, knowledgable and fun guests. You don't want to miss this episode. Songs DiscussedJanelle Monáe - Make Me FeelMichael Jackson - The Way You Make Me FeelMichael Jackson - Beat ItFats Domino - Blueberry HillPrince - KissYing Yang Twins - Wait (The Whisper Song)Lizzo - Truth HurtsSister Nancy - BamBonus MaterialGet tickets for Lizzo's Sister Sister Sister tour with Haim: www.lizzomusic.comDon't miss Lizzo's podcast "Good As Hell" on SpotifyAlso if you haven't read it, Quincy Jones Vulture interview is utterly mad Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/03/1852m 8s

808s & Havana Heartbreak

In Camila Cabello's "Havana" we hear both her Cuban roots and the modern sounds of Atlanta. Though the singer and featured guest Young Thug reference these two geographic identities, the song says so much more through its core musical elements. A Roland TR-808 kick drum evokes an entire repertoire of Atlanta Hip Hop, while the track's supporting piano montuno descends from a Cuban style lamenting the loss of one's traditional home.  Also in this episode, we discuss Camila's unlikely path to number one with writer Hannah Steinkopf-Frank — and the musical glass ceiling that holds so many young women artists back. RecommendationsSwitched On Pop recommends the podcast about sound: Twenty Thousand Hertz Hannah recommends the book: Girl Groups Girl Culture by Jacqueline WarwickCheck out more music and writing from Kwami Coleman at his websiteYou can listen to you playlist of 808s and Montunos on Spotify Featured SongsCamila Cabello - HavanaTI - Whatever You Like2NE1 - I Am The BestMarvin Gaye - Sexual HealingMariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri - Always Be My BabyOutkast - So Fresh, So CleanLil Jon - Get LowGucci Mane ft. Migos - I Get The BagCompay Segundo - Guajira GuantanameraCuarteto Caney - Guajira GuantanameraBig Mama Thorton - Hound DogElvis - Hound DogLittle Mix & Missy Elliott- How Ya Doin?The Shangri Las - Leader Of The PackSleater-Kinney - I Wanna Be Your Joey RamoneSpice Girls - WannabeSpice Girls - Spice Up Your LifeThe Ronettes - Be My BabyThe Shirelles - Will You Love Me TomorrowTLC - No Scrubs Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/02/1857m 41s

My My My! Troye Sivan + Queer Pop (w Gina Delvac, Darryl Bullock)

Gina Delvac of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast and Darryl W Bullock, author of David Bowie Made Me Gay, join Nate and Charlie to dig into the poetry of Troye Sivan's "My My My!", the history of LGBT pop music, and the songs we love to hate. And also be sure to check out: Darryl Bullock's playlist of LGBT pop, from his book David Bowie Made Me Gay and the brilliant Call Your Girlfriend podcast, produced by Gina.  Featuring: •Troye Sivan - My My My! •Taylor Swift - Style •West Side Story - Cool •Billy Murray - Pretty Baby •Ma Rainey - Prove it on Me •Irving Kaufman - Masculine Women, Feminine Men •Lesley Gore - You Don't Own Me •Jackie Shane - Any Other Way •Lavender Country - Back in the Closet Again •John Grant - Glacier •Alex Clare - Too Close Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/02/1858m 32s

90s Nostalgia in Bruno Mars and Charlie Puth

The 90s are back. It is as if pop music entered a black hole and came out 25 years in the past. Today's artists are reviving the new jack swing and vocal R&B, creating a wave of 90s nostalgia. Uncover how they trick us into somehow loving those days when we got beat up in the middle school parking lot. Spotify 90s Nostalgia playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/switchedonpop/playlist/3beUwxOxzbTZ8M3aymZlg5 Featuring:Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B - FinesseCharlie Puth ft. Boyz II Men - If You Leave me NowGuy - Groove MeEternal - StayBell Biv Devoe - PoisonCardi B - Bodack YellowChristopher Williams - I'm DreaminBoyz II Men - MotownphillyBoyz II Men - On Bended KneeHamilton - The Room Where It Happened Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/01/1835m 47s

Justin Timberlake's Identity Crisis

What's up with Justin Timberlake? Two years ago he gifted us the ebullient family-friendly jam "Can't Stop the Feeling," now he's on the cusp of a deeply serious new record called "Man of the Woods," whose first single, strangely, is a bit of electro-funk snarl expertly produced by long-time collaborators Timbaland and Danja. What's going on here—who is JT trying to be? We listen deep to his latest, "Filthy," to try and understand its creator's conflicting musical worlds.  Featuring: Justin Timberlake - Filthy Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River Bernard Hermann - Psycho Ken Nordine - My Baby Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/01/1837m 23s

Dua Lipa's Minor Mantra (w Emily Bootle)

Charlie talks laments, Baroque opera, and gender politics in Dua Lipa's sleeper hit "New Rules" with writer Emily Bootle. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/12/1718m 59s

All I Want for Xmas is a Year in Review Episode

Charlie and Nate breakdown Mariah Carey's classic "All I Want for Christmas is You" and revisit their favorite tracks of 2017. Sleigh bells abound. Featuring • Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas • Laura Marling - Semper Femina • Lorde - Melodrama • Khalid - Location • Dua Lipa - New Rules • Logic - Everybody / 1-800-273-8255 • Childish Gambino - Redbone • Sampha - (No One Knows Me) Like the piano in my mothers house • Father John Misty - Pure Comedy • Jay-Z: 4:44 • Perfume Genius - No Shape • Aimee Mann - Mental Illness And more... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/12/1741m 55s

Björk's Emotional Landscapes

Björk is uniquely both a pop star and avant-garde composer. Though her music often challenges our ears, underneath her records you'll find more in common with today's pop music than you'd expect. Pieced together, you'll hear that she paints emotional landscapes composed of all the complexities of human experience. We give you a way to enjoy listening to her music. Using this hybrid pop/modernist method, we deconstruct her latest album Utopia. Plus Nate & Charlie fall in love all over again. Featured Clips Björk - Losss Björk - Human Behaviour Björk - It's Oh So Quiet Björk - Hyperballad Björk - Joga Björk - Thunderbolt Björk - Lionsong Björk - Arisen My Senses Björk - Stonemilker Björk - Quicksand Björk - Notget Björk - Utopia Björk - Blissing Me Björk - The Gate  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/11/1739m 27s

Taylor Constructs A Darker Reputation

Taylor Swift unveils a new, darker identity on her latest album "Reputation," and many have read the lyrics on her latest as not-so-subtle volleys in an ongoing celebrity feud. Still, a question remains: how does Swift cast this dark personality in music? Two songs offer evidence. Melodic drops and temporal gaps in "I Did Something Bad" signal the album's themes of descent and decay. On "Getaway Car," however, some of Swift's old songwriting tricks may betray her new persona. We also dug into Reputation and other great listener questions in our Reddit AMA. Featuring: Taylor Swift: • I Did Something Bad • Getaway Car • Trouble • Love Story • You Belong With Me • Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys - Away Out There • Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek • The Weeknd - Can't Feel My Face Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/11/1739m 7s

Unlikely Mashups: Taylor + Cardi B | Clean Bandit + Berlioz

At the top of the pop charts, Taylor Swift and Cardi B, two artists with seemingly little in common, exploit the same compositional technique to hook listeners in. Meanwhile, across time and space, electro producers Clean Bandit ft. Julia Michaels, channel the thematic tricks of French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz in his 1830 Symphonie Fantastique. FeaturingTaylor Swift - Look What You Made Me Do Cardi B - Bodak YellowRight Said Fred - I'm Too SexyClean Bandit ft. Julia Michaels - I Miss YouBerlioz - Symphonie Fantastique performed by Berliner PhilharmonikerBerlioz - Symphonie Fantastique performed by DuPage Symphony Orchestra Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/11/1747m 10s

Kendrick Lamar's HUMBLE deconstructed w. guest Amber Mark

With Charlie off the grid, Nate sits down with singer/producer Amber Mark to explore the different levels of Kendrick's hit HUMBLE.. Then, they turn to the diverse influences (including house music, Carnatic samples, and autodidactic piano chords) behind Mark's own track "Lose My Cool." Featuring: Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE. Amber Mark - Lose My Cool Amber Mark - SPACE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/10/1731m 58s

Demi Lovato is Not Sorry

Demi Lovato's latest, "Sorry Not Sorry" is at once an unapologetic anthem of defiance and a super catchy mashup of multiple genres. As we'll see, every small musical choice is here for a reason, together fostering Lovato's message of ascension—or even, transcendence. And as we pick apart "Sorry Not Sorry," we'll go to some surprising places ourselves including: Klezmer melodies, spiritual pretzels and musical dementors.  Featuring: •Demi Lovato - Sorry Not Sorry •Cardi B - Bodak Yellow •Dave Tarras - Freilach Yidelach Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/10/1737m 58s

How to 'Feels' the Groove

How does a song with nonsense lyrics capture our attention, making us want to move? It is called the groove. Enter Calvin Harris' "Feels" (ft. Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Big Sean). Known for mainstreaming EDM, Harris throws out the software and picks up hardware instruments on this track. Upon first listen, this might seem like a sleeper hit, but as the loop repeats, you're going to want to move your feet. With intricate rhythmic interplay, the bass, drums, keys and guitar seem to talk to each other. Listen closely to hear how he does it. Also, we'll reveal why Katy Perry is so into going fishing. FeaturingCalvin Harris - Feels (ft. Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Big Sean)James Brown - I Got The FeelingJames Brown - Get Up Offa That ThingDNCE - Cake By The OceanGeorge & Ira Gershwin - Blah Blah Blah (performed by 2012 Original Broadway Cast) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/09/1733m 16s

Anthems of Resilience - Kesha and Imagine Dragons [LIVE]

This episode of Switched on Pop comes at you live from Block Island, RI, recoded in front of an audience of friends and family following a solar eclipse. Fittingly, the two songs discussed that day formed their own kind of syzygy. Kesha's "Praying" and Imagine Dragon's "Believer" are inverse anthems of resilience. Both tracks seek catharsis - one through prayer, the other through pain. FeaturingKesha - Tik TokKesha - PrayingMozart -  The Queen of the Night AriaWhitney Houston - I Will Always Love YouMariah Carey - EmotionsLalah Hathaway - SomethingImagine Dragons - RadioactiveImagine Dragons - Believer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/09/1743m 38s

The Many Worlds of "Despacito"

What has catapulted Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" to the top spot on the Billboard charts? Sorry, typo—to its status as the biggest song in the world? Your hosts explore the many worlds of "Despacito" in search of an answer. Featuring: Lusi Fonsi ft Daddy Yankee - Despacito Luis Fonsi ft Daddy Yankee y Justin Bieber - Despacito (Remix) Luis Fonsi y Juan Luis Guerra - Llegaste Tú Major Lazer ft Justin Bieber - Cold Water Los Del Rio - Macarena Daddy Yankee - Gasolina Avril Lavigne - Complicated Toto - Africa Further reading: Petra River-Rideau Interview in The Atlantic Remezcla  Roundtable on Despacito w Isabel Herrera and Julianne Escobedo Shepherd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/08/1731m 39s

Selena Gomez: Bad Liar, Psycho Songwriter

Selena Gomez's "Bad Liar" stands out on the charts by doing things a little differently: it's a subtle, at times even awkward, summer surprise. Breaking down this pop morsel reveals it has teeth, though—and not just because it borrows a bass line from the Talking Heads' macabre "Psycho Killer." This is a fun one. Come along for the ride.  Featuring: • Selena Gomez - Bad Liar • Julia Michaels - Issues • Selena Gomez - Same Old Love • Talking Heads - Psycho Killer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/07/1744m 9s

Breaking Down Alanis Morissette (and our own Preconceptions) with guest Andrea Warner

Author, critic and podcaster Andrea Warner joins for a throwback episode exploring politics in Lilith Fair, harmonic anger in Alanis Morissette's iconic "You Oughta Know," and the blind spots in your host's assessment of women in rock.  Featuring: •Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know Artists mentioned by Andrea Warner: SZA Ibeyi The Overcoats Lizzo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/06/1733m 0s

Morgan Page Reveals the Rule of 3 in Julia Michaels and Maroon 5

Your brain can only hear three things at the same time. What you may not know is that musicians use this cognitive limitation to guide your listening all the time. Charlie and Nate are joined by Grammy Nominee music producer Morgan Page to reveal the secrets of this ubiquitous technique. Listening to Julia Michaels' hit "Issues," we unveil how the rule of three is used to draw our attention and keep us free from sonic distraction. And we look at how Maroon 5's "Cold" uses the same technique but creates an exceptionally different sound. Of course, it wouldn't be Switched On Pop if we didn't dig into the classical past to find out if this rule really holds up in the history of music.  Featuring: Morgan Page - Fight My WayJulia Michaels - Issues Julia Michaels - Issues (Acoustic)Maroon 5 - Cold ft. FutureSkrillex - First Of The Year (Equinox)Ed Sheeran - Shape Of YouDJ Khaled - I'm The OneSelena Gomez - Bad LiarThe Beatles - When I'm Sixty FourArnold Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire - III - Der MondfleckDead & Company - Live at the Hollywood Bowl 6-1-17The Beatles - A Day In The LifeIke & Tina Turner: Deep River Mountain HighSwedish House Mafia - One Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/06/1746m 16s

DJ Khaled - I'm The One... six... four... five

DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo from Migos and Lil Wayne have allied for a new smash hit: "I'm The One." Despite the star power present, the resulting track is less than the sum of its parts—repetitive, derivative, uninventive. And yet, the lackluster "I'm The One" sits comfortably at the top of the charts, which raises the question: why?? Our answer: because Khaled and company understand the bewitching power of tonal harmony, and they've utilized the most surefire chord progression in pop history to ensure their success, a simple sequence of chords that has captivated listeners for almost a century: I - vi - IV - V. Check out our playlist of songs using this progression — and please send us any others that you identify! Featuring: • DJ Khaled - I'm The One • Dean Martin - Blue Moon • Ben E. King - Stand By Me • Hoagy Carmichael - Heart & Soul • The Police - Every Breath You Take  • Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You • fun. -  We Are Young • Justin Bieber - Baby • Jean-Philippe Rameau - Les Sauvages Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/06/1738m 11s

Musical Architecture in Charlie Puth + HAIM

Two new songs have captured the attention of your hosts—Charlie Puth's "Attention" and HAIM's "Want You Back." On the surface, these two songs appear to have little in common. A closer look, though, reveals the subtle musical architecture undergirding each track, a perfect balance of symmetry and asymmetry that keeps reeling us in for more.  Featuring: • Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor - Marvin Gaye • Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth - See You Again • Charlie Puth ft. Selene Gomez - We Don't Talk Anymore • Charlie Puth - Attention • Haim - Want You Back • Dvorak - Carnival Overture (United States Marine Band) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/05/1741m 34s

The End Of Pop Music As We Know It: Fall Out Boy & Charli XCX

Is it true that all pop music sounds the same today? For the past year the “pop-drop” has dominated the airwaves. This new form of EDM infused pop came out of DJ culture and has infused its sound with every mainstream act like Lady Gaga and Coldplay. Tiring of this sound, some artists are finding creative ways to parody this pop trope. The rock outfit Fall Out Boy’s “Young And Menace” demonstrates equal parts mastery and mockery of the pop-drop. And PC Music, a rising art-music label out of London, skewers the whole of pop cliché on their mixtape collaboration with Charli XCX. After this episode, we promise you’ll be ready to move on to new sounds. Luckily, listeners have collaborated to create a new favorites playlist to help you cleanse your palette. Featuring:The Chainsmokers - CloserKygo & Selena Gomez - It Ain’t MeLady Gaga - The CureFall Out Boy - Sugar We’re Going DownFall Out Boy - Young And MenaceJay Z - D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)Ariana Grande - Into YouKaty Perry feat. Skip Marley - Chained To The RhythmDrake - PassionfruitPostmodern Jukebox - Sugar We’re Going Down SwingingBritney Spears - Oops! I Did It AgainSkrillex - BangarangDJ Snake - MiddleBeyoncé - Love On TopIcona Pop - I Love It (feat. Charlie XCX)Iggy Azalea - Fancy ft. Charli XCXSelena Gomez - Same Old LoveCharli XCX - 3AM (Pull Up) (feat. MØ)Hannah Diamond - Every NightBronze - Thy SlaughterDanny L Harle - Super Natural (ft. Carly Rae Jepsen)SOPHIE - JUST LIKE WE NEVER SAID GOODBYEA.G. Cook - SuperstarAriana Grande - Side To SideCoon Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra - I'm Gonna Charleston Back To CharlestonSpotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/switchedonpop/playlist/1LeUhwRJfMGdlPkSMR9Uxu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/05/1748m 31s

Harry Styles, Eschatology and Teen Girl Fandom

One Direction wunderkind Harry Styles has just released his first ever single, "Sign of the Times," and it's a doozy. Strap in for a discussion of the apocalypse, late Beatles, teen wisdom, and the amen cadence—among other demons exorcised in this most peculiar pop tune.  Featuring: •Beethoven 5th Symphony - Scherzo •Harry Styles - Sign of the Times •Prince - Sign o' the Times •David Bowie - Space Oddity •Zayn Malik - Pillowtalk •Steve Aoki + Louis Tomlinson - Just Hold On •John Lennon - #9 Dream •George Harrison - All Things Must Pass •The Beatles - The End •British Pathe Broadcast •Meg Says YouTube Channel •Megan Elizabeth YouTube Channel Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/04/1744m 47s

What's to Love About Ed Sheeran? (guest Ross Golan)

Songwriter Ross Golan comes over to start up a conversation, encouraging us to follow his lead and give Ed Sheeran's chart-annihilating record "Shape of You" a chance. Ross, a studio vet with multiple #1 hits (including  numbers discussed on this very podcast, such as Ariana Grande's "Dangerous Woman" and Selena Gomez's "Same Old Love") is the ideal guest to convince a skeptical Charlie and Nate that Sheeran might have a song handmade for somebodies like them. Plus, Ross takes us behind the scenes of his own podcast, "And the Writer Is...", in which the industry's best writers break down their trials and triumphs on the way to the top. Featuring: • Ed Sheeran - Shape of You • Justin Bieber - Love Yourself • Kygo ft. Ella Henderson - Here For You • Maroon 5 - Don't Wanna Know Check out And The Writer Is... With Ross Golan: http://www.andthewriteris.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/04/1742m 32s

Zedd + Alessia Cara - Stay (w special guest Grey)

Charlie and Nate sit down with up-and-coming producer duo Grey—fresh off their hit "Starving" with Zedd and Hailee Steinfeld—to uncover the secrets behind Alessia Cara and Zedd's dramatic dance track "Stay" and Grey's own deep cut "I Miss You" (ft Bahari). Snare drums as currency, Game of Thrones samples and screaming into the void are all discussed in this deep dive into the world of pop orchestration and 21st century songwriting.    Featuring: Zedd + Alessia Cara - Stay Hailee Steinfeld + Grey ft. Zedd - Starving Grey ft. Bahari - I Miss You Earth, Wind and Fire - Kalimba Story Maroon 5 - Don't Wanna Know Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition Ravel - Pictures at an Exhibition Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Pictures at an Exhibition Grey - Do You Remember (Remix) Grey - You're Not There (Remix) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/03/1745m 46s

Chained to the Green Light: Katy Perry + Lorde

Two artists who haven't released new music since 2013 recently remerged into the limelight: Katy Perry, with her dystopian disco banger "Chained to the Rhythm" and Lorde, with the melodramatic-yet-uplifting anthem "Green Light."  Listening carefully, a fact becomes apparent, despite Lorde's insistence that she "hears new sounds" in her mind: there's something familiar lurking beneath both these tracks. And indeed, both were co-written and produced by key figures of the modern pop music firmament. Who are they, and how do we detect their fingerprints on the latest from these two low-voiced chanteuses? Tune in and test your acumen in a high-stakes game of musical forensics.  Featuring: Katy Perry - Chained to the Rhythm Lorde - Green Light ...and some secret songs Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/03/1740m 28s

Oscar Week!: La La Land ft. Genevieve Koski

With the Academy Awards around the corner, Charlie and Nate try something new: a break down of the movie musical La La Land through two of its key songs, "City of Stars" and "Start a Fire." These numbers, one by composer Justin Hurwitz, the other by Hurwitz and John Legend, might represent the two poles of the film's dramatic structure. But a deep dive into their musical construction reveals leitmotifs and left turns that leave us staggered at the different levels to La La Land's score. Special guest Genevieve Koski, deputy culture editor for Vox and co-host of the film podcast The Next Picture Show, joins to help our hosts journey through the uncharted terrain of cinema. Featuring: • Start a Fire - John Legend • City of Stars - Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone • John Legend - Ordinary People • Backstreet Boys - Everybody • Ariana Grande - Side To Side • Die Walkure, The Ring Cycle - Richard Wagner • Engagement, Planetarium, Epilogue, Mia + Sebastian's Theme - Justin Hurwitz • Générique, Dans le magasin de parapluies, Final  - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg • Tie Fighter Theme - John Williams Check out Genevieve Koski's writing on Vox and her great podcast on La La Land here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/02/1752m 38s

Zayn, Taylor Swift & The Grammys

"I Don't Wanna Live Forever," the new track from Zayn and Taylor Swift, finds two members of the pop pantheon joining forces with producer Jack Antonoff to craft an inexorable hit song. But this duet—between a former One Direction heartthrob aiming to avert the sophomore slump and a megastar returning to the limelight—is far from triumphant. Instead, "Forever" delves into themes of loss and separation—emotions in turn embedded in the very structure and melody of this most unusual duet. Also, Charlie and Nate discuss what upcoming Grammy nominations have them most excited, From Chance the Rapper to Radiohead, Bowie to Solange, there's much to celebrate from 2016. Musically speaking, that is.  Featuring: • Zayn & Taylor Swift - I Don't Wanna Live Forever • Giovanni Gabrieli - Symphoniae Sacrae II • Solange - Cranes in the Sky • Chance the Rapper - All We Got • David Bowie - Lazarus • Radiohead - Burn the Witch • Tycho - Glider Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/02/1733m 21s

The Puzzle of Ariana Grande's "Into You" (with K. Flay)

"Into You" was one of the biggest hits of 2016, the stellar production of reclusive legend Max Martin combining with the acrobatic vocals of Ariana Grande to create an undeniable, ubiquitous earworm. With "Into You" still burning up the charts, we dive deep to uncover the insane puzzles, Trompe-l'oiel tricks and Baroque games that lie under the surface of this morsel of pop perfection. PLUS, brilliant rocker and rapper K. Flay joins to discuss the mysteries of Ariana Grande and takes us through the composition of her own, bass-heavy anthem of catharsis, "Blood in the Cut." Featuring • Ariana Grande - Into You  • K Flay - Blood in the Cut • Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive • J.S. Bach - A little hocket example • Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman • The Chainsmokers - Closer • The Rolling Stones - Can't Get No Satisfaction • The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/01/1749m 50s

Seduced by the Sound: The Weeknd + Daft Punk

"I Feel it Coming" might be the slowest burning jam to hit the charts in ages, in which the Weeknd enlists the robotic hum of Daft Punk to help craft a perfectly calibrated climate of desire. Brilliant, sexy songs don't just appear out of thin air, though, so we reveal how this song's perpetual excitement is hard-won through references to past stars of sultriness like Michael and Marvin while employing its own bag of tricks to turn up the heat.  Featuring: •The Weeknd + Daft Punk - I Feel it Coming •Marvin Gaye - Let's Get it On •Michael Jackson - Rock With You •Chic - Good Times •Ike and Tina Turner - Doin' It For an excellent playlist of listener-submitted sexy songs, direct your dirty self here: http://spoti.fi/2ieEeul Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/01/1725m 8s

Dreaming Of A White Christmas

White Christmas holds the Guinness World Record for most singles sold and has been covered over 500 times. Pop stars from Elvis to Ella have recorded it, with interpretations from doo-wop to country to punk rock. With new covers each year, it seems listeners have not grown tired of this Tin Pan Alley chestnut. We use our scientific formula for holiday hit success to break down what makes this song so timeless. FeaturingBing Crosby - White ChristmasThe Beatles - Christmas Time Is HereWhitney Houston - Have Yourself a Merry Little ChristmasJackson 5 - Santa Clause Is Coming to TownThe Beatles - In My LifeFrank Sinatra - White ChristmasKenny G - White ChristmasNashville Cast - White ChristmasLady Gaga - White ChristmasThe Drifters - White ChristmasElvis - White ChristmasElla Fitzgerald - White ChristmasBeach Boys - White ChristmasDean Martin - White ChristmasKaty Perry - White ChristmasKelly Clarkson - White ChristmasRascal Flatts - White ChristmasMichael Bolton - White ChristmasMichael Bublé and Shania Twain - White ChristmasCarol Of The Bells by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)Artist: http://audionautix.com/ Deck the Hall, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Angels We Have Heard by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?collection=004&page=1Artist: http://incompetech.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/12/1641m 15s

How to Listen to Music in 4 Easy Steps

50 episodes in, hosts Charlie and Nate take a step back to think about how they listen to music and try to define what might be called The Switched on Method™. "Hallelujah," by the late, great Leonard Cohen, acts as a perfect test case for breaking down listening into four key layers: 1) The Liner Notes, 2) The Needle Drop, 3) The Scratch, and 4) The Remix. Through this patented process, artistic revelations are all but guaranteed, with Cohen's opus no exception — his modern classic is not all it appears to be.  Featuring: •Leonard Cohen - "Hallelujah" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/12/1647m 25s

Playing it Cool: How Tove Lo Aims High

On the surface, Tove Lo's new hit "Cool Girl" boasts a snappy, earworm chorus and an empowering message of self-reliance. Beneath its chill exterior, though, Lo's song burns with a passion bordering on rage, and sinister sonic undertones suggest an unreliable narrator who doesn't always mean what she says. The more layers one pulls back from this song, the more Lo's source material—the novel and film "Gone Girl"—comes to the fore, turning "Cool Girl" into the kind of pop smash that sticks in your head in more ways than one.  Featuring: Tove Lo - Cool Girl Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster Alessia Cara - Scars To Your Beautiful Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/11/1630m 56s

Made In America: Toby Keith & Jay-Z

Back in 2011, two pop songs dropped with the same patriotic title: "Made in America." But the similarities pretty much end there. Toby Keith's country smash and Jay Z, Kanye West and Frank Ocean's soulful hip hop anthem have little in common except a firm conviction that each song knows what it really means to be American. Five years later, these tracks have a lot to tell us about the role music plays in shaping our national identity, and begs the question: does music truly bring us together? FeaturingToby Keith - Made In AmericaJay Z and Kanye West ft. Frank Ocean - Made in AmericaSisqo - Thong SongUsher - Yeah!Beyoncé - Daddy LessonsJimmie Rodgers - Blue Yodel No. 9Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys - Ida Red Likes to Boogie Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/11/1648m 15s

Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal

Host Charlie spent the last two weeks listening to every song on the Billboard Hot 100. What did he discover? That the sonic similarities of most chart-toppers sound closer than ever. Except for the #1 song in America, as of this episode's release - "Closer" by The Chainsmokers, ft. Halsey. This one is different than the rest...or is it? We dive into the styles of the moment to re-learn the old maxim that "great artists steal" - whether that artist is a 2016 DJ duo or an 18th century Classical master.  Featuring: •Tory Lanez - LUV •Shawn Mendes - Treat You Better •Frenship - Capsize •Maroon 5 - Don't Wanna Know •Cheat Codes - Sex •The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey - Closer •Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez - We Don't Talk Anymore •Jack U ft. Justin Bieber - Where Are U Now •Drake - Know Yourself •Amine - Caroline •MO - Final Song •Mike Posner - I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb remix) •The Weeknd - I Can't Feel My Face •The Chainsmokers ft. Phoebe Ryan - All We Know •Antonio Vivaldi - "La Primavera" Concerto •Vivaldi - Giustino •Vivaldi - Dorilla in Tempe •Vivaldi - Orlando Furioso Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/10/1645m 50s

The Most Popular Song In The World

The Nokia ringtone used to be heard more than a billion times per  day, making it one of the most popular songs in the world. We tend to  consider cellphone rings as somewhat antithetical to  music. There is a whole subset of YouTube videos dedicated to the perverse thrill of  watching a delicately beautiful musical moment ruined by the harsh cry  of a default ringtone. In this episode, we zoom in on one of these  annoying melodies to see if there's not some hidden musical craft  present in the ubiquitous bleeps and bloops that envelop us. Later,  Charlie shares a piece made solely of this sonic detritus, and a data  scientist locates surprising musical patterns in a most unexpected  source. Featuring:The Nokia TuneThe Beatles - She's So HeavyOne Direction - Live While We're YoungFrancisco Tarrega - Gran ValsLinks:Charlie Harding - Bowl ArrowJonathan Berger's Article in Nautlius: How Music Hijacks our Perception of TimeFamous Cell Phone Rings Played on the Piano by Tony AnnGreg Hochmuth's work Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/10/1640m 46s

Lady Gaga Is A Perfect Illusion

Lady Gaga's new single "Perfect Illusion" is the apotheosis of her artistic statement. She is well known for her visual style that too often overshadows her music. But when taken together, it is evident that Lady Gaga is playing all of us because the non-conformity of her outward appearance is reflected back in her compositions. On first listen, her songs may sound like just another catchy pop tune and this is intentional. Gaga lures us close with the sound of pop fame and then hooks us and reels us into into her dungeon of monstrous sounds. FeaturingLady Gaga - Perfect IllusionLady Gaga - Just DanceLady Gaga - Government HookerQueen - Radio GagaLady Gaga - Love GameLady Gage - ScheisseMichael Jackson - ThrillerPhantom Of The Opera - OvertureJohn Carpenter - Halloween Theme (Main Title)Lady Gaga - Bad RomanceLady Gaga - AlejandroAce Of Bass - I Saw The SignLady Gaga - SpeechlessQueen - Don’t Stop Me NowLady Gaga - So Happy I Could DieNatasha Bedingfield - Pocket Full of SunshineLady Gaga - Born This WayMadonna - Express YourselfLady Gaga - TeethLady Gaga - Bloody MaryLady Gaga - Dance In The DarkTony Bennett and Lady Gaga - Anything GoesTony Bennett - I Wish I Were In Love Again Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/09/161h 3m

How Beyoncé to The Beatles Modulate Your Emotions

Certain pop songs have that moment, when everything seems to change but still remain the same, when the drama gets ratcheted up, when the tension increases and our emotions take an elevator ride to the heavens. From Beyoncé to Johnny Cash, savvy pop songwriters know a well-placed harmonic modulation can leave listeners reeling. But what is this mysterious musical trick, and how does it work? Tune in and let us take you higher, and higher, and higher, as we explore the wild world of modulation. FeaturingOne Direction - Night ChangesTaylor Swift - Love StoryBackstreet Boys - I Want it That WayStevie Wonder - Knocks Me Off my FeetBeyonce - Love On TopWhitney Houston - I Will Always Love YouMozart - Queen of the Night AriaMichael Jackson - Man in the MirrorThe Beatles - Penny LaneJohnny Cash - Walk the Line Hear more of Dru Cutler's work at www.drucutler.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/09/1638m 7s

Pop Drops and Chipmunk Soul

A strange syndrome is wreaking havoc on the voices of our biggest pop stars. From Rihanna to Justin Bieber, no one is safe from having their beautiful vocals chopped up, screwed down, repitched and repurposed. As dance music takes over the charts and new software grants vocal manipulation at the click of a button, this uncanny production technique has become nearly ubiquitous. But is this ultramodern sound really that new? We dig deep into the roots of the sound of the moment. Featuring: • Kiaara - Gold • Coldplay - Hymn for the Weekend (Seeb remix) • Hailee Steinfeld ft. Grey & Zedd - Starving • Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna - This is What You Came For • Mike Posner -I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb remix) • DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber - Let Me Love You • Cold Crush Brothers - MC Battle (Live) • Cerrone - Rocket in the Pocket • Wu Tang Clan - Tearz • Wendy Rene - After Laughter • Kanye West - School Spirit • Whistle - Just Buggin • Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/08/1641m 39s

The Gideon and Hubcap Show

This episode marks something of a departure from the norm. With Charlie away, host Nate, aka "Hubcap," takes us on a home-show tour of the Scottish Highlands with his traveling minstrel act, The Gideon and Hubcap Show. It's an entirely different kind of summer music spectacle.  Featuring: •13,000 Miles - Gideon Irving •Oh Wow - Gideon Irving •Ida Done - Gideon and Hubcap •Safe Word - Gideon and Hubcap •Hebrides Overture – Felix Mendelssohn •Mouth Music - From the Smithsonian Folkways Collection, Scottish Drinking and Pipe Songs •Breabach - Gig Face •Cuyahoga - Gideon and Hubcap Check out www.mynameisgideon.com and www.gideonandhubcap.com for more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/08/1627m 5s

Breaking Down The House

The fingerprints of house music are all over mainstream pop, but much of its sound has been whitewashed. That ubiquitous four-to-the-floor kick and synth bass sound draws from Chicago's queer, black and latinx warehouse club culture. Micah Salkind is working on a book on the history of these communities. Together we break down the sonic origins of this music through a modern track that fully embraces its cultural nexus: "Hideaway" by Kiesza. Micah takes us back to Chicago in the 1980s, and we explore how this sound came to be and where it is going today.  FEATURINGKiesza - HideawayLoleeta Holloway - Love SensationBlack box - Ride On TimeMadonna - VogueMr. Fingers - The JuiceKanye West - FadeRythim Is Rythim - Strings Of LifePaul Oakenfold - You Could Be HappyFrankie Knuckles - Your LoveMFSB ft The Three Degrees - T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)Jesse Saunders - On and OnDiplo - Be Right There Justin Bieber - SorryCalvin Harris - This Is What You Came ForShaun J. Wright & Alinka - Love Inspired  MORE STUFFFind more of Micah's work at micah-salkind.squarespace.com/about/ and his DJ sets at www.mixcloud.com/micahjacksonListen to Shaun J. Wright & Alinka on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/aalinkaa/shaun-j-wright-alinka-love Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/08/1640m 35s

Around The World With Drake

How do you create a hit that both breaks sound barriers and chart records? Drake has done this with a unique mix of international sounds from Africa, the Caribbean, the U.K. and Canada. But is his chart topping success musical appropriation or celebration? A deep listening reveals diverse influences and musical rhythms that have crossed oceans centuries before "One Dance" was even conceived. Plus, we debut Blinky Bill's "So Strong," his first single off his upcoming solo album. FEATURING - Drake - One Dance (feat. Whizkid & Kyla) - Ojuelegba Remix - Wizkid ft. Drake & Septa - 2Baba - Coded Tinz ft. Phyno, Chief Obi - DJ Maphorisa - Soweto Baby feat Wizkid & Dj Buckz - Crazy Cousinz - Do You Mind ft. Kyla - The Revolutionaries - General For General - Barrington Levy - Dance Are Changing  - Joh Thomas - Ghetto Dance - Papa Biggie - Youth Them Have To Grow - Yellowman - Adam & Eve - Mighty Diamonds - Love Me Girl - Drake - Hotline Bling - Timmy Thomas - Why Can’t We Live Together - D.R.A.M. - Cha Cha - Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX - Take Care Of You - Drake - Take Care ft. Rihanna - Drake - JunglePaul Simon - Graceland - Paul Simon - I Know What I Know - Moby - Natural Blues - Vera Hall - Trouble So Hard - David Guetta - Hey Mama (ft. Nicki Minaj) - Sangkala - Gamelan Degung - Joel Francisco Perri - Las llamas de Potosi - Habib Koité - Africa - Kwaa Mensah - Odo Me, Me Sum No DoChico O’farrell - Sin Titulo - Trio Matamoros - El Que Siembra Su Maíz  - Joseph Kabasele - Africa Bola Ngombi - E.T. Mensa & The Tempos - Fom Fom - Fela Kuti - Lagos Baby - Fela Kuti - Elbe Moi (Carry Me) - Fela Kuti - LadyWizkid - Show You The Money - Blinky Bill - So Strong Check out Blinky's music at www.soundcloud.com/blinkyb Supported by Casper and Amazon Prime Music's Song of Summer Playlist Amazon www.amazonsongsofsummer.com/pop Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/07/1643m 46s

When Good Music Happens To Bad People

We have more information about pop stars lives than ever before, but this transparency is not always uplifting for music lovers. Just as we may enjoy following the intimate lives of celebrities on Instagram, we simultaneously uncover how stars abuse their power to marginalize others, commit heinous crimes and inspire mass atrocity. Sometimes skeletons in the closet turn our to be literal skeletons. As listeners, this undoubtedly colors the way we hear our old favorite songs. Join us as we explore how to listen to good music that happens to bad people. FEATURING Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls Of Fire The Righteous Brothers - You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling Garry Glitter - Hey R. Kelly - Ignition (Remix) Wagner - Ride Of The Valkyries The Ronettes - Be My Baby   Queen - You’re My Best Friend Drake - Keep The Family Close Wagner - Tristan Und Isolade: Prelude Wagner - Tristan Und Isolade: Liebestod  Wagner - Lohengrin: Bridal Chorus Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/06/1639m 26s

Justin Timberlake Goes Medieval

Summer heat is upon us and so are the jams. Our ears are hooked on Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling." What you may not know is that this song leans on the success of mononymous giants: Pharrell, Michael and Handel. If you think that pop is a modern phenomenon, you may be surprised by medieval references and techniques comped by JT. Join us as we break down the hidden hooks and musical tricks that make this song an ear worm. Featuring Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop The Feeling! Pharrell Williams - Happy Michael Jackson - Thriller Michael Jackson - Rock With You Elvis Costello - Allison M.C. Hammer - U Can't Touch This Electric Six - Improper Dancing Nicki Minaj - Feeling Myself ft. Beyonce Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River Bernart De Ventadorn - Can Vei La Lauzeta Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/06/1636m 7s

All About Those Baseline Assumptions About Femini$m in Pop

With Meghan Trainor's new singles "No" and "Me Too" ubiquitous on the radio dial, a larger discussion about the uneasy relationship between social movements and selling records takes a feminist bent. Memories of the polarizing 2014 hit "All About that Bass" come to the surface, reigniting debates over whether Trainor's songs express radical thought or package it for mass consumption. Or is that distinction a distraction, forgetting that manufactured pop can still pack a political punch? That might depend on how you listen. Andi Zeisler, author of "We Were Feminists Once," professor Robin James, blogger Jenny Trout and writer Andrea Warner join for a dive into the complexities of feminist pop politics. FEATURING Meghan Trainor - Me Too Meghan Trainor - No Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass Spice Girls - Wannabe Big Sean - Dance (A$$) Taylor Swift - Shake It off Demi Lovato - Confident Grimes - Flesh Without Blood The Slits - Typical Girls Sleater-Kinney - #1 Must Have Jonathan Hoyle - Never Ending Road Lizzo - Good As Hell  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/06/1634m 44s

Jonas vs. Jonas: Or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Boy Band

A battle between brothers is playing out on the pop charts, a sibling rivalry the likes of which the music industry hasn't seen since 1987, when Michael and Janet Jackson's 1987 "Bad" and "Let's Wait Awhile" jockeyed for peak position on the Hot 100. Today, Nick, the youngest of the Jonas Brothers, looks for redemption from their boy band past in the moody, adult love song "Close" ft. Tove Lo, while middle brother Joe and his band DNCE use the explosive, retro "Cake By the Ocean" to replace a squeaky-clean look with a profane party anthem. Tune in to learn how these two songs, sounding so different on the surface, have something very surprising in common. Then, stick around for a deep dive through the wonders of the Jonas back catalog, along with a detour to the life and music of another troubled child prodigy named Wolfgang, that will leave you thinking of the frère Jonas in a whole new light. FEATURING - Nick Jonas - Close - DNCE - Cake By The Ocean - Beach Boys - Misirlou - Jonas Brothers - Mandy - Jonas Brothers - Burnin’ Up - Demi Lovato - La La Land - Mozart - Laureate Dominum - Mozart - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Mozart - Batiene Und Bastienne - Mozart - Bona Nox! bist a rechts Ox, K. 561 - Jonas Brothers - Bounce - Mozart - Requiem in D minor K626: I Requiem - Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Mozart - Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492: Overture: Wiener Philharmoniker  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/05/1636m 7s

Purple Lemonade: Prince & Beyoncé

It has been a period of musical loss and celebration. On the same week we lost Prince, the world was gifted Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Both artists contain multitudes of musical traditions, collaborators and themes that weave throughout their song. In the first half of the show, we break down Beyoncé's “Hold Up,” an exemplary piece about Lemonade's main theme of marital distress. But the song is not as simple as it may seem. Its compositional restraint suggests more complex ideas about love. Speaking of love, Prince may have published more songs on the subject than any other recording musician. In the second half of the show, we speak with scholar and Musiqology contributor Matthew Valnes about Prince’s musical legacy. Featuring - Beyoncé - Pray You Catch Me - Beyoncé - Freedom - Beyoncé - Formation - Beyoncé - Love Drought - Beyoncé - Sorry - Beyoncé - All Night - Beyoncé - Daddy Lessons - Beyoncé - Hold Up - Major Lazer & DJ Snake - Lean On - Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps - Vampire Weekend - Obvious Bicycle - Beyoncé - Don’t Hurt Yourself - Prince - Musicology - Joshua Redman - How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore - Prince - How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore - Prince - When Doves Cry - Sly & The Family Stone - Thank You - Prince - Super Bowl Press Conference Performance - Marcus Miller - Jean Pierre (live at North Sea Jazz Festival) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7Q8Ual3coM You can read Matthew Valnes' article "When Doves Cry" over at Musiqology: http://musiqology.com/blog/2016/04/25/when-doves-cry-prince-and-black-popular-music-history/ Also check out Behind The Linear Notes’s latest episode on the history of the Castrati featuring a clip from our episode on One Direction: http://www.betweenthelinernotes.com/episodes-1/castrato  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/05/1645m 15s

Pablo And The Wolves

The Life Of Pablo is Kanye West’s latest album. Despite its lack of hits, it has been at the fulcrum of pop music for months. With its gradual online release and its changing track lists, this shapeshifting album is difficult to grasp. We recruit Andrew Marantz from The New Yorker Magazine to break down Pablo and the “Wolves,” a song that embodies the multiplicities of West’s larger project and connects his work to the classical past of Bach and Prokofiev. Featuring: - Kanye West: Wolves - Jay Z: Where's Th e Love - Kanye West: All Falls Down - Kanye West: Gold Digger - Kanye West: Heartless - Kanye West: All Of The Lights - Kanye West: Black Skinhead - Gary Glitter: Rock N Roll Part 2 (Hey!) - Kanye West: I Love Kanye - Bach: Canon Perpetuus - Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf (narrated by David Bowie) - Paul McCartney: Driving Rain - Drake: Jumpman (featuring Future) - Missy Elliot: Work It - R. Kelly: The Zoo - Justin Timberlake: Give Me What I Don't Know - DJ Snake: Birdsong - Pink Floyd: Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/04/1637m 44s

The Populist Pop of Twenty One Pilots

Out of nowhere, Twenty One Pilots has rocketed to the top of the charts with their surprise hit "Stressed Out." Charlie and Nate pull this millennial anthem apart to discover a deep political resonance, the kind that rarely hits the Hot 100. Tracing this sound back in time reveals further connections, to Compton, Motown, and the alternate universe of Parliament/Funkadelic. And, a trip further down the chart suggests that political pop still has no party affiliation. Featuring: •Twenty One Pilots—Stressed Out •NWA—Alwayz Into Somethin' •Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg—Nuthin' but a G Thang •Parliament/Funkadelic—Aquaboogie •Stevie Wonder—Livin' for the City •G-Eazy x Bebe Rexha—My Myself and I •Iggy Azalea—Team  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/04/1633m 15s

American Oxygen

How do you collaborate with five people to write a song that captures that national temperature? The stakes may seem high with stars like Alex Da Kid, Candice Pillay, Kanye West and Rihanna, but Sam Harris from X Ambassadors has unlocked the secret. Having penned much of Rihanna's hit American Oxygen, Sam gives an honest account of his process to create a hit and capture the American Dream. And we also get an exclusive peak at X Ambassador's version of the song. Featuring X Ambassadors - Renegades Rihanna - American Oxygen Bruce Springsteen - Born In The U.S.A. Radiohead - Pyramid Song X Ambassadors - American Oxygen You can download X Ambassador's newly released version of American Oxygen from Interscope Records and KIDinaKORNER on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/AmericanOxygenXA  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/03/1626m 8s

Say Hey

Listen carefully to almost any hit song these days and you’ll hear musicians screaming “Hey!” What’s the matter with them? Do they really need our attention? We uncover the reason and history behind this phenomenon with guest host Alex Kapelman, producer of the narrative music podcast Pitch. We also listen to new music by Aoife O’Donovan in a new segment called Off The Charts. And we have the fourth and final installment of Nate’s journey back into the popular music of the 20s and 30s. Featuring Katy Perry - Roar Carly Rae Jepsen - I Really Like You Grimes - Venus Fly (ft. Janelle Monáe) Arian Grande - Break Free (ft. Zed) One Direction - Steal My Girl Scenes from the film Get On Up James Brown - Cold Sweat James Brown - Get Up Off That Thing Little Richard - Hey Hey Hey Hey The Lumineers - Hey Ho Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics - Home One Direction - Perfect Kanye West - Black Skinhead Justin Bieber - Sorry Duke Ellington and Ivie Anderson - Raisin’ The Rent Harold Arlen - We’re Off To See The Wizard Ethel Waters - Stormy Weather Frank Sinatra - I’ve Got The World On A String Maxine Sullivan - Primitive Premadonna Check out Pitch at www.pitchpodcast.org Listen to the Say Hey playlist on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/switchedonpop/playlist/2w4BPUPQBMWhMeVefSMDvr  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/03/1644m 58s

Now I Sia, Now I Don't

One of the biggest voices in pop music has no face: Sia. She started her career as a ghostwriter for stars like Rihanna and Beyoncé. Recently she found pop star success with her hit "Chandelier." So with her new album, "This Is Acting," you'd expect to see her front and center. Instead, she hides her face from the media spotlight, covered by wigs, hats and other foreign objects. Lindsay Zoladz from NYMag joins us to discuss Sia's the musician and Sia the media spectacle. Featuring: Sia - Chandelier Rihanna - Diamonds Sia - Alive Sia - Reaper Rihanna - Work (ft. Drake) Sia - Bird Set Free Duke Ellington - Cotton Club Stomp Duke Ellington - East St. Louis Toodle-O Duke Ellington - Ko-Ko JC Burnett - Amazing Grace Charlie Johnson - The Boy In The Boat  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/02/1639m 13s

B Side: Singing With Mama Jan

What do Usher, The Band Perry and Bieber have in common? They all sing with Mama Jan, one of the best vocal coaches and producers in the music business. On this mini episode, Mama Jan talks about what happens backstage before the biggest performance of a lifetime.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/02/167m 40s

Call Your Girlfriend

Is it a love song or is it a breakup song? Charlie joins the women of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast to break down their namesake song by Robyn. Also, advice on how to build the perfect wedding playlist. And we check back in with Nate to listen to Cab Calloway on a time traveling adventure back to the 1930s. Featuring Robyn - Call Your Girlfriend Whitney Houston - Dance With Somebody (cappella) Eddie Johns - More Spell On You TLC - Waterfall (Bixel Boy's Remix) Village People - YMCA The O’Jays - Love Train David Bowie - Lets Dance Daft Punk - Get Lucky R. Kelly - Ignition (remix) Beyoncé - Love On Top Elvis Presley - Hound Dog Don Redman - Gee Ain’t I good to you Don Redman - Gotcha Cab Calloway - Minnie The Moocher Cab Calloway - Kicking The Gong Around Cab Calloway - Reefer Madness Louis Armstrong - St. James Infirmary Frankie “Half-Pint” Jackson - Willie The Weeper Naughty By Nature - Hip Hop Hooray Check out more Call Your Girlfriend at www.callyourgirlfriend.com Listen to Zach’s DJ sets at soundcloud.com/zachseely  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/02/1639m 29s

Click With Dick And Other Campaign Anthems

What do presidential candidates, professional wrestlers and improv comics have in common? Walk on theme music. As the primary season heats up we dig into the history, meaning and controversies of campaign anthems. Also, comedian and guest co-host Chris Duffy shares some of his favorite lyrics with hidden humor. And we time travel with Nate to 1931 to visit late night Harlem jazz clubs. FEATURING Baha Men - Who Let The Dogs Out? String Quartet No. 19 in C Major K 465 IV Ride Of The Valkyries - Wagner Conducted by George Szell John Williams - The Imperial March Howard Da Silva - Tippacanoe and Tyler Too Oscar Brand - Rockabye Baby Peter Janovsky - Get On The Raft With Taft Woodie Gutherie - This Land is Your Land The Police - Every Breath You Take Tom Petty - Won’t Back Down Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run Metallica - Enter Sandman Mozart String Quartet No15 D Minor K. 421 I. Allegro Moderato Metallica - Master Of Puppets Kelly Clarkson - Stronger Zac Brown Band - Homegrown REM - End of the world Phantom of the Opera (Single Album Version) Carly Simon - You’re So Vain Beck - Devil’s Haircut Brad Paisley - Working On A Tan Quindon Tarver - Free To Wear Sunscreen Neil Young - Rockin’ In The Free World Edgar Winter Group - Frankenstein Lil’ Jon - Get Low Lil’ Jon - Snap Your Fingers Rihanna - What’s My Name (ft. Drake) Van Halen - Why Can’t This Be Love Pitbull - Give Me Everything David Guetta - Sexy Bitch (ft. Akon) Don Redman - Song Of The Weeds Don Redman - Shacking the African Sir Mix Alot - Big Butts Nikki Minaj - Anaconda Flo Rida - Low Project Pat - Twerk It Don Redman - Nagasaki Don Redman - Song Of The Weeds Don Redman - The Man From Harlem Don Redman - Gee, Ain’t I Good To You  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/01/161h 1m

The Life Changing Magic of Music in 2015

Charlie and Nate reveal the life changing magic of how to tidy up the music you missed from last year. Annually, hundreds of publications release best of lists. These lists are supposed to make it easier to discover and celebrate the year in music. But with so many lists how can we know what is truly the best? Well we’ve found the definite source what’s great: Rob Mitchum’s Top Albums in 2015. Also, the major trends you might have missed and Jake Birch’s Mixed On Pop about The Weeknd’s “I Can’t Feel My Face.” Featuring: Wiz Khalifa – See You Again Taylor Swift – Blank Space Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk Adele – Hello Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face Duke Ellington – Prelude To A Kiss  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/01/1632m 45s

Linus & Lucy

Celebrate 50 years of A Charlie Brown Christmas and his eponymous holiday album. If you’re feeling worn out on holiday music, this one never wears old. Its gone triple platinum and charts almost every year on the holiday Billboard. Join us as we dive deep into the brilliance of Vince Guaraldi, the pianist and composer behind Linus and Lucy. We bet you might be hearing the song all wrong. Featuring Vince Guaraldi – What Child Is This, Christmas Is Coming, Linus and Lucy, O Tannenbaum, Christmas Time Is Here, El Matador, Cast Your Fate To The Wind The Supremes – Oh Holy Night Leonard Bernstein – Carol Of The Bells Bobby Timmons – This Here Lee Morgan – The Rumproller Julian “Cannonball” Adderley – One For Daddy-O (featuring Miles Davis) Jack Gleason – Unforgettable This episode was sponsored by VNYL. Subscribe at my.vnyl.org.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/12/1533m 30s

Same Here

Two unlikely anthems of individuality are rocketing up the charts: Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love” and Alessia Cara’s “Here.” One is from an established star, the other from a total unknown, but both use similar musical techniques to make their voices heard against the madding crowd. Tune in to hear how the radio dial is richer for the presence of such non-conformist and anti-social jams. Featuring: Lady Gaga – Just Dance Selena Gomez – Same Old Love Alessia Cara – Here Michael Jackson – Billie Jean Kesha – Tik Tok Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) George Bizet – Carmen Suite No. 2. Habanera Purcell – Dido’s Lament L’Arpeggiata – Amor  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/12/1532m 44s

Searching for Max Martin

The most omnipresent figure in pop music is also the most elusive: Karl Sandberg, AKA Max Martin, the mad Swedish genius who’s ruled the charts for 20 years. With the help of New Yorker writer John Seabrook, author of The Song Machine, and comedian Chris Duffy, host of You’re The Expert, we go deep into a 21st century pop classic to try and locate the secret formula behind Max Martin’s success. FEATURING Taylor Swift – Blank Space The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way Kelly Clarkson – Since You Been Gone Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You Katy Perry – California Girls Taylor Swift – We Are Never Getting Back Together Ariana Grande – Problem N’Sync – It’s Gonna Be Me Britney Spears – Oops I Did It Again Taylor Swift – Bad Blood Icona Pop (ft. Charlie XCX) – I Love It Tove Lo – Talking Body Backstreet Boys – We’ve Got It Going On  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/11/1544m 44s

Hotline Hello: Drake and Adele

Drake and Adele are two megastars who may not seem to share much in common on the surface, but their recent hits exhibit some surprising parallels. Both revisit past relationships over the phone and both conceal inner anguish beneath subtle musical shifts. Featuring special appearances by the game Snake, Lord Byron and Drake and Adele themselves*, you don’t want to miss this episode. Plus, we check in with Justin Bieber as he completes his epic existential pop suite. For more songs about love on hold, check out our Spotify playlist. And check out Sean Rameswaram’s final episode of Sideshow on Studio 360. Featuring Drake – Hotline Bling Adele – Hello Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together Justin Bieber – Sorry Jack Ü – Where Are Ü Now? Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean? Breakmaster Cylinder & Charlie Harding – Why Am I Here? *not really  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/11/1534m 5s

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

As much as we might have crazy love for pop music, pop music also loves to drive us crazy. Earworms that grab you and won’t let go; cookie-cutter compositions that bedevil in their unoriginality; strange new sounds that vex, rankle, confound. How does pop music possess the unique ability to get under our skin? We pull apart some of the stickiest songs to try and find out. And listen to our playlist of songs that drive you mad on Spotify. FEATURING The Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy The Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way Katy Perry – California Girls Kesha – Tik Tok Mozart – Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466 Grady Smith – Why Country Music Was Awful in 2013 Grady Smith – Country Stars Who Don’t Like Their Own Records Fletcher Hederson – The Stampede Skrillex – Bangarang Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/10/1536m 47s

Justin Bieber’s Existential Suite

Bieber’s two new hits, “Where Are Ü Now” and “What Do You Mean,” showcase the prodigal pop star’s soberer side. In each, his realization of the fictive nature of relationships is musicalized through slippery piano chords and disembodied voices. But just two songs does not make a true existential suite, so we collaborated with the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder to propose a third stanza for Bieber’s epic poem of love and loss. FEATURING Jack Ü – Where Are Ü Now (ft. Justin Bieber) Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean Justin Bieber – Boyfriend Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk Want to finish Justin Bieber’s trilogy? Listen to “Why Am I Here?” and download the track on Breakmaster Cylinder’s Soundcloud. Then, record your vocal and send it to submissions@switchedonpop.com. We’re looking at you Justin.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/10/1532m 57s

The Weeknd: Dance of Deception

The Weeknd’s deliriously funky chart topper “Can’t Feel My Face” has sparked sweat-soaked dance sessions across the country, but dark notes lurk at the outskirts of this ebullient jam. Chromatic intrusions and Classical laments crowd the scene and invite more clandestine interpretations. What’s this song really about? The secret lies in the scale. FEATURING The Weeknd – Wicked Games The Weeknd – Earned It The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face L’Arpeggiata – Monteverdi ‘s Amor (Lamento Della Ninfa, Rappresentativo) Skrillex & Diplo – Where Are Ü Now (with Justin Bieber) * You can find more deceptively addictive songs in our Spotify playlist. **Alex Ross’s great chapter on the long lineage of the Lament is indispensable. Find it in his book Listen to This and a précis of it at his blog The Rest is Noise.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/09/1526m 54s

Let’s Talk About Sax

The sax is back. This surprisingly funky reed keeps popping up in pop hits from Derulo to Grande. But where did the sax come from? And where did it go? Tighten your embouchure, because we journey to the center of sax in this week’s episode. Also, songs featured in this episode and other great sax tracks are in our Spotify Playlist. *In this episode we incorrectly identified Mr. Sax’s home country as Germany (face palm). He was a native of Belgium. Our apologies to the Sax family. FEATURING Katie Perry – Last Friday Night John Coltrane – Giant Steps M83 – Midnight City Bill Clinton on Arsenio Hall Ariana Grande – Problem Flo Rida – GDFR WAR – Low Rider Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street George Michael – Careless Whisper George Gershwin – Rhapsody In Blue conducted by Leonard Bernstein Jules Demersseman – Fantasie Sur On Theme Original Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five – Muskrat Rumble Fletcher Henderson – Stampede Duke Ellington – Prélude To A Kiss King Curtis – Sister Sadie Sonny Rollings – St. Thomas Jason Derulo – Talk Dirty The Klezmer Lounge Band – Hava Nag ila Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna – Bhajare Sriramam – Vakulabharanam Sami Shawa – Jordan – Mawam Bayati Selim Sesler & Orchester – Saniye’m Spanish Tapas Bar, Vol. 2 – Malaguena Balkan Beat Box – Hermetico Fifth Harmony – Worth It Too Many Zooz – To The Top The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/09/1536m 16s

Kacey Musgraves: Transgressing Country

Can you be a country star and critical of the country at the same time? Grammy Award Winner, Kacey Musgraves, has two hit albums that challenge the small-town clichés of modern country music. Is she bucking the trend of big trucks and dirt roads, or embracing an old tradition of transgressing social norms? To answer […]  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/08/1527m 11s

Song of Summer: LIVE!

In the first-ever LIVE edition of Switched on Pop, Charlie and Nate enter an epic debate over what track should be crowned 2015’s definitive Song of Summer. Charlie’s candidate is the retro anthem “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon, while Nate argues for Jason Derulo’s hot and heavy “Want to Want Me.” Meanwhile, the studio audience on Block Island has their own ideas about what makes a true Song of Summer, raising the stakes even higher. Who will emerge victorious? Only one song can beat the heat and rule the dog days of August. You don’t want to miss this epic Summer Jam Showdown.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/07/1530m 37s

The Dual Meaning of Fetty Wap’s Trap Queen

Fetty Wap’s Trap Queen is an unlikely contender for the top 10. It straddles genres between hip-hop and pop in subtle yet mesmerizing ways. Is it a drug song? Is it a love song? Or is it both at the same time? Join us to find out why you can’t get this ear worm out of your head. FEATURING Fetty Wap – Trap Queen Dr. Dre – Still Dre Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/07/1521m 49s

One Direction: Our Modern Day Castrati

One Direction is one of the biggest bands in pop, but unless you’re a preteen or the parent of one, like us you’ve probably never heard a second of their music. Until now. Let’s see if we’ve been missing out, on the latest from Switched on Pop. FEATURING One Direction – Story Of My Life One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful One Direction – Live While We’re Young One Direction – You And I One Direction – Night Changes The Wanted – Glad You Came Alessandro Moreschi (The Last Castrato) – Ave Maria  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/05/1524m 32s

The Final Dropout

How does a good pop song end? With a bang, right? As it turns out, explosive endings are kinda over. Songwriters are instead opting to end with a final dropout. Even the biggest pop anthems close with a quiet final moment. In this musical short, Nate, our resident musicologist, offers some theories as to why. FEATURING Taylor Swift – Blank Space One Republic – Counting Stars One Direction – Kiss You Rihanna – Don’t Stop the Music Mozart – Symphony No.41 in C K.551 “Jupiter” 4. Motto Allegro Taylor Swift – Trouble Lady Gaga – Alejandro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/05/158m 58s

Hidden Sounds in FourFiveSeconds

FourFiveSeconds is one of the more surprising collaborations in recent pop history. Rhianna, Kanye, Sir Paul McCartney. The motley lineup doesn’t dissapoint, serving up one of the most unexpected songs of the year—though not for the reason you’d think. Tune in and wile out while we wax on this whale of a power ballad. FEATURING Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney – FourFiveSeconds Kanye West – Gone Rihanna – We Found Love Rihanna – Don’t Stop the Music The Beatles – Revolution 9 & I’m So Tired (in reverse)  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/05/1522m 9s

Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You

Carly Rae Jepsen might be the patron saint of Switched on Pop, the show first hatched by Charlie and Nate on a trip down CA-1 while the stereo blasted “Call Me Maybe.” So when we heard she had a new single out we knew we had to stop everything, put off our taxes for one more day, and dig into “I Really Like You” to see if Saint Jepsen could ward off the beguiling sophomore slump. You’ll really really really really really really like this one. Special thanks to the high school students from Nate’s “Why Music Matters” course at Stanford University Summer Institutes, who helped develop the analysis of “Call Me Maybe.” FEATURING Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe The Cardigans – Lovefool Don Henley – The Boys of Summer  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/04/1522m 57s

Hozier’s Waffling of Faith in Take Me To Church

Written in the Hozier family basement, Take Me To Church has risen up to be one of the biggest pop hits of the year. But this is not a typical pop song. The unsettling music and provocative lyrics about faith and relationships irk many listeners. But this marriage of form and content also strikes a chord with our own foibles of faith. FEATURING Hozier – Take Me to Church Wintley Phipps – Amen  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/04/1518m 23s

Taylor Swift’s Beethovian Blank Space

Taylor Swift’s Blank Space is about emptiness of the heart. This motif of Blank Space is contained through the entire piece: from the drums, to the melody, to the lyrics. We pull away the sonic structures to show how Taylor recreates that empty feeling and explores the predictable devolution of fiery romance. FEATURING Taylor Swift – Blank Space NY Magazine – Why You Keep Mishearing That Taylor Swift Lyric This episode first broadcast on the Very Loose Women podcast on Resonance 104.4FM Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/03/1516m 40s

A Cappella Dreams

A cappella, Italian for in the style of the church, refers to music for unaccompanied voices. Just a decade ago it was nowhere near the radio dial. Now it’s everywhere: college campuses, Hollywood blockbusters, prime time reality television, and the Grammys. A cappella hasn’t been this big since Gregorian chant. Why has a cappella returned with such a vengeance? We try to find out why in this four part episode. [Introduction] The Tallis Scholars – Missa Brevis: Kyrie Middlesex A Cappella – Sound of Silence Pentatonix – Daft Punk [Act 1: Undercover Barbershop, featuring journalist Kevin Roose] Buffalo Bills Barbershop Quartet – The Only Girl In The World Dion & The Belmonts – I Wonder Why Barbershoptags.com – I Love to Sing ‘Em The Barbershop Singers – My Wild Irish Rose Buffalo Bills – As Time Goes By Vocal Spectrum – When I See An Elephant Fly OC Times – Come Fly With Me [Act 2: How To Become A Youtube Star In 3 Easy Steps, featuring musician Matthias Harris] Halestorm – Bad Romance (Lady Gaga cover) Matthias Harris – Somebody That I Used To Know (Gotye a cappella arrangement) The Stiff Dylands – Ultraviolet Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) Mike Tompkins – Teenage Dream & Just The Way You Are (Katy Perry a cappella arrangement) Matthias Harris – Boyfriend (Justin Bieber arrangement) Matthias Harris – Home [Act 3: Sing On / Sing Off featuring Manjula Raman from Element] Element – Royals (Lorde a cappella arrangement) Element – Raise Your Glass (Pink a cappella arrangement) [Act 4: A New Golden Era] Pentatonix – Daft Punk  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/03/1548m 27s

Radio Africa

Reporting live from Kenya, we search for African pop that is making its way into global dance music. The barriers to producing high quality audio are reduced to merely owning a laptop. Now, regional artists are reaching a global audience. We speak to Blinky Bill, leader of the dance/pop/hip-hop group Just A Band, about their unique sound that attracts fans from Tokyo to Nairobi. And we also speak to Jeff Maina, lead designer at Waabeh, the Spotify for African content. FEATURING Fuse ODG – Azonto (learn the dance!) Sauti Sol – Sura Yako Diplo – Crown Just A Band – Looking for Home Just A Band – Life of the Party Just A Band – Probably for Lovers Just A Band – Huff + Puff Just A Band – Dunia Ina Mambo Charlie’s high school a cappella group – Give Up the Funk  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/02/1531m 6s

Star Spangled

Did you know the melody to the Star Spangled Banner was once a British drinking song? In preparation for the Super Bowl, we uncover how the national anthem has been co-opted and reinterpreted by mega pop-stars. Our understanding of how this song sounds has been shaped by sporting events and the spin pop artists put on it has altered our conception of the national song. FEATURING Beyoncé, Jose Feliciano, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston – The Star Spangled Banner Iceland Symphony Orchestra – Finlandia, Op. 26 Ensemble Almageste – La Mantovana Songs from the the Star Spangled Music Foundation Sura Yako – Sauti Sol  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/01/1528m 44s

Mark Ronson: Funk Politics

Did you know the melody to the Star Spangled Banner was once a British drinking song? In preparation for the Super Bowl, we uncover how the national anthem has been co-opted and reinterpreted by mega pop-stars. Our understanding of how this song sounds has been shaped by sporting events and the spin pop artists put on it has altered our conception of the national song. FEATURING Beyoncé, Jose Feliciano, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston – The Star Spangled Banner Iceland Symphony Orchestra – Finlandia, Op. 26 Ensemble Almageste – La Mantovana Songs from the the Star Spangled Music Foundation Sura Yako – Sauti Sol  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/01/1534m 37s

The Imperative Jingle Bells

You’ve heard it a million times, you know how to sing it, its ubiquitous during the holiday season, but you’ve never heard a definitive recording. Where does it come from, why is it so catchy, and why of all holiday songs is Jingle Bells the most widely played song? FEATURING She & Him The Cast of Glee Nate Sloan’s Madrigal Singers  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/12/1432m 5s

To Be Young

Pop music and youth go together like peanut butter and pickles. The music we hear when we’re young shapes our identities forevermore. In this episode we take three songs that promise an eternal adolescence and put them under microscope to see what makes them tick. Featuring Kesha – Die Young Fun – We Are Young Wiz Khalifa – Young, Wild and Free  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/12/1432m 50s

Boom Bang Pow

We look at the Rhythms that make us dance, those primal beats, the “Boom Bang Pow” that make us want to move. We’ll ask what makes them work and why is that we’re hearing that untz untz everywhere we go from the dance floor, to the coffee shop, to the insides of our minds? FEATURING Charli XCX – Boom Clap Vengaboys – Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!! Jessie J – Bang Bang The Blacked Eyed Peas – Boom Boom Pow Little Richard – Tutti Frutti John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom Cher – Bang Bang Richard Savino & El Mundo: Il primo libro di canzone: Ciaconna The King’s Singers – La Guerre  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/11/1429m 51s

The Oeuvre of Taylor Swift

We uncover the common songwriting techniques and chart the musical evolution of Taylor Swift. Featuring songs from her early country period, transitional indie period and her latest pop album, 1989.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/10/1440m 54s

Heartbreak

Why do we love listening to heartbreak songs? What do songwriters do to emote such strong feelings? FEATURING Adele – Someone Like You Kacey Musgraves – I Miss You CeeLo Green – F*** You! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/10/1427m 5s

Why You Should Get Switched On Pop

Welcome to Switched on Pop, a show about how popular music works and why it matters hosted by musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding. We break down the music in pop hits to help you find those "a-ha" moments. Whether you’re a pop fanatic or skeptic, teenager or octogenarian, non-musicians or professional composer, every music lover will discover something ear-opening in Switched on Pop  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/10/142m 23s
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