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Switched on Pop podcast

Switched on Pop

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  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.

 

#314

The Art of Flow

In hip-hop, what draws us to an artist is not just the content of their lyrics but how they deliver them. Along with tapping your foot to the rhythm, understanding something called “flow” is essential to understanding hip-hop as a whole. In this episode of Switched On Pop, we interview genre icon DJ Jazzy Jeff on the concept of flow: what it is, how it applies to all music – not just hip-hop – and how any rapper’s flow can be analyzed under his guidelines. Taking his word for it, we put our magnifying glasses on to look at the bars of our favorite rappers, from Megan thee Stallion to Babytron. Songs Discussed: ---The Notorious B.I.G. - Big Poppa ---Mary J. Blige - Family Affair ---A Tribe Called Quest - The Hop ---Danger Mouse, Black Thought - Aquamarine ---BabyTron - Crocs & Wock’  ---RXKNephew - Take Three ---JID - Better Days (feat. Johnta Austin) ---Megan Thee Stallion - Not Nice ---Megan Thee Stallion - Cocky Af Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

22 Nov 2022

36 MINS

36:43

22 Nov 2022


#313

Willow Smith rocks harder

Coping Mechanism, Willow's new album, is her heaviest music yet. Charlie and Willow chat about the making of the new record and the many multitudes of rock music. Music Discussed ---The Anxiety - Meet Me At Our Spot ---Willow - Maybe It's My Fault, UR Town, Human Leach, PrettyGirlz, Lipstick, Why, Breakout, Hover Like a Goddess, Curious/Furious, Ur A Stranger ---Yungblood - Memories (with Willow) ---Deftones - Sextape ---Radiohead - I Will ---Straight Line Stitch - What You Do To Me ---Killswitch Engage - My Curse ---Lamb of God - Redneck ---Primus - Lacquer Head Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

15 Nov 2022

26 MINS

26:01

15 Nov 2022


#312

The Sound of Sapphism

Tegan & Sara and King Princess have found themselves placed under the banner, "sapphic pop," a term recently coined referring to music by and/or for sapphics (a.k.a. women or femme folks attracted to other femme folks). Journalist [Emma Madden] (https://www.npr.org/2021/11/18/1055666543/the-limitations-of-the-sapphic-anthem) defines the folk-inspired sound as having a “soft tactile approach” that’s “more sensual than it is sexual.” This umbrella folds in everyone from indie pop veterans Tegan & Sara to nonbinary artists like King Princess; even artists like Hozier and Sufjan Stevens are, improbably, considered sapphic pop, with their music having the same sonic qualities of other songs dedicated to feminine yearning. From articles popping up in [multiple] (https://www.them.us/story/sapphic-pop-boom-jill-gutowitz-girls-can-kiss-now) [news] (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/07/28/mix-tape-muna-sapphic-energy/) [outlets] (https://www.out.com/music/2021/12/22/best-sapphic-lesbian-queer-women-bops-songs-of-2021) to the majority of Taylor Swift’s openers for this upcoming tour (looking at MUNA, girl in red, and Phoebe Bridgers, specifically), the terminology of “sapphic pop” has come to define a scene almost out of nowhere. This week on Switched On Pop, we explore exactly what sapphic pop is, where it came from, and how artists feel about it – even asking Tegan & Sara and King Princess directly. You can listen wherever you get podcasts. Songs discussed ---Clairo – Sofia ---King Princess – Talia ---girl in red – i wanna be your girlfriend ---Hozier – Cherry Wine (live) ---Alex G – Sarah ---The Velvet Underground – I Found A Reason ---Sufjan Stevens – To Be Alone With You ---Cris Williamson – Shine On Straight Arrow ---Jaylib, Madlib, J Dilla – The Red ---Taylor Swift – betty ---Brittany Howard – Georgia ---MUNA, Phoebe Bridgers – Silk Chiffon ---Tegan & Sara – Call It Off ---Tegan & Sara – Smoking Weed Alone ---King Princess – 1950 ---King Princess – I Hate Myself, I Want To Party ---King Princess – Pussy is God ---Kate Bush – Why Should I Love You? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

08 Nov 2022

33 MINS

33:45

08 Nov 2022


#311

Scary Pockets funkify pop classics (with Lizzy McAlpine)

Scary Pockets is the musical collective that has been transforming pop classics into funk anthems for over half a decade. Each week they release a new cover on YouTube featuring razor-sharp instrumentalists and a rotating cast of virtuosic lead singers. Amazingly, each of their 200-plus covers is arranged on the fly, in a span of about 90 minutes—capturing the talent and spontaneity of a group of musicians at the top of their game. We here at Switched on Pop were struck by the band's ability to infuse familiar songs with syncopation and backbeat, and rack up millions of views in the process, so we reached out to Scary Pockets's leaders—guitarist Ryan Lerman and keyboardist Jack Conte—to arrange for Nate and Reanna to be flies on the wall during their creative process. After documenting the behind-the-scenes dialogue that led to a slow-burning interpretation of the Bee Gees's 1977 classic "Staying Alive," we called up Ryan, Jack, and the song's lead vocalist, Lizzy McAlpine, to hear their insights on making a song that everyone knows sound fresh and unfamiliar  Songs Discussed Bee Gees - Staying Alive (Scary Pockets Cover) Paul McCartney and Wings - Arrow Through Me (Scary Pockets Cover) Beatles - Maxwell's Silver Hammer Coldplay - Fix You (Scary Pockets Cover) Parcels - Tieduprightnow Bill Withers - Just the Two of Us (Scary Pockets Cover) Justin Bieber - Peaches (Lizzy McAlpine Cover) More on Scary Pockets Watch the video of Scary Pockets and Lizzy McAlpine covering " [Staying Alive] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piTvLuHWLyg&ab_channel=ScaryPockets) " See them LIVE with David Ryan Harris & John Scofield, November 16 at Echoplex in Los Angeles!  [Tickets] (https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/09005D46CBA957C0S) Subscribe to their YouTube Channel:  [https://www.youtube.com/scarypockets] (https://www.youtube.com/scarypockets) Merch Store:  [https://www.scarypocketsfunk.com] (https://www.scarypocketsfunk.com/) Patreon:  [https://www.patreon.com/scarypockets] (https://www.patreon.com/scarypockets) Listen on Spotify:  [Scary Pockets] (https://open.spotify.com/artist/1e16kiJQtCTveTl7TQnkFN?si=se0FVCGcTOeYpv1gsgTO1A) Instagram: @scarypockets  Musician Credits: Vocals: Lizzy McAlpine BGVs: Sophia James, Arielle Kasnetz Guitar: Ryan Lerman, Will Graefe Wurlitzer & Synth: Jack Conte Bass: Travis Carlton Drums: RJ Kelly Audio: Engineered & mixed by Caleb Parker Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

01 Nov 2022

33 MINS

33:45

01 Nov 2022


#310

Up late with Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’

 A Taylor Swift album is just not a collection of new music, it’s an exploration of a theme. For the last eight years, each release has embodied a single idea. Reputation marked a turn to the dark side, Lover a return to the light, and her pair of albums Folklore and Evermore painted acoustic, fictional landscapes. Each album propels fans to find covert lyrical connections to her personal life, and easter eggs to past compositions. Whereas Swift's pop star contemporaries have focused their energies on becoming business moguls, Swift has gone deeper into songwriting and receiving accolades in the process. In September 2022, the Nashville Songwriting Association International awarded Swift the Songwriter of the Decade award. In her acceptance speech she says, “writing songs is my life’s work and my hobby and my never-ending thrill.” Now she continues that thrill collaborating with her frequent producing partner and [friend of the show] (https://switchedonpop.com/episodes/jack-antonoff-bleachers-stop-making-this-hurt-take-the-sadness-out-of-saturday-night) , Jack Antonoff, on Midnights, her 10th studio album (not counting her recent “Taylor’s version” re-recordings of past releases). On Midnights Swift builds a lyrical and sonic world that takes place across “13 sleepless nights.” Nate and Charlie listen closely to hear how she constructs this late night feeling.   More ---Nate’s article on “ [Taylor Swift and the Work of Songwriting] (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07494467.2021.1945226) ” for the Contemporary Music Review Journal ---John Hull's [Soundfly] (https://soundfly.com/) course on [Advanced Synths and Patch Design for Producers] (https://soundfly.com/courses/advanced-synths-and-patch-design) Music Discussed: ---Taylor Swift - Anti-Hero, Lavender Haze, Maroon, Question, Snow On the Beach, Mastermind, Bejeweled, Vigilante Shit, Labyrinth, Midnight Rain, You’re On Your Own Kid, You Belong With Me, Stay ---Kevin “Reese” Saunderson - Just Want Another Chance ---Ray “Renegade” Keith - Terrorist P.A. Mix ---Burial - Archangel  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

24 Oct 2022

38 MINS

38:17

24 Oct 2022


#309

Steve Lacy brings bedroom pop to the Billboard top

It’s the song that launched a thousand TikTok videos – or over 500,000 to be exact: Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit.”  The track is a smooth, psychedelia tinged ode to yearning, currently spending its third week on the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Lacy is an artist dedicated to shifting form and convention, from his records with alternative R&B band The Internet to his productions for artists like Mac Miller and Vampire Weekend. Even in his solo work, his songs are unpredictable, deftly moving through genre in the vein of artists like Prince and Stevie Wonder.  “Bad Habit” specifically, though, is rooted in the genre of bedroom pop, a scene slowly gaining mainstream traction. With this track, Lacy is taking the sound that’s seeped through TikTok and Spotify to the top of the charts. On this episode of Switched On Pop, we dig deep into Lacy's career and his ability to craft immaculate melodies. Songs Discussed: ---Steve Lacy, “Bad Habit” ---Sam Smith, Kim Petras, “Unholy” ---The Internet, “Dontcha” ---The Internet, “Special Affair” ---The Internet, “Palace/Curse (feat. Tyler, The Creator & Steve Lacy) ---Steve Lacy, “C U Girl” ---Steve Lacy, “Dark Red” ---Steve Lacy, “Only If” ---Steve Lacy, “Like Me” ---Steve Lacy, “Playground” ---Steve Lacy, “Static” ---Stevie Wonder, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

18 Oct 2022

34 MINS

34:51

18 Oct 2022


#308

Why it hurts to release a record (with Sylvan Esso)

Earlier this year, the members of Sylvan Esso took a gamble, making their "most free and wild and strange" album yet: No Rules Sandy. And to add to the overall theme of lawlessness, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn decided to do something equally as free and radical: they decided to forgo the typical multi-year album cycle as well as a standard promo campaign. While wrapped in what Amelia calls a “PR cocoon,” she began to think about the less tangible aspects of the album rollout process, and wanted to enlist other musicians (as well as Switched On Pop) in exploring certain aspects of what it means to be an artist to answer the question: why does it hurt to release records? Songs Discussed ---Sylvan Esso - Your Reality ---Sylvan Esso - Cloud Walker ---Sylvan Esso - Didn’t Care ---Sylvan Esso - Look At Me ---Sylvan Esso - How Did You Know ---Sylvan Esso - Sunburn ---MUNA - Number One Fan ---MUNA - Silk Chiffon ---MUNA - What I Want ---Bartees Strange - Heavy Heart ---Bartees Strange - Co Signs ---Bartees Strange - Hennessy ---Wilco - Cruel Country ---Maggie Rogers - Alaska ---Maggie Rogers - That’s Where I Am ---Maggie Rogers - Anywhere with You ---Maggie Rogers - Want Want ---Maggie Rogers - Begging for Rain Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

11 Oct 2022

47 MINS

47:40

11 Oct 2022


#307

Santigold sings Spirituals

After a four-year hiatus – and a name drop on a Beyoncé remix – musical polymath Santigold is back with a brand new album. Known for her signature blend of genre-defying songcraft, the artist’s fourth studio album Spirituals is one of her most artistically challenging projects yet. It’s another venture into what she does best: addressing heavy themes through toe-tapping melodies. From Nate’s personal favorite, 2016’s “Can’t Get Enough of Myself,” to “My Horror,” a pan-genre sonic vision has always been present in her career. On this episode of Switched On Pop, Santigold speaks about her new record, being a mother, and the emotions that went into making Spirituals.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

04 Oct 2022

26 MINS

26:36

04 Oct 2022


#306

The future of music pt I

In part 1 of our Vergecast: Future of Music series, Alex Cranz talks with Switched on Pop's Charlie Harding about the trends in music today that make new songs out of old material, and whether it's foreshadowing the future of pop. Further reading: [Selena Quintanilla Will Sound Older on Her New Posthumous Album] (https://www.vulture.com/2022/08/selena-quintanilla-posthumous-album-moonchild-mixes-vocals-older.html) [Michael Jackson songs removed from streaming services to 'move beyond' fake vocals controversy] (https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2022/07/06/michael-jackson-songs-removed-from-streaming-services-fake-vocals-claims/7825327001/) [Shred with Green Day, with some help from AudioShake] (https://audioshake.medium.com/shred-with-green-day-with-some-help-from-audioshake-ccb30cbf1ff5) [Invasion of the Vibe Snatchers] (https://www.vulture.com/article/pop-music-regurgitations-switched-on-pop.html) Music discussed: Como Te Quiero Yo A Ti - Selena My Way - Frank Sinatra I'll Be Seeing You - Billie Holiday We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus bad guy - Billie Eilish Through The Wire - Kanye West Breaking News - Michael Jackson Real Love - The Beatles Free As A Bird - The Beatles 2000 Light Years Away - Green Day Betty (Get Money) - Yung Gravy Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club Fantasy - Mariah Carey Big Energy - Latto I'm Good (Blue) - David Guetta, Bebe Rexha Bang Bang - Rita Ora, Imanbek Higher Love - Kygo, Whitney Houston Don't Start Now - Dua Lipa Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

27 Sep 2022

33 MINS

33:53

27 Sep 2022


#305

Lady Gaga & The Pequeños Monstruos

After an enlightening experience at Lady Gaga's Chromatica Ball, producer Reanna Cruz takes a look at the connection between Gaga's music and the Latin sounds she's engaged with over the years, from traditional rancheras to the rhythm of reggaeton. Songs discussed: ---Lady Gaga, “Alejandro” ---Ace of Base, “Don’t Turn Around” ---ABBA, “Chiquitita – Spanish Version” ---Madonna, “La Isla Bonita” ---Rihanna, “Te Amo” ---Vittorio Monti, Sarah Nemtanu, Chilly Gonzales, “Csárdás” ---Lady Gaga, “Americano” ---Rosemary Clooney, The Mellomen, “Mambo Italiano (with the Mellomen)” ---Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, “Despacito” ---La Flavour, “Mandolay” ---Lady Gaga, “Dancin’ In Circles” ---Alejandro Fernández, “Como Quien Pierde una Estrella” ---Pedro Fernández, “Yo…El Aventurero” ---Lola Beltran, “Cucurrucucu Paloma” ---War, “Cinco de Mayo” ---Santana, The Product G&B, “Maria Maria (feat. The Product G&B)” ---Lady Gaga, “Dancin’ In Circles” ---Justin Bieber, “Sorry” ---French Montana, Swae Lee, “Unforgettable” ---Tego Calderon, “Pa’ Que Retozen” ---Rosalia, J Balvin, “Con Altura” ---Juan Gabriel, “Abrázame Muy Fuerte” ---Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, “Rain On Me” ---Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Arca, “Rain On Me – Arca Remix” ---Lady Gaga, “Fun Tonight” ---Lady Gaga, Pabllo Vittar, “Fun Tonight – Pabllo Vittar Remix” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

20 Sep 2022

32 MINS

32:40

20 Sep 2022


#304

Invasion of the Vibe Snatchers

Why do so many songs sound familiar? Because the number of chart topping interpolations — songs built off of old hits — has roughly doubled in the five years. It’s everywhere, you can’t escape because many people are embracing it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

13 Sep 2022

26 MINS

26:55

13 Sep 2022


#303

Into It: Song of Summer 2022

Who had the song of the summer? Sam Sanders chats with Switched on Pop's Charlie Harding and Reanna Cruz about whose song (and album) is in the running: Beyoncé, Bad Bunny, Lizzo, or Kate Bush?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

06 Sep 2022

17 MINS

17:09

06 Sep 2022


#302

Learning to love the Killers (maybe)

Are you like Nate? Is there one artist that, every time you hear them, you can't help it—you start to grimace, sweat, seethe. You can't explain it, but there's something about them that you just. can't. stand. For Nate, that band is the Killers. Lots of people love this band, they've been around for almost two decades, they're practically an institution! So why can't he get past his hang up? Charlie and Reanna step in to help break down what it is about the Killers that rankles their normally open-eared colleague so, and then step back to consider what it is that makes us think we hate the bands we do—and whether we can change those opinions. Songs Discussed The Killers - Human, All These Things That I've Done, When You Were Young, Mr. Brightside, Deadlines and Commitments, Where the White Boys Dance, boy, Shot at the Night, The Man, Tranquilize Ariana Grande and Zedd - Break Free Erasure - A Little Respect Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

30 Aug 2022

32 MINS

32:47

30 Aug 2022


#301

K-Pop Chartbreakers: BLACKPINK, Girls’ Generation, NewJeans, IVE

A lot has happened in the world of Kpop this summer, from Girls’ Generation sugar coated banger “Forever 1” marking a triumphant return from a five year hiatus, to the ascendance of newcomers NewJeans, whose R&B infused sounds have quickly taken over the charts. But it's the return of BLACKPINK that has lit up the world literally in pink. Get a full deep dive on the songs at the top of the Kpop charts on the latest episode of Switched On Pop, where hosts Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan speak with journalist Kristine Kwak. Songs Discussed ---Psy, SUGA - That That ---J-hope - MORE ---BLACKPINK - Pink Venom ---Girls’ Generation ---IVE - LOVE DIVE ---NewJeans - Attention ---SWV - I’m So Into You ---Rihanna - Pon De Replay ---Missy Elliot - Work It ---50 Cent - Just A Lil Bit ---Taylor Swift “Look What You Made Me Do” ---Panjabi MC, JAY-Z - Mundian to Bach Ke ---Britney Spears, Madonna - Me Against the Music ---Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around Comes Around ---Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It’s Hot ---Snoop Dogg - I Wanna Rock ---The Notorious B.I.G. - Kick in the Door --- Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

23 Aug 2022

34 MINS

34:12

23 Aug 2022