218 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 • 4.9K 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.

    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

    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
    Jon Batiste - We Are

    Jon Batiste - We Are

    Jon Batiste is a pianist, songwriter, and composer from New Orleans. He’s been nominated for multiple Grammys, and just won the Golden Globe and got an Oscar nomination for the soundtrack to the Pixar film Soul, which he composed along with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Jon is also a recipient of the American Jazz Museum’s lifetime achievement award, and on weeknights, you can see him as the bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In March 2021, he put out his new album, We Are. But the title track from it came actually came out much earlier, last year, in June 2020. In this episode, Jon talks about how he drew from his roots, at a very personal level — and at a cultural, historical level  — and wove all of it into the song.

    For more, visit songexploder.net/jon-batiste.

    • 23 min
    Glass Animals - Heat Waves

    Glass Animals - Heat Waves

    Glass Animals is a band from Oxford, England. They’ve released three albums since forming back in 2010. One of their biggest hits is the song "Heat Waves," which came out in June 2020. It was certified Gold in several countries, and Platinum in Australia, where it hit #1. Dave Bayley is the singer, songwriter, and producer of the band. He won the UK’s Music Producers Guild award for "Self-Producing Artist of the Year," and he’s produced songs for other artists, as well. In this episode, Dave tells the story of making "Heat Waves," over several months. First, on his own, and then later with his bandmates, Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer, and Drew MacFarlane.

    For more, visit songexploder.net/glass-animals.

    • 19 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
4.9K Ratings

4.9K Ratings

dmb383 ,

Please Interview

Hey Hrishikesh
Would it be possible for you to interview
Mabe Fratti regarding her song “Hacia El Vaci’o?”
You RAWK!

Myohosista ,

Everything I Wanted

Dear friends around the world, DON’T let ANY of your friends, family members or other dear ones in your life go another day without listening to this session! This session is about the writing of a song that will rock the listener’s soul to the core!!

I am a nearly seventy year old, “DeadHead” from back in the seventies; and a Jewish, Brooklyn-born practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism (we’re the ones that chant the mantra, “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo”). I have considered committing suicide several times in years over the past decades; and now truly have everything I have ever wanted in my life.

I am an avid music lover, with eclectic tastes ranging from Classic Rock, Alternative, Smooth Jazz, Southern Rock, Classical, Country Rock, the Blues, New Age, Folk, and even Jewish Klezmer music; and I have got to tell you, there has NEVER been (lMHO), a more powerful, heartfelt, melodic and exquisite original song ever written. These two siblings have created a timeless masterpiece!

NikolasKite ,

HAIM ruins everything

Unfortunately the first episode I listened to involved HAIM admitting in detail how they ripped off Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”. Sad really.

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