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.

 

#396

Chasing old sounds: Djo's "End of Beginning" with Joe Keery

Joe Keery is best known for his acting roles, such as the reformed jock Steve Harrington in "Stranger Things" and his chilling performance in season 5 of "Fargo." But he's also a spectacular musician. Rising through the Chicago music scene in college, he has self-released two albums under the moniker 'Djo.' His latest work, "Decide" from 2022, serves as a coming-of-age story and a meditation on navigating modern life. Despite strong initial reviews, the album only gained widespread attention two years later when its breakout hit "End of Beginning" became a soundtrack for youthful nostalgia on TikTok, casting Keery as an accidental pop star. Joe Keery joined "Switched On Pop" to discuss the creation and significance of "Decide." Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

09 Apr 2024

39 MINS

39:11

09 Apr 2024


#395

Cowboy Carter: This Ain't Country

Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter is her foray into country music, but this isn't just dirt roads, blue jeans and whiskey. Her country music distills all of American pop: blues, gospel, R&B, soul, house, hip-hop and yes, country. If this ain't country, what is? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

02 Apr 2024

39 MINS

39:27

02 Apr 2024


#394

Hip-hop's Sea Change at Rolling Loud

Hip-hop is in a weird place right now. Research says that the genre, in both streaming and chart performance, has declined over the last decade. And while rap artists can still get number one songs on the Hot 100, it’s a far cry from the peak of trap circa 2017, when [Nielsen data named hip-hop as the most popular genre in the] (https://www.businessinsider.com/hip-hop-passes-rock-most-popular-music-genre-nielsen-2018-1) U.S. So what does that mean for the future of rap? To find out, producer Reanna Cruz spent all weekend reporting from Inglewood, CA, at the California edition of the world’s largest hip-hop festival: Rolling Loud. Through talking to attendees and catching the weekend’s hottest sets, they learned about the current state of hip-hop – the good and the bad – as well as what the future may hold. To read Reanna’s highs and lows from the festival, check out their [Vulture article here] (https://www.vulture.com/article/rolling-loud-2024-highs-lows-whoas.html) .  Special thanks to Antonio Cruz for his production help on this episode. Songs Discussed: ---OsamaSon – Pop ---Nicki Minaj – BARBIE DANGEROUS ---¥$, Kanye West, & Ty Dolla $ign – EVERYBODY (live) ---¥$, Kanye West, & Ty Dolla $ign – BACK TO ME (live) ---Junior H – Y LLORO ---Natanael Cano – Pacas de Billetes ---Fuerza Regida – Enculado ---That Mexican OT, Lefty SM – Barrio (with Lefty SM) ---That Mexican OT – Cowboy Killer (live) ---KenTheMan – Not My N**** – Extended ---KenTheMan – Poppin Sh!t ---KenTheMan – Keep Going (live) ---Kaliii – Area Codes ---Action Bronson & Statik Selektah – Respect the Moustache ---Drake, SZA, & Sexyy Red – Rich Baby Daddy (live) ---Sexyy Red, Sukihana – Born By the River (feat. Sukihana) ---Sexyy Red, Chief Keef – Skee Yee (live) ---Nettspend – shine n peace (live) ---Nettspend – deftones snippet (live) ---Matt Ox – Overwhelming ---Nettspend – What they say ---SOPHIE – BIPP Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

26 Mar 2024

42 MINS

42:47

26 Mar 2024


#393

Rhapsody in Blue, Reimagined

What do Duke Ellington, United Airlines, and the K Pop group Red Velvet share in common? They've all covered George Gershwin's piano concerto, Rhapsody in Blue. First premiered in 1924, the piece became an immediate hit for the way it blended American jazz with the European symphonic tradition. Gershwin had a number of successes as a composer in his day—his aria "Summertime" from the opera Porgy and Bess is by some measures the most covered song ever—but the staying power of the Rhapsody make it a rare instrumental piece that's instantly familiar. Maybe too familiar. In 2024, there will be many centennial performances of this iconic piece, but pianist Lara Downes wanted to do something more than just the sound the notes of Gershwin's score for the umpteenth time. Downes commissioned Puerto Rican musician Edmar Colon to create a new version of Gershwin's composition, one that brought in the full spectrum of American life in 1924: fiery improvisation, Latin percussion, and dance rhythms. The resultant piece both pays tribute to an American icon while adding a new set of modern counterpoint. Nate sat down with Lara to ask her if she was nervous to rewrite such a canonic piece, why a concerto is like a musical kaleidoscope, and the surprising family connection to Gershwin's musical world she discovered while researching Rhapsody in Blue. Songs Discussed George Gershwin, Lara Downes, Edmar Colon - Rhapsody in Blue Reimagined Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue Gershwin - 3 Preludes: II. Andante con moto e poco rubato Sarah Vaughan - Nice Work if You can Get It Sam Cooke - Summertime Chet Baker - But not For ME Louis Armstrong - Aint Misbehavin Ella Fitzgerald - Blue Skies Red Velvet - Birthday Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

22 Mar 2024

30 MINS

30:28

22 Mar 2024


#392

Eternal Sunshine of Ariana Grande's Mind

Sidestep the gossip and focus on the music in Ariana Grande’s latest album Eternal Sunshine. The music is an exercise in nostalgia: 70s Disco, 90s R&B, and 00s pop and dance music. As she moves through the musical past, her lyrics tear through past relationship. But its the way her lyrics interweave with the deft melodies and harmonies that reveal the meaning of the record.  Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Songs Discussed ---Ariana Grande - Eternal Sunshine, Bye, Don’t Wanna Break Up Again, True Story, The Boy Is Mine, We Can’t Be Friends, Imperfect For You ---Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft ---Barry White - Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe ---Britney Spears - Oops I Did It Again, Gimme More ---Brandy, Monica - The Boy Is Mine ---Aaliyah - Are You That Somebody ---Ginuwine - Pony ---Robyn - Call Your Girlfriend, Show Me Love Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

19 Mar 2024

44 MINS

44:52

19 Mar 2024


#391

How to DIY a Music Career (with Amelia Meath and David Gray at SXSW)

In a landscape where the music industry seems designed to stifle creativity and independence, Amelia Meath stands as a beacon of resistance. Through her involvement in bands like Sylvan Esso, Mountain Man, and The A's, and as a founder of label Psychic Hotline, Meath defies the narratives that label success in music. This conversation dives into the systemic challenges musicians face today—from the pitfalls of streaming economics to the trials of touring and beyond. Yet, it's not just about the hurdles; it's a conversation on solutions, embodied by Meath's multifaceted career and the inspirational journey of David Gray, whose story of grassroots success with "Babylon" serves as a case study in artistic resilience and independence. Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Songs Discussed David Gray - Babylon, Shine, What Have I Become, Skellig Sylvan Esso - Coffee, Die Young Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

15 Mar 2024

37 MINS

37:03

15 Mar 2024


#390

Is Beyoncé's music #sponcon? And other mysteries LIVE in Brooklyn

Live from On-Air Fest in Brooklyn, Nate and Charlie investigate listeners’ burning musical mysteries, such as: Is Beyoncé’s reference to Lexus in “Texas Hold ’Em” product placement? And, could we be tuning all our music the wrong way? These stories have twists, turns, and a live parody performance that no asked for. Thanks to Steve Stoute, Lucas Keller, Samer Ghadry, Helen Zaltzman, and Phil Pappas for contributing to this episode. Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Songs Discussed: ---Beyoncé – TEXAS HOLD ‘EM ---RUN DMC – My Adidas ---Busta Rhymes – Pass The Courvoisier Part II ---Taylor Swift – Out of the Woods ---Outkast – Hey Ya! ---Jason Aldean – Take A Little Ride ---Justin Timberlake – I'm Lovin' It ---Chris Brown – Forever ---Pitbull – Rain Over Me (ft. Marc Anthony) ---Lady Gaga – Telephone (ft. Beyoncé) ---Beyoncé – SUMMER RENAISSANCE ---Beyoncé – Crazy In Love (ft. Jay-Z) ---LFO – Summer Girls ---Aqua – Barbie Girl ---Moonlight Sonata (432hz) ---Here Comes the Sun (432hz) ---Deep Focus Music with 432 Hz Tuning and Binaural Beats for Concentration - Study Music Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

12 Mar 2024

44 MINS

44:47

12 Mar 2024


#389

Jacob Collier unites the world

One of the most inventive and gifted musicians working today is none other than Jacob Collier. Maybe you know him from his YouTube videos, or co-writing SZA’s “Good Days,” or even performing alongside Joni Mitchell at this year’s Grammys. Jacob is a musician with thunderous chops, proficient on multiple instruments and with a voice that ranges from bass to soprano. over the past few years, he’s managed to release several records, net collaborations with everyone from Michael McDonald to T-Pain, and become the first British artist to receive a Grammy Award for each of his first four albums. His latest album Djesse 4 is the conclusion to his Djesse quadrilogy, and it features a kaleidoscopic range of style, from Indian sitar to Colombian reggaeton to a haunting Simon and Garfunkel cover. This week, we’re going to take a look inside the work and process of a musical mad scientist – our resident songwriter Charlie Harding sat down with Jacob to learn about his new record, his collaborators, and the beautifully unique way he sees and thinks about music. Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) SONGS DISCUSSED Jacob Collier - In My Room, 100,000 Voices, A Rock Somewhere, Little Blue, She Put Sunshine Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

05 Mar 2024

1 HR 00 MINS

1:00:25

05 Mar 2024


#388

Beyoncé's Country

Renaissance Act II truthers, your time has come: There’s new music from Beyoncé, and boy, is it country. Her two new singles dropped two weeks ago, and in the time since, they’ve both climbed up the chart and taken the internet by storm. There’s the barnstorming stomp and holler ditty “TEXAS HOLD 'EM,” which just notched the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and the dark horse “16 CARRIAGES,” a autobiographical work song detailing Beyoncé’s roots in Houston, Texas. Charlie and Nate unpack both of these two songs, highlighting their structures, inspirations, and collaborators, from Raphael Saddiq to Rhiannon Giddens. Then, producer Reanna Cruz speaks to music journalist Taylor Crumpton, whose article for Time, “Beyoncé Has Always Been Country” lays out the cultural implications of this sonic pivot for one of the biggest artists of all time.  Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Songs Discussed ---Beyoncé - Texas Hold 'Em, 16 Carriages, Break My Soul, Formation, Daddy Lessons ---Dink Roberts - Georgia Buck ---Carolina Chocolate Drops - Hit 'Em Up Style ---Elvis Presley - Mystery Train ---Unidentified African American Chain Gang - Waterboy, Run ---James Carter and the Prisoners - Po Lazarus ---Robert Randolph and the Family Band - Find a Way ---Vince Gill ft Justus West- High Lonesome Sound More Read Taylor Crumpton's article [Beyoncé Has Always Been Country] (https://time.com/6694806/beyonce-country-music/) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

27 Feb 2024

44 MINS

44:00

27 Feb 2024


#387

Adult Contemporary, but make it cool (with CHROMEO)

The Canadian Electro-Funk duo CHROMEO have made consistently funky, highly danceable music for twenty years. They’ve released five studios albums, done the Coachella festival circuit and have been nominated for a Grammy for their sound that’s been compared to Prince, Zapp and Hall and Oates. Now with their latest album, Adult Contemporary, they are challenging preconceptions of adult contemporary music by redefining its whole meaning. Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Songs discussed CHROMEO - (I Don't Need A) New Girl, BTS, Coda, Fancy Footwork, Needy Girl, Replacements, Clorox Wipe, Six Feet Away Dolly Parton - Nine to Five Donna Summer - She Works Hard For The Money Gwen Guthrie - Ain't Nothin' Goin' on but the Rent Kenny G - Songbird, You're Beautiful Kenny Loggins - This Is It Kenny Rodgers - We've Got Tonight, You And I Michael Bolton - How Am I Supposed To Live Michael Bublé - Home Michael Jackson - Human Nature, Working Day and Night NWA - Straight Outta Compton Steely Dan - Black Cow, Ricky Don't Lose That Number, Time Out of Mind The Bee Gees - Staying Alive Toto - I'll be Over You Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

20 Feb 2024

29 MINS

29:54

20 Feb 2024


#386

The Star Spangled Banger!

Who is the biggest Diva of them all? The U.S. National Anthem, which borrows its melody from a historic British drinking song, has undergone enormous musical change in the hands of pop music vocalists. Famously, José Feliciano, Marvin Gaye and Whitney Houston each changed the meaning of "The Star Spangled Banner" by finding new approaches to the performance. Countless others have followed in their footsteps. Now every major sporting event is an excuse for pop divas to make their own creative interpretation. So who does it best? Or worst? Jan Diehm and Michelle McGhee, data journalists at The Pudding, analyzed the pitch fluctuations of over a hundred famous performances to answer these questions and more. Check out Jan and Michelle's full analysis at [pudding.cool] (https://pudding.cool/2024/02/anthems) Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

13 Feb 2024

53 MINS

53:05

13 Feb 2024


#385

Brittany Howard's Chaos Theory (with Brittany Howard)

When it comes to powerful artistry, few can match the intensity of Brittany Howard. Over the past decade, we’ve seen her bring her signature Southern belt to the Alabama Shakes, her intimate songwriting to her first solo record, and now, her boundary-pushing genre experimentation on her new album What Now. The record, which drops on Friday, February 9th, continues to show Howard’s versatility – the record jumps from disco pop to pared-back R&B to roaring psychedelia.  This episode of Switched On Pop, we’re giving you an early look at all What Now has to offer, as well as an interview with the woman behind it all: Brittany Howard.  Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Songs Discussed: ---Brittany Howard – What Now ---Alabama Shakes – Hold On ---Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight ---Alabama Shakes – Future People ---Leon Bridges – Coming Home ---Khruangbin – Two Fish and an Elephant ---Brittany Howard – Tomorrow ---Erykah Badu – Window Seat ---Brittany Howard – Stay High ---Brittany Howard – Prove It To You ---Brittany Howard – I Don’t ---Brittany Howard – Another Day ---Brittany Howard – Interlude ---Brittany Howard – Red Flags ---Robin S – Show Me Love ---Brittany Howard – Every Color In Blue ---Brittany Howard – To Be Still ---The Shangri-Las – Leader Of The Pack Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

06 Feb 2024

35 MINS

35:47

06 Feb 2024


#384

The b*tch of loving musical theater (with Bridger Winegar)

When it comes to musical theater, everyone has an opinion. And Bridger Winegar, host of the very funny podcast I Said No Gifts!, is no exception. In the paradoxical tradition of Bridger's podcast, Charlie and Nate have brought a series of gifts in the form of a sonic smorgasbord: a tour through musical theater's finest offerings, from Les Miserables to Spring Awakening. Check out Bridger's podcast I Said No Gifts! [here] (https://www.exactlyrightmedia.com/i-said-no-gifts) . For more on movie musicals, check out this episode of Vox's [Today Explained] (https://www.vox.com/culture/2024/1/12/24031912/movie-musicals-mean-girls-color-purple-stage-screen) . Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Songs discussed: ---Brian Johnson, Gideon Glick, John Gallagher Jr., Jonathan B. Wright, Jonathan Groff, Skylar Astin – The Bitch Of Living – Original Broadway Cast Recording/2006 ---Duncan Sheik – Barely Breathing ---Thee Oh Sees – The Dream ---Liars – Mr Your On Fire Mr ---The Electric Prunes – I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) ---Ariana Grande – yes, and? ---Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend ---Randy Graff – I Dreamed a Dream ---Ali Stroker – I Cain't Say No ---Josh Groban, Annaleigh Ashford, Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd 2023 Broadway Company – My Friends ---Frank Sinatra – Send In The Clowns ---Billy Bragg, Wilco – California Stars Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

30 Jan 2024

45 MINS

45:25

30 Jan 2024


#383

Kali Uchis takes on the world

Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis has cemented herself as something of a vibe curator; her signature genre fusion has brought forward everything from Latin radio mainstays to Bootsy Collins collaborations. But instead of looking to the genres of the future for her latest record, Orchídeas finds Uchis digging into genres of the past and present, creating a global soundscape across the record’s 14 tracks. On this episode of Switched on Pop, producer Reanna Cruz guides Charlie and Nate through the flowery world of Orchídeas, exploring multiple genres of the Latine diaspora (with a quick stop in South Africa) in the process. Sign up for the Switched On Pop [Newsletter] (https://switchedonpop.substack.com/) Songs Discussed: ---Kali Uchis – Pensamientos Intrusivos ---Kali Uchis – telepatía ---Kali Uchis – Te Mata ---Kali Uchis – la luna enamorada ---José Pepe Sánchez, Irving Lara y su Orquesta – Tristezas ---La Sonora Santanera – Perfume de Gardenias ---Kali Uchis, El Alfa, JT – Muñekita (with El Alfa & JT)  ---ROSALÍA – BIZCOCHITO ---Busta Rhymes – Dangerous ---Lorna – Papi Chulo… Te Traigo El Mmmm ---Kali Uchis, Peso Pluma – Igual Que Un Ángel (with Peso Pluma) ---Kali Uchis, KAROL G – Labios Mordidos (with KAROL G) ---Toots & The Maytals – Bam Bam ---Chaka Demus & Pliers – Murder She Wrote ---Kali Uchis – Dame Beso // Muevete ---Bad Bunny – Después de la Playa ---Kali Uchis – Diosa ---Trompies, Lebo Mathosa – Magasman ---Tyla – Water ---Amaarae, Kali Uchis, Moliy – SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY Remix (feat. Kali Uchis and Moliy) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

23 Jan 2024

36 MINS

36:05

23 Jan 2024


#382

Soundalikes: Lil Nas X and Ariana Grande

We live in an age of musical nostalgia where artists wear influences on their sleaves. Case in point, two established artists who are drawing from established pop music history: Lil Nas X's "J. Christ" sounds like a Kendrick Lamar "Humble" type beat, and Ariana Grande's "Yes, And?" unabashedly interpolates Madonna's "Vogue." So are these songs mere copies or do they actually say something new with their reference material? Songs Discussed ---Lil Nas X - J CHRIST ---Lil Nas X - Old Town Road ---Lil Nas X - Panini ---Lil Nas X - MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) ---Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE. ---Noreaga - Superthug ---N.E.R.D - Lapdance ---Busta Rhymes - Pass The Courvoisier Part II (feat. P. Diddy & Pharrell) - Remix ---Kendrick Lamar - Alright ---Cardi B - Money ---Iggy Azalea - Sally Walker ---Cardi B - Up ---Anne-Marie - PSYCHO ---Megan Thee Stallion - Savage ---Megan Thee Stallion - Megan's Piano ---Ariana Grande - yes, and? ---Madonna - Vogue ---Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body ---Derrick May - Strings of Life ---Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Jesse Saunders - Love Can't Turn Around Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

16 Jan 2024

38 MINS

38:16

16 Jan 2024


#381

The case of the missing vocals, and other listener questions

All throughout the year, Switched on Pop gets a litany of musical questions that need answering. To kick off 2024, hosts Charlie and Nate answer some of these questions live on air! From the renewed interest in Cass Elliot's "Make Your Own Kind of Music" to the lack of multi-part harmonies on the charts, this episode takes a closer look at some listeners' musical maladies – alongside special guest star Joe Treble. Songs Discussed: ---Eagles - Take It Easy ---Jack Harlow - Lovin On Me ---Cadillac Dale - Whatever (Bass Soliloquy) ---Tate McRae - greedy ---Dua Lipa - Houdini ---Fleetwood Mac – The Chain ---Ariana Grande - shut up ---boygenius – Not Strong Enough ---boygenius - Without You Without Them ---Jerry Goldsmith - Jake And Evelyn (From The “Chinatown” Soundtrack) ---Terence Blanchard - Perry Sees Teddy (From HBO Series Perry Mason: Season 1) ---Cass Elliot - Make Your Own Kind of Music ---David Bowie – Space Oddity ---Elton John - Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time) ---TALK - Run Away to Mars ---Tommy Tutone - 867-5309/Jenny ---Blondie - Call Me ---Lady Gaga - Telephone ft. Beyoncé ---Rico Nasty - IPHONE ---R.E.M. - Star 69 ---50 Cent - High All The Time ---Beyoncé – Crazy in Love ft. Jay-Z ---Britney Spears – E-Mail My Heart Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [podcastchoices.com/adchoices] (https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ... Read more

09 Jan 2024

46 MINS

46:04

09 Jan 2024