We hand over the hosting duties to Constance Grady, book reviewer for Vox.com, to discuss our new book/baby - Switched on Pop: How Popular Music Works and Why it Matters, and go deep on two specific concepts we haven’t touched nearly enough on the show: timbre (with the help of Sia’s “Chandelier) and sampling (via M.I.A.’s iconic “Paper Planes). The book of course goes further, devoting a full chapter each to sixteen different concepts we’ve explored on the show (think harmony, modulation, syncopation, genre), and pairing those concepts with the pop tracks that really bring them to life.
There are so many people who helped us get this thing from concept to bound stack of papers that you can hold in your hands, but right now, right here, we want to shout out: our listeners. You all shape the show every week by suggesting incredible episode ideas and recommending songs for us to break down. You also inspired this book, when you asked us year in and year out for a definitive guide to the essential musical knowledge necessary to understand contemporary pop. We hope you like it, and know that your emails, tweets and analysis continue to delight and inspire us to no end.
Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
Sia - Chandelier
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
Switched on Pop: How Popular Music Works and Why it Matters is available now! Find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound or buy directly from Oxford University Press.
Book illustrations by the indomitable Iris Gottlieb: https://www.irisgottlieb.com/
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