307 episodes

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.

Switched on Pop New York Magazine

    • Music
    • 4.6 • 2.2K Ratings

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.

    Santigold sings Spirituals

    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. 
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    • 26 min
    The future of music pt I

    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
    Michael Jackson songs removed from streaming services to 'move beyond' fake vocals controversy
    Shred with Green Day, with some help from AudioShake
    Invasion of the Vibe Snatchers

    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
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    • 33 min
    Lady Gaga & The Pequeños Monstruos

    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”


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    • 32 min
    Invasion of the Vibe Snatchers

    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.
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    • 26 min
    Into It: Song of Summer 2022

    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? 
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    • 17 min
    Learning to love the Killers (maybe)

    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
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    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
2.2K Ratings

2.2K Ratings

G Woodbery ,

The Story of a Sample!!!

This review turned into an ode to Nate and Charlie and the whole SoP team. I’m going to leave it. If you’re wondering if yo I should listen to this podcast, **yes**.
If you want my pitch, it’s the last paragraph. Scroll down.

I listen to the show on and off for years, but in the past few months it’s been an absolute staple. It brings so much joy into my day today to hear The sincerity and joy you all take in breaking down these BANGERS. I feel like hanging along and needy out with y’all every episode.
When you causally dropped the ‘Story Story of Sample’ I had to stop what I was doing, pause the episode and go…. “Boom.”
This is what I do in my free time. As I’ve broadened my music horizon infinitely in the past 5 years, I’ve complied a playlist of sampled I’ve organically discovered. Your pod has been an awesome part of that discovery and I can’t wait for more of those sessions. I just added the triple Tom Tom Club evolution!

This show rules. If your interested enough in the concept of music appreciation to have clicked through the reviews of this podcast, you’re gonna love this show. Start with a sock you recognize and like, and Nate and Charlie will dissect for you why those sounds elicit joy for you hand so many others. Highly recommend. 10/10

Srconroy77 ,

Not so much

Not half as clever, insightful or funny as the hosts seem to think they are, this is for anyone who likes their music critics heavy on academics and light on passion.

baepsalmbook ,

A Must-Listen for Music Fans

Switched On Pop was one of the very first podcasts I began listening to regularly way back in 2015. An early episode on the history of The Star-Spangled Banner and its use at major sporting events caught my attention and, well, I’ve listened to nearly every single episode since then. Nate and Charlie have a knack for mining the pop music and pop culture landscape for rare gems to present to listeners during each episode. They find clever ways of tying current trends in the Top 40 to musical expressions of decades (or sometimes centuries) past. With Charlie’s songwriting and production chops and Nate’s musicological and historical acumen, they always find ways to add to the conversation around a song or artist - even ones that already loom large in the cultural zeitgeist.

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