221 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 • 5K Ratings

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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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us

    Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us

    Sparks are the brothers Ron and Russell Mael, a legendary duo from Los Angeles. Over the last 50 years, they’ve released 25 albums. They’ve collaborated with Giorgio Moroder and Franz Ferdinand, and they’ve influenced bands like Joy Division, Faith No More, Björk, and countless others. Director Edgar Wright, whose films include Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver, and Scott Pilgrim vs the World, has made a documentary about the band called The Sparks Brothers. It premiered at Sundance, and comes out in theaters on Friday, June 18th. For this episode: Ron and Russell break down their hit song, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us," which came out in 1974.

    To learn more, visit songexploder.net/sparks

    • 16 min
    Arlo Parks - Black Dog

    Arlo Parks - Black Dog

    Arlo Parks is a singer and songwriter from London. In January 2021, she released her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams. It hit number three on the UK charts, and she won this year’s BRIT award for Breakthrough Artist. Last year, NME called her song "Black Dog" the year’s "most devastating song." In this episode, Anaïs breaks down “Black Dog," which she made with producer Gianluca Buccellati. ("But I just call him Luca.") Here’s Arlo Parks on Song Exploder.

    If you’re thinking about suicide, or if you have a friend who is, or if you just need someone to talk to right now, you can get support by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by texting HOME to 741-741, which is the Crisis Text Line. If you're outside of the U.S., check out the list of international hotlines at suicide.org.

    For more about “Black Dog,” visit songexploder.net/arlo-parks

    Also: it’s the Radiotopia Spring Fundraiser! Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned, award-winning podcasts like Song Exploder. Donate today at https://on.prx.org/3wl9pWn. Thanks!

    • 18 min
    Imagine Dragons - Follow You

    Imagine Dragons - Follow You

    Imagine Dragons are a Grammy-winning band from Las Vegas. They’ve sold over 20 millions albums so far, and they were the most streamed band on Spotify in 2018. In March of this year, they released the song “Follow You." Singer Dan Reynolds started the song at home, and then later, the band took it to the studio Shangri-La, to record parts of it with legendary producer Rick Rubin. In this episode, Dan breaks down the song, which tells a deeply personal story of his relationship to his wife.

    For more, visit songexploder.net/imagine-dragons

    • 18 min
    girl in red - Serotonin

    girl in red - Serotonin

    Marie Ulven is a singer, songwriter, and producer from Norway, who makes music under the name girl in red. She just released her debut album in April 2021, but she already has a big fanbase and she’s gotten a lot of critical acclaim from two EPs and singles that she’s released online, including a couple that went gold. The New York Times included her work in their best songs of the year in both 2018 and 2019, and she was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Norwegian Grammys. "Do you listen to girl in red?" has also become code on TikTok, a kind of shibboleth, to ask if someone’s a lesbian. In this episode, Marie breaks down the song "Serotonin," a song that started as a video she posted to her own TikTok in the early days of lockdown in 2020. You’ll hear the original version she recorded on her own, before collaborating with Norwegian Grammy-winning producer Matias Téllez, and later, with Grammy-winning artist and producer Finneas O’Connell, in order to finish the song.

    For more, visit songexploder.net/girl-in-red

    • 19 min
    Porter Robinson - Get Your Wish

    Porter Robinson - Get Your Wish

    Porter Robinson is a Grammy-nominated electronic artist and DJ from North Carolina. In 2014, his first album hit #1 on Billboard’s Dance chart, and he was named MTVU’s Artist of the Year, and one of the top DJs in the world — but then, he got stuck. He didn’t release his second album for seven years, until April 2021. In this episode, he talks about what he was grappling with in those intervening years, and how all of that became part of his song "Get Your Wish."

    For more, visit songexploder.net/porter-robinson

    • 17 min
    Lianne La Havas - Can't Fight

    Lianne La Havas - Can't Fight

    Lianne La Havas is a singer and songwriter from London. She’s been nominated for a Grammy and a Brit award, and in 2020, she released her third album. In this episode, she breaks down her song "Can’t Fight," and traces its evolution — along with her own evolution – over several years.

    For more, visit songexploder.net/lianne-la-havas.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
5K Ratings

5K Ratings

j.michael.j ,

Brilliant

Each episode is done so well and even when I’m not that into the artist/genre/song, I still find myself enjoying every bit of it and finding a new appreciation.

What-A-Save-Dave ,

5/5

Underrated

sax_music ,

👍🏼

👍🏼🐼

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