Switched on Pop podcast

Switched on Pop

·

  Vulture  

A podcast all about the making and meaning of popular music. Musicologist Nate Sloan & songwriter Charlie Harding pull back the curtain on how pop hits work magic on our ears & our culture. From Vulture and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

A podcast all about the making and meaning of popular music. Musicologist Nate Sloan & songwriter Charlie Harding pull back the curtain on how pop hits work magic on our ears & our culture. From Vulture and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

 

#415

Switched-On

The synthesizer was invented in the 1890s. But for people to really start using it, it took half a century, a musician named Wendy Carlos, and an album called Switched-On Bach. Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan of  [Switched On Pop] (https://switchedonpop.com/)  tell Phoebe why Wendy Carlos is “the most significant figure in 20th century music that the least people know about.” Subscribe to [This Is Love] (https://pod.link/1337100398) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

22 hrs Ago

37 MINS

37:36

22 hrs Ago


#414

The song of the summer is DEAD with Today Explained

Long live the song of the summer with [Today Explained] (https://www.vox.com/today-explained-podcast) . But wait! Switched on Pop's Charlie Harding disagrees. And Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos says maybe it never existed at all. This episode was produced by Amanda Lewellyn, edited by Amina Al-Sadi, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Patrick Boyd and Andrea Kristinsdottir, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Be sure to subscribe to [Today Explained] (https://www.vox.com/today-explained-podcast) . Transcript at vox.com/today-explained-podcast Support Today, Explained by becoming a Vox Member today: http://www.vox.com/members Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

15 Jul 2024

26 MINS

26:22

15 Jul 2024


#413

Lawrence: the kick-ass eight-piece family band reshaping the music business

In today’s volatile music industry, many artists struggle to navigate the pitfalls of touring, the whims of social media, and the inequity of exploitative contracts. But Lawrence, an eight-piece band led by siblings Clyde and Gracie Lawrence, provide a beacon of hope. Combining exceptional talent, savvy business acumen, and a familial bond, they've forged an uncanny path as a band. From testifying before Congress to tackle industry monopolies, to managing their tour logistics and branding, Lawrence seamlessly blends the artistry of music with the realities of a family-run enterprise. Their perseverance and authenticity shine through their newest album, aptly named "Family Business.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

09 Jul 2024

49 MINS

49:11

09 Jul 2024


#412

The Imperfect Feminine: Camila, Charli, and Sabrina

The first half of 2024 has been for the “pop girlie.” It seems like every major artist who’s dominated the discourse this year has been a woman, ostensibly making music about what it means to be a woman. There’s Camila Cabello's "Chanel no.5,” Lorde and Charli XCX working out the labyrinth of emotions that come with female friendship on the “Girl, so confusing” remix, and Sabrina Carpenter’s ode to the female ego, “Please Please Please." On this episode, Charlie, Nate, and Reanna – with some insight from journalist Ilana Kaplan – unpack these tracks at length, exploring what these artists are saying about femininity, and by extension, themselves. Songs discussed: ---Camila Cabello – Chanel No.5 ---Camila Cabello – I LUV IT (ft. Playboi Carti) ---Camila Cabello – DREAM-GIRLS ---Charli XCX – Girl, so confusing ---Charli XCX, Lorde – The girl, so confusing version with lorde ---Sabrina Carpenter – Please Please Please Read more from [Ilana Kaplan] (https://ilanamichellekaplan.com/) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

02 Jul 2024

46 MINS

46:07

02 Jul 2024


#411

Empress Of asks for your consideration (with Empress Of)

There’s many things to love about Los Angeles: low-rider cars, roadside taco stands, and, come awards season, the omnipresent “For Your Consideration” billboard. Nobody knows this better than lifelong L.A. resident Lorely Rodriguez, also known as Empress Of. The indie-pop darling’s latest record, aptly titled For Your Consideration, is her take on what it means to have your full self considered, in all of its guises. The almost genreless record is so wildly catchy and remarkable in scope (all of the percussion on the record is actually Rodriguez’s voice) that Switched On Pop host Nate Sloan and producer Reanna Cruz had to consider For Your Consideration with Empress Of herself, live in person, in the City of Angels. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

25 Jun 2024

37 MINS

37:05

25 Jun 2024


#410

Bootsy Collins is gonna funk you up (with Bootsy Collins)

Bootsy Collins is, perhaps, the funkiest man of all time. Over the course of his nearly six decade career, Collins has given up the funk in the iconic Parliament Funkadelic, helmed Bootsy’s Rubber Band, and lended his slaparific talents to songs from everybody from James Brown to Dee-Lite to Fatboy Slim. His new album, aptly titled Album of the Year #1 Funkateer, is on the way, so in celebration of his illustrious career, we invited Bootsy Collins – aka Casper the Funky Ghost – onto Switched on Pop to reminisce on some of his greatest hits. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

18 Jun 2024

40 MINS

40:09

18 Jun 2024


#409

Freaking out about songwriting with Nile Rodgers

There is no contemporary pop music without Nile Rodgers. Born in 1952, Rodgers grew up playing classical music on flute and clarinet before picking up jazz guitar. And at age 20, alongside bass player Bernard Edwards, Rodgers formed the band Chic. They wrote the biggest disco hits of the 70s, like: “Dance Dance Dance,” “Everybody Dance,” “Le Freak," and "Good TImes," which formed the core of Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper's Delight”. In his music career spanning six decades, Rodgers has produced and played on some of the biggest pop songs in history, for artists like Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Daft Punk, and Beyoncé. He is also the chair of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, so with the Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony taking place this June, we invited him onto Switched on Pop to talk about the making of a great song. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

11 Jun 2024

35 MINS

35:06

11 Jun 2024


#408

Begging songs and basketball's musicality (with Hanif Abdurraqib)

There's no music writer like the essayist and poet Hanif Abdurraqib: whether he's narrating the beautiful awkwardness of a Carly Rae Jepsen concert or talking jazz and eastern spirituality with Andre 3000, he manages to coax stories and insights out of songs in a way that never fails to surprise. His latest book, There's Always This Year, is a free flowing meditation on basketball, childhood, his home state of Ohio, and of course, music – so on the precipice of the NBA finals, Hanif returns to Switched On Pop to discuss classic soul, sports, and sound with musicologist Nate Sloan. [You can buy Hanif's work through his website here] (https://www.abdurraqib.com/book) . Songs discussed: ---Boyz II Men, "On Bended Knee" ---Otis Redding, "My Girl" ---The Temptations, "My Girl" ---Joy Oladokun, "My Girl" ---Stevie Wonder, "My Girl" ---Stevie Wonder, "Knocks Me Off My Feet" ---Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, "Challengers: Match Point" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

04 Jun 2024

29 MINS

29:46

04 Jun 2024


#407

Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist (with Charlie Puth)

On her latest album, Taylor Swift “declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.” No one was more surprised by this than Charlie Puth himself: the singer, pianist, and songwriter whose career has always straddled pop stardom and behind the scenes anonymity. After three albums, billions of streams, and numerous songwriting credits – including one on the award-winning number one track “Stay” from the Kid Laroi – Puth has been busier than ever. His new song “Hero” comes on the heels of the Swift mention, and takes him in a new direction, with acoustic guitars and hushed, contemplative vocals. On the heels of this song’s release, Nate sat down with Charlie Puth himself at Conway Studios in Hollywood to discuss the new track, aided by a piano and all of “Hero”’s isolated stems. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

28 May 2024

39 MINS

39:03

28 May 2024


#406

Billie Eilish hits both hard and soft

On Billie Eilish’s third album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, Eilish finally graduates from her signature anti-pop persona into full blown pop stardom. This record finds Eilish experimenting on the themes from her earlier records, while crafting an economic ten tracks that position themselves for mainstream radio consumption. There’s “L’amour de ma vie,” her five-and-a-half minute beat-switching eulogy for a failed relationship, or “Birds Of A Feather,” where she contrasts the soft, dreamy melodies we’ve come to know Eilish for with hauntingly dark lyrical content. This duality is a recurring motif throughout Hit Me Hard and Soft, with each song offering a unique blend of vulnerability and strength. These tracks, along with the rest of the album, develop a satisfying and diverse creative arc that speaks to the album’s title: they hit both hard and soft. This week’s episode of Switched On Pop explores Eilish’s new record track by track, unpacking the sonic duality of her new sound. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

21 May 2024

43 MINS

43:07

21 May 2024


#405

Gastropod: Why are restaurants so loud? Plus the science behind the perfect playlist

When you go out for a meal, it’s not just what's on your plate that matters, it's what's in your eardrums, too. From dining rooms so loud you have to shout to be heard, to playlists that sound like a generic Millennial Spotify account, it's not surprising that sound is the single most complained about aspect of restaurants. A few years ago, Charlie and Nate explored this in an episode on [restaurant playlists] (https://switchedonpop.com/episodes/lcd-soundsystem-and-the-unbearable-sameness-of-restaurant-playlists) . This week, they joined Cynthia and Nicky on their show Gastropod to help them explore the science behind the sonic experience of eating. Are restaurants really getting louder, and, if so, why? What does it take to create the perfect acoustic environment for dining? Can restaurateurs design their playlists to make customers order more or eat faster? Listen in now for the secrets to culinary acoustic bliss – and check out [Cynthia and Nicky's guest spot on our episode of Switched On Pop] (https://switchedonpop.com/episodes/fast-food-jingles-gastropod) . Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

17 May 2024

44 MINS

44:03

17 May 2024


#404

Is pop music just fast food? (with Gastropod)

Where were you when you learned that the McDonald's jingle "I'm lovin' it" was originally part of a full-fledged pop song by Justin Timberlake and Pharrell that flopped on the charts but found staying power as a slogan? For us, it was recording our live episode about sponsored content in pop back in March 2024, and we have not been the same since. Shaken by this revelation, we found ourselves asking, "What else don't we know about fast food jingles?" Turns out, it's a lot. From Taco Bell to Popeye's to Chili's, the music of fast food represent some of the most familiar melodies in society, across state lines and generations. But the stories behind those songs, and the way that fast food production and pop music production often move in parallel, was something we never saw coming once. Since we are music experts but amateur foodies, we invited the brilliant hosts of Eater's Gastropod podcast, Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, to help serve up the history of fast food and its changing role in culture. Tune in and pig out with us as we listen and debate the artistic and ethical implications of the sounds of fast food. More Check out more episodes of [Gastropod] (https://gastropod.com/) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

14 May 2024

39 MINS

39:24

14 May 2024


#403

Rosie Tucker's unending bliss

Tongue twisters that mock techno-optimism and cite critical theory don’t usually make for catchy song lyrics. But indie rocker Rosie Tucker’s Utopia Now! finds beauty in the dross of late capitalism. Over 13 songs backed by distorted guitars and blazing drum fills, Tucker’s searing vocals bemoan the inherent dislocation of our modern world while searching for moments of truth and human connection. The night before Tucker embarked on a tour, Nate visited their home studio to speak to them about the inspirations behind their latest album. Although it deals with “big” topics, Tucker stressed that it all comes back to the individual and that the world we have reflects the world we make. “I am trying to reckon with both processing personal resentment,” they told Nate, “and recognizing my own role in my own misery.” Songs Discussed: Rosie Tucker - All My Exes Live In Vortexes, Lightbulb, Paperclip Maximizer, Unending Bliss Erik Satie - Gymnopedie No 1 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

10 May 2024

23 MINS

23:41

10 May 2024


#402

Eurovision 2024: from Baby Lasagna to Windows95Man

It’s that time of year again when the entirety of Europe (and a few other countries) come together to celebrate kitschy, bombastic songwriting through the Eurovision Song Contest! This year’s competition, held in Malmo, Sweden, features everything from rave-pop on behalf of the Netherlands, to folk-rapping hybrids courtesy of Ukraine – and Charlie and Nate are here to musicologically unpack the craziest tracks that have the potential to win it all.  For more on the controversy surrounding this year’s contest, check out Charlie’s appearance on [Vox’s podcast Today, Explained] (https://open.spotify.com/episode/4fvCBYky9FpebEPEbUJTrR?si=7dc9ddcd46004fb8) . Songs discussed: ---Joost – Europapa ---Angelina Mango – La noia ---alyona alyona, Jerry Heil – Teresa & Maria ---Nemo – The Code ---Baby Lasagna – Rim Tim Tagi Dim ---Windows95Man – No Rules! ---Kaleen – We Will Rave ---Olly Alexander – Dizzy ---Bambie Thug – Doomsday Blue ---Ladaniva – Jako Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

07 May 2024

33 MINS

33:22

07 May 2024


#401

Justice is never-ending

Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay of the French electronic duo Justice speak with cohost Charlie Harding about their new album Hyperdrama. Song Discussed ---Justice - Phantom Pt II, D.A.N.C.E., Neveender, New Jack, Genesis, Horsepower, Civilization, One Night-All Night, Dear Alan, Incognito, Moonlight Rendez-vous, Audio Video Disco, Afterimage, The End, Generator, Pleasure ---The Who - My Generation ---The White Stripes - Black Math ---The Human League - Human ---John Carpenter - Night ---Serge Gainsourg & Jane Birkin - Je T’aime… moi non plus ---Michel Berger - Le Paradis Blanc ---Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You ---Chaka Khan - Fate Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

04 May 2024

41 MINS

41:34

04 May 2024