213 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 • 641 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.

    Sasha Sloan - Until It Happens To You

    Sasha Sloan - Until It Happens To You

    Sasha Sloan is a singer and songwriter based in Nashville. She put out her debut album, Only Child, last year. Before that, she’d written songs for artists like Katy Perry, John Legend, and Charli XCX, and she’s been a featured guest vocalist on songs by electronic artists Odesza and Kygo. Sasha made her album with her boyfriend, producer Henry Allen, aka King Henry, whose other production credits include songs by Beyoncé and Diplo. In this episode, Sasha, along with Henry, tells the story of making her song "Until It Happens to You."

    For more, visit songexploder.net/sasha-sloan.

    • 19 min
    PJ Morton - Say So (feat. JoJo)

    PJ Morton - Say So (feat. JoJo)

    PJ Morton is a singer, songwriter, and producer. He’s the first artist ever to be nominated for a Grammy for the Best R&B album three years in a row. In 2020, he won the Grammy for Best R&B song for his track, "Say So," which is a duet with the singer JoJo, a platinum-selling artist in her own right. But that version of "Say So" almost didn’t come to exist. In this episode, PJ takes us through his original voice memos, the demos, and the isolated pieces of the final studio recording, as he tells the story of how the track was created, then disappeared, and then got re-created—and ended up becoming one of his biggest songs.

    For more, visit songexploder.net/pj-morton.

    • 19 min
    HAIM - Summer Girl

    HAIM - Summer Girl

    HAIM is a band from Los Angeles, made up of the sisters Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim. They’ve released three albums, and they’ve been nominated for three Grammys. Over the years, they’ve worked extensively with Grammy-winning producer Ariel Rechtshaid. Danielle and Ariel share the emotional backstory of the song “Summer Girl,” from HAIM’s third album, Women in Music Pt. III. In this episode, they break down their experience creating the song, along with Este Haim and the song’s co-producer and co-writer Rostam.

    For more, visit songexploder.net/haim.

    • 24 min
    Yusuf / Cat Stevens - Father and Son

    Yusuf / Cat Stevens - Father and Son

    The legendary singer/songwriter Yusuf / Cat Stevens released his first album in 1967. He’s a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and his albums have sold millions. In 2020, he released Tea for the Tillerman², a re-imagining of his hit 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. In the song “Father & Son,” he sings a duet between the two title characters, doing both voices. But in the 2020 version, he approached this song in a kind of astonishing way—he recorded the part of the father, but for the part of the son, he used a live recording of himself from 1970, taken from a show he played at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. So the two parts are still both sung in his voice, but 50 years apart. In this episode, the 200th episode of Song Exploder, Yusuf / Cat Stevens tells the story of how he created, and then re-created “Father & Son.”

    For more, visit songexploder.net/yusuf-cat-stevens.

    • 18 min
    Common - A Riot In My Mind

    Common - A Riot In My Mind

    Common is a Grammy- and Oscar-winning rapper, actor, and activist from Chicago. He’s been making records since 1992, and in October, he released his thirteenth album, A Beautiful Revolution. In this episode, he breaks down how he made the song “A Riot In My Mind,” along with a handful of collaborators, including Lenny Kravitz and a cameo from Chuck D.

    songexploder.net/common

    • 23 min
    Jewel - You Were Meant For Me

    Jewel - You Were Meant For Me

    Jewel is a singer-songwriter from Homer, Alaska, who’s received four Grammy nominations and sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Her debut album, Pieces of You, came out in 1995, and a 25th anniversary edition was released in November 2020. That album contains the hit song "You Were Meant for Me," but it turns out it wasn’t a runaway success—not at first. In this episode, Jewel traces the history of making “You Were Meant For Me,” starting with the demo, and moving through all the different versions that were made along the way.

    songexploder.net/jewel

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
641 Ratings

641 Ratings

Dre35mm ,

Incredible

Your show has put a smile on my face, brought me to tears and had me talking out loud to myself alone in my car! Thank you and thanks to all the artists for their collaboration. Hunt down Richard D James and get the story on “Bucephalus bouncing balls”

ruthrk ,

Amazing

This is one of the best podcasts around. Super interesting episodes and tid bits even the biggest audiophiles wouldn't know.

Leesa TheGiftofD ,

I’ve been reawakened!

Fantastic, Fantastic Podcast! I’ve been missing something in my life lately-my creativity and the Sound Exploder podcast has helped me to reconnect to this. Not only is it so interesting to hear the backstory of how an artist developed their song but what a great way to be introduced to other artists I may not have noticed before. Leesa- GiftofD

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