201 episodes

Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode features an artist discussing a song of theirs, breaking down the sounds and ideas that went into the writing and recording. Hosted and produced by Hrishikesh Hirway.

Song Exploder Radiotopia

    • Music
    • 4.8 • 563 Ratings

Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode features an artist discussing a song of theirs, breaking down the sounds and ideas that went into the writing and recording. Hosted and produced by Hrishikesh Hirway.

    Reissue: Ludwig Göransson - Black Panther

    Reissue: Ludwig Göransson - Black Panther

    On August 28, 2020, actor Chadwick Boseman died. He was only 43 years old. Unbeknownst to many, even some of his closest collaborators, he’d been battling colon cancer since 2016. His family released a statement, and in it, they said, "It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther." After hearing the news, I went back and re-watched the movie, and I don’t know, it was a completely different experience this time. I went and listened to the score again, and that had changed for me, too. So, I wanted to back and share this episode from 2018, about a piece of the film’s score by composer Ludwig Göransson. It’s one of my favorites, and since it first aired, Ludwig went on to win the Grammy and Oscar for the Black Panther score.

    I hope you enjoy this re-visiting this episode, and I hope it makes you remember how great Black Panther is, and how great Chadwick Boseman is in it, in a role that defined a career that was way too short.

    · · · 
    Marvel’s Black Panther was released in theaters on February 16, 2018, and in just a few weeks, it made over a billion dollars worldwide. It’s already broken some box office records and it looks like it’s going to break some more. The score for the film was created by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson. His film and tv credits include Creed and New Girl. He’s also Grammy-nominated producer, who’s worked most often with rapper Childish Gambino. In this episode, Ludwig takes apart one of his pieces from Black Panther. The track is called "Killmonger," and it’s the theme for Erik Killmonger, a character played by Michael B. Jordan. Black Panther is set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and coming up, Ludwig tells the story of doing research and making recordings in Africa, and how he incorporated that into the score for the film.

    For more, visit songexploder.net/black-panther

    • 21 min
    Kelly Lee Owens - On

    Kelly Lee Owens - On

    Kelly Lee Owens is an electronic music producer and songwriter originally from Wales. She’s released two critically acclaimed albums and done remixes for Björk and St. Vincent. Her most recent album is is called Inner Song. It came out in August, following what Kelly described as the hardest three years of her life. In this episode, she takes apart her song "On," and explains how its tone and shifts mirrored her journey processing her own trauma.

    songexploder.net/kelly-lee-owens

    • 20 min
    Black Pumas - Colors

    Black Pumas - Colors

    Black Pumas formed in Austin, Texas in 2017, when singer Eric Burton met producer Adrian Quesada. Their self-titled debut was released in June 2019, and got them a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. In this episode, they break down their hit song “Colors,” which Eric started writing ten years ago, when he was first learning how to play guitar.

    songexploder.net/black-pumas

    • 17 min
    The 1975 - The Birthday Party

    The 1975 - The Birthday Party

    The 1975 are a band from Manchester, England, made up of Matty Healy, Adam Hann, Ross MacDonald, and George Daniel. They started playing music together in 2002, when they were teenagers. Since then, they’ve released four albums, won three Brit awards, and gotten two Grammy nominations. Their most recent album, Notes on a Conditional Form, came out in May 2020. In this episode, Matty and George break down how they made the song “The Birthday Party.”

    songexploder.net/the-1975

    • 18 min
    Waxahatchee - Fire

    Waxahatchee - Fire

    Katie Crutchfield is a singer and songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama. She’s been making music under the name Waxahatchee since 2010. Her fifth album, Saint Cloud, came out this past March. Pitchfork named it Best New Music, and The Guardian called it the best album of the year so far. In this episode, Katie breaks down how she made the song “Fire."

    songexploder.net/waxahatchee

    • 17 min
    Khruangbin - So We Won't Forget

    Khruangbin - So We Won't Forget

    Khruangbin is a band from Houston, Texas, who first formed in 2010. NME called them the "low key superstars" of psychedelic music. They’ve released three albums. The most recent, which came out in June 2020, is called Mordechai.

    In the past, most of Khruangbin’s songs have been instrumental, or if they did have vocals, they'd be minimal. Their new album is different. It features vocals prominently, and in this episode, the three of them explain their philosophy on vocals and their process on writing lyrics. I spoke to each of them to get their perspective on how they made the song "So We Won’t Forget."

    songexploder.net/khruangbin

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
563 Ratings

563 Ratings

Butter-up ,

My latest obsession

I read about your podcast online and it intrigued me. I listened to one and have not stopped since. I love the concept. Exploring music is always a good thing and it is so fabulous to get a sense of the inspiration. Thanks for sharing your wealth.

freelancelove ,

Resonance

I love listening to the episodes about musicians and songs I already know. It helps me understand them in a whole new way. The music just... resonates more.

Pigdump ,

Liz Phair 25 years later

I loved Exile in Guyville when it first came out. Blew my forehead off. Divorce Song stood out for me then and I didn’t know why. I just fell in love with it all over again. Thanks!

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