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Song Exploder

Song Exploder

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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 an...Show More
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The Roots - It Ain't Fair (feat. Bilal)

23:42 | Jan 3rd, 2018

Drummer Ahmir Thompson, also known as Questlove, and rapper Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought, started The Roots when they were in high school in Philadelphia in 1987. Over the last thirty years, the band has released 17 albums. They’ve received a bun...Show More
Maggie Rogers - Alaska

20:00 | Aug 24th, 2017

Maggie Rogers had a breakthrough moment when she was a student at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute. Pharrell Williams visited to her class, and when he heard her song "Alaska," his reaction was dramatic, and caught on video. The video of Pharrell listenin...Show More
Yo-Yo Ma - Prelude, Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major

15:29 | Dec 20th, 2018

Yo-Yo Ma is perhaps the most famous and well-loved cellist in the world. He was born in Paris in 1955; his family moved to the U.S. when he was seven. He played for President Kennedy that year. He played at Carnegie Hall for the first time when he wa...Show More
St. Vincent - New York

16:02 | Aug 15th, 2017

Annie Clark grew up in Texas, studied the guitar, and moved to New York in the mid-2000s. She started recording and performing under the name St Vincent in 2006. She’s released five albums, and won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2014. Earlier...Show More
Courtney Barnett - Depreston

16:40 | Jan 7th, 2016

Courtney Barnett released her debut album in March 2015. By the end of the year, she had been nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist, Spin named her the Songwriter of the Year, and she won four ARIA Music Awards in her native Australia. In this e...Show More
The National - Sea of Love

16:37 | Dec 22nd, 2014

The National formed in 1999. They've released six albums, and have been nominated for a grammy. Their music is everywhere from Game of Thrones, to Bob's Burgers, to Barack Obama's presidential campaign. In 2013 they released their sixth album, Troubl...Show More
Mumford & Sons - Beloved

20:57 | Mar 6th

Mumford & Sons are a Grammy-winning band that formed in London in 2007. They’ve put out four albums, and sold millions of copies. Their last three albums have all debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. The most recent of those albums is Delta...Show More
Wilco - Magnetized

13:47 | Dec 3rd, 2015

Wilco formed in 1994, and 21 years later, they released their 9th album, Star Wars. In this episode, Jeff Tweedy, the band’s singer and principal songwriter, breaks down the song Magnetized. In addition to collaborating with his five bandmates, John ...Show More
The Cranberries - All Over Now

23:56 | May 1st

The Cranberries formed in Limerick, Ireland in 1989. Singer Dolores O’Riordan joined a year later, and the group went on to become one of the defining bands on the ‘90s, eventually selling over 40 million records worldwide. In January 2018, while th...Show More
Breakmaster Cylinder - Reply All

12:32 | Nov 26th, 2018

Four years ago, on November 24, 2014, the first episode of the podcast Reply All came out. It’s a podcast about the internet hosted by Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt. And since then, they’ve put out 131 episodes. The show has gotten over 100 million downlo...Show More
Jon Hopkins - Luminous Beings

32:21 | May 23rd, 2018

Jon Hopkins is an electronic music producer whose been nominated twice for the UK’s Mercury Prize. Along with his frequent collaborator, Brian Eno, he co-produced Coldplay’s Grammy-award winning album, Viva la Vida. In May 2018, Jon Hopkins released ...Show More
Lin-Manuel Miranda - Almost Like Praying (feat. Artists for Puerto Rico)

23:19 | Nov 22nd, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a playwright, actor, and songwriter. He’s the creator of the broadway hits Hamilton and In the Heights, and he’s a Tony-award winner, a Grammy winner, an Emmy winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a recipient of the MacArthur Gen...Show More
Ibeyi - Deathless

18:24 | Sep 5th, 2017

The band Ibeyi is made up of twin sisters Naomi Diaz, and Lisa-Kaindé Diaz. When they were only teenagers, they were signed to a record deal by Richard Russell, who had previously signed artists like Adele and Vampire Weekend to his label, XL. He als...Show More
Slowdive - Sugar for the Pill

15:22 | Jul 13th, 2017

Slowdive formed in 1989 in Reading, England. They put out 3 albums between 1991 and 1995, and their sound helped define the shoegaze genre. In 2017, the band released a critically-acclaimed self-titled album, their first in over twenty years. In this...Show More
Michelle Branch - Best You Ever

18:23 | Jun 14th, 2017

Michelle Branch is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter. She released two platinum albums when she was still a teenager. Because those records were such huge hits, for a long time they defined her as an artist—for better or worse. Over a decade later, ...Show More
Aimee Mann - Patient Zero

18:49 | Apr 21st, 2017

Aimee Mann is a Grammy- and Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter. In the 80s, she fronted the band Til Tuesday, and in 1993, she released her first solo album. In 2017, Aimee released her 9th album, Mental Illness, and in this episode, she tells the sto...Show More
Solange - Cranes in the Sky

25:04 | Jan 16th, 2017

Solange Knowles released her first album in 2002, at the age of 16. Her third album, A Seat at the Table, came out in September 2016, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. It’s gotten widespread critical acclaim, including being named album of t...Show More
James Vincent McMorrow - Get Low

14:37 | Oct 19th, 2016

James Vincent McMorrow is a singer/songwriter whose first albums fell somewhere on the folk music side of things. But his sound has changed over the years, incorporating elements of R&B and electronic music. On the album We Move, James worked with th...Show More
Weezer - Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori

20:56 | Apr 18th, 2016

Weezer's 10th album, the self-titled "White" album, came out April 1, 2016. In this episode, Rivers Cuomo breaks down the meticulous process of making the song "Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori," through the different demo versions that the track went th...Show More
Iggy Pop - American Valhalla

15:52 | Mar 22nd, 2016

Iggy Pop is a pioneer of punk rock, whose legendary career began over fifty years ago. In 2015, he began collaborating on music with Joshua Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age. The result was Iggy Pop’s 23rd album, Post Pop Depression. In this episode,...Show More
U2 - Cedarwood Road

14:50 | Jun 30th, 2015

10 Cedarwood Road is the address of Bono’s childhood home in Dublin. For the U2 song "Cedarwood Road," Bono looked back to his life there as a teenager, when skinhead culture seeped into his neighborhood via the Seven Towers, housing projects that we...Show More
RAC - Let Go (feat. Kele & MNDR)

14:20 | Oct 1st, 2014

Andre Allen Anjos is better known as RAC, a musician who first found success by remixing other people's songs. His remixes for artists like Lana Del Rey have gotten millions of plays online. In 2013, RAC released Strangers, his first album of origina...Show More
Converge - Dark Horse

12:33 | Jun 19th, 2014

The band Converge formed in 1990, when its members were teenagers. They've been making music that lives somewhere in the intersection of punk, hardcore, and metal for almost 25 years. Guitarist Kurt Ballou spoke to me from his studio GodCity, which i...Show More
Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here

18:17 | Aug 7th

Sleater-Kinney was formed in 1994 by Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. Drummer Janet Weiss was a member of the band from 1997 until 2019. In *Time Magazine *in 2001, author and critic Greil Marcus named Sleater-Kinney “America’s Best Band.” Over th...Show More
Denzel Curry - RICKY

14:40 | Jul 24th

Denzel Curry is a rapper from Miami. He started his career at age 16 as part of the hip hop collective Raider Klan. He released his first solo album while still in high school. In May 2019 Denzel released his fourth album, ZUU. He made it with the A...Show More
Jamila Woods - BALDWIN

20:53 | Jul 10th

Jamila Woods is a singer, songwriter, and poet from Chicago. She’s released two albums, and she’s collaborated with artists like Chance the Rapper, Noname, and Macklemore. In May 2019, she put out her second album, LEGACY! LEGACY!, to critical accla...Show More
Big Thief - Cattails

16:58 | Jun 26th

Big Thief is a four piece folk-rock band from Brooklyn, New York. In May 2019, they released their third album, U.F.O.F., to critical acclaim. Pitchfork named it “Best New Music.” In this episode, singer Adrianne Lenker and drummer James Krivchenia ...Show More
Sheryl Crow - Redemption Day (feat. Johnny Cash)

22:15 | Jun 12th

Sheryl Crow is a singer-songwriter from Missouri. She’s released ten studio albums, sold over 50 million records, and has won nine Grammys. In April 2019, Sheryl Crow released a new version of her song “Redemption Day,” which was first released on h...Show More
Raleigh Ritchie - Time in a Tree

17:39 | May 29th

Raleigh Ritchie is the musical alias of Jacob Anderson, a musician and actor who’s probably best known for playing the character Grey Worm on Game of Thrones. Raleigh Ritchie released his first album in 2016, and he’s put out a handful of EPs. In Se...Show More
The Mountain Goats - Cadaver Sniffing Dog

25:19 | May 15th

John Darnielle has been writing and recording songs as the Mountain Goats since 1991. He’s released 17 studio albums, and also written two books of fiction. In April 2019, the Mountain Goats released the album In League with Dragons, and in this epi...Show More
Panda Bear - Dolphin

13:57 | Apr 17th

Panda Bear is musician Noah Lennox. He’s a founding member of the experimental, genre-defying band Animal Collective, and as a solo artists, he’s released six albums. In February 2019, Panda Bear released the album Buoys, and in this episode, he and...Show More
Sharon Van Etten - Seventeen

26:48 | Apr 3rd

Sharon Van Etten is a singer and songwriter who’s put out five albums. She's also an actress—she’s in The OA and Twin Peaks. Her most recent album, Remind Me Tomorrow, came out in January 2019. In this episode, Sharon breaks down a single from that ...Show More
Nakhane - New Brighton (feat. Anohni)

22:37 | Mar 20th

Nakhane is a singer and songwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa. His first album, Brave Confusion, won the South African Music Award for best alternative album in 2014. He starred in the award-winning film “The Wound,” which was shortlisted for th...Show More
Phoebe Bridgers - Scott Street

22:19 | Feb 20th

Phoebe Bridgers is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. In September 2017, she released her debut album, Stranger in the Alps. One of the breakout songs from that album was “Scott Street,” a song Phoebe cowrote with her drummer, Marshall Vore. In th...Show More
Wonderly - The Daily (Theme)

11:28 | Feb 6th

The Daily is a hit podcast from The New York Times, hosted by Michael Barbaro. Every weekday, over 1.7 million people download the show. It launched in February 2017, and in honor of its two-year anniversary, we’re publishing a bonus episode about th...Show More
Japanese Breakfast - Boyish

18:14 | Jan 23rd

Japanese Breakfast is the musical project of Michelle Zauner, who’s been making music under that name since 2013. In July 2017, she released her second album, Soft Sounds from Another Planet, to critical acclaim.   In this episode, Michelle breaks d...Show More
Hozier - Nina Cried Power (feat. Mavis Staples)

19:05 | Jan 9th

Andrew Hozier-Byrne is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Ireland. His debut single from 2013, “Take Me to Church,” was a massive, multi-platinum hit. In September 2018, Hozier released the song “Nina Cried Power,” which features the legendar...Show More
Reissue: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Astonished Man

14:43 | Dec 13th, 2018

Thao Nguyen is taking over as the new host of Song Exploder in 2019. This is a reissue of an episode from 2016 in which she was the guest. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down released the album A Man Alive in March 2016. In this episode, Thao Nguyen break...Show More
Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way

21:28 | Dec 5th, 2018

Lindsey Buckingham is a singer-songwriter, a guitarist, and a producer. In 1974, he joined the band Fleetwood Mac, along with Stevie Nicks, his girlfriend at the time. A few year later, in 1977, Fleetwood Mac released the album Rumours, which would g...Show More
Empress Of - When I'm With Him

14:50 | Nov 19th, 2018

Lorely Rodriguez is a singer, songwriter, and producer who goes by the name Empress Of. She’s released two albums, and she’s sung on tracks with Khalid, Blood Orange, and Dirty Projectors. Her first album, Me, was made on her own. But her second albu...Show More
Big Boi - Order of Operations

15:22 | Nov 5th, 2018

Big Boi is a rapper from Atlanta. When he was a teenager, he and Andre 3000 formed OutKast, and went on to sell over 25 million records and win six Grammys. He’s released three solo albums, including Boomiverse, which came out in 2017. In this episod...Show More
John Carpenter - Halloween (Theme)

12:10 | Oct 26th, 2018

In 1978, John Carpenter wrote, directed, and scored the film Halloween. It was made on a $300,000 budget, and ended up grossing over $70 million, making it one of the most successful independent movies ever released. The main theme to the film became...Show More
Janelle Monáe - So Afraid

19:07 | Oct 15th, 2018

Janelle Monáe is an award-winning musician and actress who released her first record in 2007. She’s been nominated for multiple Grammys, and starred in the Oscar films Moonlight and Hidden Figures. In April 2018, she released her third album, Dirty C...Show More
Cat Power - Woman

18:34 | Oct 4th, 2018

Chan Marshall is a singer-songwriter who’s been making records under the name Cat Power since 1995. In 2018, she put out her tenth album, Wanderer. It includes this song "Woman," which has Lana Del Rey on backing vocals. In this episode, Chan breaks ...Show More
Blood Orange - Saint

18:07 | Sep 25th, 2018

Blood Orange is the project of songwriter and producer Devonté Hynes. He’s produced and co-written songs for artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, Solange, HAIM, and ASAP Rocky, among others. He’s been releasing his own music as Blood Orange since 2011. In ...Show More
Reissue: Patrick Carney feat. Ralph Carney - BoJack Horseman (Main Title Theme)

15:53 | Sep 19th, 2018

Last week, Netflix released the fifth season of BoJack Horseman. I wanted to revisit this episode about the show’s Main Title Theme, which was written by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, and his uncle, Ralph Carney, who passed away unexpectedly in D...Show More
The Decemberists - Once In My Life

21:43 | Sep 5th, 2018

The Decemberists are a Grammy-nominated five-piece band from Portland, Oregon. They released their first album in 2001, and since then they’ve put out seven more, including the 2018 album I’ll Be Your Girl. In this episode, singer and guitarist Colin...Show More
Reissue: Mitski - Your Best American Girl

13:35 | Aug 29th, 2018

In honor of Mitski’s new album, “Be the Cowboy,” here’s the episode she did in 2016. — Mitski has been making records since 2012. Her third record, Puberty 2, came out in June 2016 and was critically acclaimed Pitchfork gave it Best New Music status....Show More
Christine and the Queens - Doesn't Matter

19:37 | Aug 15th, 2018

Christine and the Queens is a singer, songwriter, and producer from France. Her debut album was first released in 2014 in French, and in 2015, she released an English version of it. It was critically acclaimed and she won the Victoire de le Musique—F...Show More
Neko Case - Last Lion of Albion

16:48 | Aug 1st, 2018

Neko Case is a singer and songwriter. She’s been nominated for multiple Grammys, and in addition to her own music, she’s a member of the band The New Pornographers. In June 2018, she put out her 7th album, Hell-On, which she also co-produced. In this...Show More
Reissue: Courtney Barnett - Depreston

16:52 | Jul 25th, 2018

Earlier this year, in May 2018, Courtney Barnett released her second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel. And last fall, she and Kurt Vile made an album together. So I thought this would be a good time to go back and listen to an episode she did in Ja...Show More
Action Bronson - The Chairman's Intent

11:43 | Jul 18th, 2018

Action Bronson is a rapper from Queens who’s been making records since 2011. He also stars as the host of two TV shows about food on Vice’s channel, Viceland. His third album, Blue Chips 7000, came out in 2017, and features this song – “The Chairman’...Show More
Jhené Aiko - Sativa (feat. Swae Lee)

17:53 | Jul 4th, 2018

Jhené Aiko is a Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter. She’s released three albums so far. In addition to her own records, she’s been a featured guest vocalist on songs by Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Childish Gambino, and many, many others. In 2017, she ...Show More
Reissue: CHVRCHES - Clearest Blue

13:47 | Jun 28th, 2018

I interviewed the Scottish band CHVRCHES back in March 2016, in Austin, Texas. A few weeks ago, in May 2018, they released a new album called Love is Dead. It features contributions from David Stewart of the Eurythmics, and another past Song Exploder...Show More
Yo La Tengo - Here You Are

17:46 | Jun 20th, 2018

Yo La Tengo formed in 1984. The band is made up Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew. In March 2018, they released There’s a Riot Going On, their 15th album. They made the record themselves—they recorded it entirely in their rehearsal studio w...Show More
Wolf Alice - Don't Delete the Kisses

22:07 | Jun 6th, 2018

Wolf Alice is a band from North London. Their second album, Visions of a Life, was released in September 2017. In this episode, singer Ellie Rowsell and drummer Joel Amey tell the story of how they made the song “Don’t Delete the Kisses.” The album w...Show More
Reissue: Kelela - Rewind

15:08 | May 31st, 2018

In November 2015, I interviewed Kelela about her song “Rewind,” from her debut EP, Hallucinogen. Since that EP was released, she's gone on to collaborate on songs with Gorillaz and Solange, and released her first full-length, Take Me Apart, which was...Show More
Liz Phair - Divorce Song

24:24 | May 9th, 2018

In 1993, Liz Phair released her debut album, Exile in Guyville. It was an instant hit, critically and commercially. It sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Spin and The Village Voice named it album of the year. Soon after, Rolling Stone put her on t...Show More
Arcade Fire - Put Your Money On Me

21:06 | Apr 25th, 2018

Arcade Fire is a Grammy-winning six-piece band originally from Montreal. They’ve released five albums, and the last three have all debuted at number one on the charts. In this episode, singer Win Butler takes apart "Put Your Money On Me," from their ...Show More
Kimbra - Top of the World

19:16 | Apr 11th, 2018

Kimbra is a singer from New Zealand. Her first album came out in 2011, and in 2013 she won two Grammys for her collaboration with Gotye, the multiplatinum hit song "Somebody That I Used to Know." In this episode, Kimbra breaks down a song from 2018 c...Show More
Jack Johnson - You Can't Control It

14:30 | Mar 28th, 2018

Jack Johnson is a grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Hawaii. He's had four number one albums on the Billboard charts. In September 2017, he released his seventh album, All the Light Above It Too, and in this episode, Jack Johnson breaks down a s...Show More
Ludwig Göransson - Black Panther

20:20 | Mar 14th, 2018

Marvel’s Black Panther was released in theaters on February 16, 2018, and in just a few weeks, it made over a billion dollars worldwide. It’s already broken some box office records and it looks like it’s going to break some more. The score for the fi...Show More
Natalie Prass - Short Court Style

20:03 | Feb 28th, 2018

Natalie Prass released her debut album in 2015. That year, Time Magazine called her an Artist to Watch, Pitchfork gave the album Best New Music, and Stereogum named it one of the Top Albums of the Year. In this episode, Natalie Prass takes apart a ne...Show More
Moses Sumney - Quarrel

25:20 | Feb 14th, 2018

Moses Sumney is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. His first album, Aromanticism, came out in September 2017, but before that, he’d already worked with an impressive and diverse list of collaborators, from Sufjan Stevens, to Solange, to Karen ...Show More
Bleachers - I Miss Those Days

16:26 | Jan 31st, 2018

Bleachers is the moniker of Jack Antonoff, a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. He won two grammy awards as a member of the band fun., and another for his production work on Taylor Swift’s album 1989. He’s also co­-written songs with St...Show More
Julien Baker - Appointments

19:43 | Jan 17th, 2018

Julien Baker is from Memphis, Tennessee. She released her second album, Turn Out The Lights, in October 2017, on Matador Records. The New York Times called her music "devastating" and Pitchfork gave the album Best New Music. In this episode, Julien t...Show More
R.E.M - Try Not to Breathe

16:00 | Dec 20th, 2017

R.E.M. was formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, bassist Mike Mills, guitarist Peter Buck, and drummer Bill Berry. They’ve won three Grammys, and have sold over 85 million records. In 1992, the band released their eighth album, ...Show More
Nine Inch Nails - The Lovers

23:15 | Dec 6th, 2017

Trent Reznor started Nine Inch Nails in 1988. He released eight albums, sold over 20 million records, won two Grammys and was nominated for 11 more. Then, in 2010, Trent Reznor and his longtime collaborator Atticus Ross scored the film The Social Net...Show More
Rachel Platten - Broken Glass

20:57 | Nov 8th, 2017

Rachel Platten is a singer and songwriter who’s released four albums, including her 2016 album Wildfire, which went Gold. The lead single from that album, “Fight Song,” was used prominently by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. For a normally a...Show More
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - Stranger Things (Main Title Theme)

11:24 | Oct 26th, 2017

The show Stranger Things is a Netflix original series. It was first released in July 2016. Season two’s release date: October 27, 2017. After the first season, the show was nominated for 18 Emmys, and won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Main Title ...Show More
TOKiMONSTA - Bibimbap

13:35 | Oct 18th, 2017

Los Angeles producer and beatmaker Jennifer Lee released her first album as TOKiMONSTA in 2010. She has released music on Flying Lotus's label Brainfeeder, and has collaborated with Kool Keith and Anderson .Paak, among others. Her newest album, Lune ...Show More
The Killers - Rut

18:28 | Oct 6th, 2017

The Killers formed in Las Vegas in 2001. Since then, they’ve released five records. Their newest album, Wonderful Wonderful, came out in September 2017. In this episode, singer Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci break down the song "Rut" fro...Show More
Lorde - Sober

19:04 | Sep 25th, 2017

Lorde is a Grammy-award winning singer, songwriter, and producer. Her second album, Melodrama, debuted at number one on the charts in June 2017 – five months before her 21st birthday. In this episode, Ella breaks down her song “Sober.” You’ll hear ho...Show More
Rostam - Bike Dream

18:23 | Sep 14th, 2017

Rostam Batmanglij is a songwriter, producer, and composer, who first rose to prominence in 2006 as one of the members of Vampire Weekend. He’s produced songs for Frank Ocean, Solange, Carly Rae Jepsen, and more. But his September 2017 album ‘Half-Lig...Show More
Grizzly Bear - Four Cypresses

20:06 | Aug 3rd, 2017

Between 2004 and 2012, Grizzly Bear put out four critically-acclaimed albums. Their newest album is called Painted Ruins, and it features this song, Four Cypresses. In this episode, two members of the band, Chris Taylor and Daniel Rossen, tell the st...Show More
Phoenix - Ti Amo

22:09 | Jul 25th, 2017

Phoenix is a Grammy-winning band from Versailles, France. They started putting out music in 1999, and in June 2017, they released their sixth album, Ti Amo. In this episode, singer Thomas Mars and guitarist Laurent Brancowitz break down the song "Ti ...Show More
Goapele - Stand

15:54 | Jul 5th, 2017

Goapele is a singer/songwriter from the Bay Area. She released her first album in 2001. Since then, she’s released five more albums and collaborated with Snoop Dogg. In 2017, on her album DreamSeeker, she put out the song "Stand." It was written in t...Show More
Fleet Foxes - Mearcstapa

23:04 | Jun 22nd, 2017

Fleet Foxes formed in Seattle, Washington in 2006. In 2011, they put out their second record, which was nominated for a Grammy, and then, the band went on hiatus. The lead singer and songwriter, Robin Pecknold, moved to New York to go to Columbia Uni...Show More
alt-J - In Cold Blood

15:04 | Jun 2nd, 2017

Alt-J formed in Leeds, England in 2007. Their debut album won a Mercury Prize and their second was nominated for a Grammy. Their third album, Relaxer, came out in June 2017. In this episode, they break down “In Cold Blood,” from their new album. son...Show More
Michael Kiwanuka - Black Man in a White World

19:35 | May 22nd, 2017

Michael Kiwanuka is a singer/songwriter from London. His second album, Love and Hate, came out in 2016, and was named one of the Best Albums of the Year from the BBC, NME, The Guardian, GQ, and more. One of the songs on the album was used as the them...Show More
Perfume Genius - Slip Away

21:15 | May 11th, 2017

Mike Hadreas has been making music under the name Perfume Genius since 2008. In May 2017, he put out his fourth album, No Shape to widespread critical acclaim. In this episode, Mike breaks down the song Slip Away. I also spoke with producer Blake Mil...Show More
Little Dragon - Sweet

15:01 | May 2nd, 2017

Little Dragon is a Grammy-nominated band from Gothenburg, Sweden. They formed in 1996, and they released their fifth album Season High in April 2017. In this episode, Yukimi Nagano and Erik Bodin from the band break down the song “Sweet.” songexplod...Show More
Gorillaz - Andromeda (feat. D.R.A.M.)

15:59 | Apr 11th, 2017

Gorillaz is the creation of musician Damon Albarn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett. They’re a virtual band made up four animated characters. Their songs are written by Damon Albarn and a roster of collaborators. Since the first album was released ...Show More
Norah Jones - Day Breaks

14:22 | Mar 30th, 2017

Since her debut in 2002, Norah Jones has sold over 50 million albums, and won 8 Grammys. She released Day Breaks, her sixth album, in 2016. In this episode, she takes apart the title track and details how all the pieces unexpectedly came together. Yo...Show More
Dirty Projectors - Up in Hudson

24:04 | Mar 21st, 2017

Dave Longstreth started making music under the name Dirty Projectors in 2002, while he was in college. Since then, he’s released seven albums and collaborated with Bjork, Solange, and Kanye West, Paul McCartney, and Rihanna. And Dirty Projectors went...Show More
Sleigh Bells - I Can Only Stare

14:26 | Mar 14th, 2017

Sleigh Bells formed in 2008. They released their fourth album, Jessica Rabbit, in 2016. In this episode, Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller break down their song "I Can Only Stare." I interviewed the two of them in front of a live audience at the Kaufman...Show More
Bonobo - Break Apart (feat. Rhye)

16:08 | Feb 28th, 2017

Simon Green is a producer and DJ who’s been making music under the name Bonobo since 2000. In January 2017 he released his sixth studio album, Migration. For the song “Break Apart," he enlisted Rhye to add vocals, and in this episode, the two of them...Show More
Sara Watkins - Without a Word

12:55 | Feb 17th, 2017

Sara Watkins began her music career when she was only 8 years old, as one of the founding members of the Grammy-award winning band Nickel Creek. In 2016, she released her third solo album, Young in all the Wrong Ways. In this episode, Sara breaks dow...Show More
Dropkick Murphys - Blood

17:35 | Feb 7th, 2017

The band Dropkick Murphys formed in Boston in 1996. For over twenty years, they’ve made music that’s reflected the culture and community they’ve come from, including their platinum single "Shipping Up to Boston." In January 2017, they released the al...Show More
Nicholas Britell - Moonlight

16:15 | Jan 30th, 2017

The film Moonlight tells the story of its main character, Chiron, in three chapters: when Chiron is a young boy, nicknamed Little, when he's a teenager, and when he's an adult, nicknamed Black. For each chapter of the film, composer Nicholas Britell ...Show More
Metallica - Moth into Flame

17:26 | Jan 6th, 2017

Metallica formed in 1981. They were teenagers. Since then, they’ve gone on to become one of the most successful bands of all time, selling over 110 million records worldwide. In November 2016, they released their tenth album, Hardwired…to Self-Destru...Show More
Justin Hurwitz - La La Land

19:36 | Dec 21st, 2016

The film LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia, an aspiring actress played by Emma Stone, and Sebastian, a jazz pianist played by Ryan Gosling, both of them struggling artists in Los Angeles. The musical was written and directed by Damien Chazelle in col...Show More
DJ Shadow - Mutual Slump

15:06 | Dec 8th, 2016

In 1996, Josh Davis, aka DJ Shadow, released his first album, Endtroducing. It’s been hailed pretty much universally as one of the best albums of the 90s, and Time Magazine included in its top 100 Albums of all time. It changed hip-hop and electronic...Show More
Angel Olsen - Shut Up Kiss Me

12:57 | Nov 30th, 2016

Angel Olsen released her third album, My Woman, in September 2016. It’s been critically acclaimed, including Pitchfork’s Best New Music and NME’s best albums of the year. In this episode, Angel Olsen takes apart the song "Shut Up Kiss Me." She breaks...Show More
Jóhann Jóhannsson - Arrival

14:03 | Nov 17th, 2016

In the film Arrival, Amy Adams plays a linguist trying to decode an alien language. The score was composed by Johann Johannsson, his third film collaborating with director Denis Villeneuve. In this episode, Johann breaks down a piece from the score c...Show More
Flatbush Zombies - Bounce

11:22 | Nov 8th, 2016

Flatbush Zombies are a hip hop trio from Brooklyn. They formed in 2010. Their album 3001: A Laced Odyssey came out in 2016, and debuted in the top ten on the Billboard charts. Erick the Architect is one of the three MCs in the band (along with Meechy...Show More
Oathbreaker - 10:56 / Second Son of R.

20:54 | Oct 28th, 2016

The band Oathbreaker formed in 2008 in Belgium. In this episode, Caro and Gilles from the band break down the two-part song that opens their third album, Rheia. These two tracks, 10:56 and Second Son of R., were written and performed as one song. Com...Show More
Phantogram - You Don't Get Me High Anymore

16:07 | Oct 6th, 2016

Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter started Phantogram in 2007. They’ve worked on crafting a particular sound and they’ve had a particular way of making their dense productions since the beginning. But for their new record, Three, things changed. The song ...Show More
Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks

18:15 | Sep 21st, 2016

In 2006, Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John released their third album, Writer’s Block. For months and months after that, it felt like you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the first single from that album, "Young Folks." It was on top 10 lists for...Show More
Mitski - Your Best American Girl

13:08 | Sep 7th, 2016

Mitski has been making records since 2012. Her third record, Puberty 2, came out in June 2016 and was critically acclaimed Pitchfork gave it Best New Music status. Her music has been featured in the tv show Adventure Time. In this episode, Mitski bre...Show More
Tobacco - Gods in Heat

12:14 | Aug 25th, 2016

Tom Fec, aka Tobacco, has released four albums since 2008. He's also the frontman of the band Black Moth Super Rainbow, and he created the theme music for the HBO show Silicon Valley. In this episode, Tom breaks down his song "Gods in Heat" from his ...Show More
Andra Day - Forever Mine

12:51 | Aug 15th, 2016

Singer/songwriter Andra Day put out her first record in August 2015. Since then, she’s been invited by the Obamas to perform at the White House on multiple occasions, and the record was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B album. In this episode, Andr...Show More
Patrick Carney feat. Ralph Carney - BoJack Horseman (Main Title Theme)

14:03 | Aug 4th, 2016

BoJack Horseman is a Netflix original series, an animated comedy about a washed up 90s sitcom star who's trying to figure out his life and career without drowning in self-loathing and existential despair. It won the 2016 Critics Choice award for best...Show More
Band of Horses - Solemn Oath

13:43 | Jul 25th, 2016

Band of Horses released their 5th album in June 2016. In this episode, the band’s frontman, Ben Bridwell breaks down the song Solemn Oath, and how in the process of writing it, he confronted writer’s block, and balancing his life in the band and at h...Show More
Grimes - Kill V. Maim

12:37 | Jul 14th, 2016

Grimes is the project of Claire Boucher. In 2015, she released Art Angels, her 4th  album. In this episode, she breaks down her song Kill V. Maim, her feelings about singing, and how the experience of writing songs for other artists opened up the way...Show More
Andrew Bird - Roma Fade

13:46 | Jul 5th, 2016

Andrew Bird is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, maybe known best for his violin playing and his whistling. In this episode, Andrew breaks down his song Roma Fade, from the 2016 album Are You Serious?
CHVRCHES - Clearest Blue

13:17 | Jun 23rd, 2016

CHVRCHES is a trio from Glasgow, Scotland. In this episode, they break down the song "Clearest Blue," from their sophomore album Every Open Eye. You'll hear the band's original demo as well as why they start songs with a set of rules, but then quickl...Show More
ODESZA - Kusanagi

12:34 | Jun 14th, 2016

In September 2014, Odesza put out their album In Return. It debuted at #1 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic charts, and spent 13 weeks in the top 10. But the song Kusanagi isn't a dance track. It slows down the pace of the album, and in this episode, C...Show More
Old Crow Medicine Show - Dearly Departed Friend

17:56 | May 29th, 2016

Old Crow Medicine Show is a six-piece band from Tennessee, who have been around since 1998. They were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2013, and they won the Grammy for Best Folk Album in 2015, for their record Remedy. In this episode, bandleader ...Show More
Busdriver - Worlds to Run

16:44 | May 24th, 2016

Busdriver is a rapper from Los Angeles, and since 2001, he's been releasing albums with a signature hyperliterate, intellectual style. But over a decade later, Busdriver has found himself reaching for something more intimate and personal. In this epi...Show More
Carly Rae Jepsen - When I Needed You

15:32 | May 9th, 2016

Carly Rae Jepsen released her third album, Emotion, in 2015. The closing track on the record is When I Needed You. In this episode, Carly tells the story of how the song was made. You'll hear the first demo for the song, a version she co-wrote with h...Show More
The Lumineers - Ophelia

15:42 | Apr 28th, 2016

The Lumineers released their second album on April 8, 2016. Their first album went platinum, and they spent months touring relentlessly in support of it. That schedule took a toll on their relationship, but they ended up putting it into their songs. ...Show More
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Astonished Man

14:15 | Apr 5th, 2016

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down released the album A Man Alive in March 2016. In this episode, Thao Nguyen breaks down the song "Astonished Man." Thao talks about working with Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, who produced the album, and she speaks candi...Show More
Oneohtrix Point Never - Sticky Drama

15:52 | Mar 10th, 2016

Daniel Lopatin has been making experimental electronic music as Oneohtrix Point Never since 2007. In this episode, he takes apart the song "Sticky Drama," from his 2015 album Garden of Delete. He breaks down how he created artificial voices using sof...Show More
KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See

12:48 | Mar 1st, 2016

Singer/songwriter KT Tunstall released her debut album in 2004. It was nominated for a Mercury Prize. The song "Suddenly I See" from that record was a hit on the radio and it’s been used in the soundtracks of big movies and television shows. But the ...Show More
Clipping - Work Work

13:27 | Feb 18th, 2016

Clipping is a trio made up of producers William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, and rapper Daveed Diggs. You might be familiar with Daveed’s voice from his roles as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. But i...Show More
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers

10:50 | Feb 9th, 2016

The New Pornographers are kind of a supergroup, with seven members in the band, including Neko Case and Dan Bejar, who are both acclaimed songwriters with their own successful solo careers. But the band is led by Carl Newman, and in this episode, he ...Show More
Kelela - Rewind

14:54 | Jan 28th, 2016

Kelela is a singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. In 2015, she released Hallucinogen, and landed on critics' lists in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Pitchfork, and more. In this episode, Kelela takes apart her song Rewind. To make the...Show More
MGMT - Time to Pretend

15:20 | Jan 19th, 2016

MGMT was formed by Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden in 2001. The song Time to Pretend was one they wrote early in their career. It first came out on their debut: the Time to Pretend EP in 2005. And three years after that, they put out a new ver...Show More
Björk - Stonemilker

18:44 | Dec 17th, 2015

In January 2015, Björk released Vulnicura. She described it as "a complete heartbreak album." And in November, she released Vulnicura Strings, a companion album that stripped away the electronics. In this episode, Björk breaks down the making of both...Show More
Dustin O'Halloran - Transparent (Main Title Theme)

10:35 | Dec 11th, 2015

Transparent is an Amazon original series, created by Jill Soloway. The story centers on a family where the father, played by Jeffrey Tambor, comes out to his children and the to world at large as transgender. The first season was released in Septembe...Show More
Natalia Lafourcade - Hasta la Raíz

13:45 | Nov 23rd, 2015

Natalia Lafourcade has won eight Latin Grammys, including three for the song Hasta la Raíz, which won the 2015 Song of the Year and Record of the Year, as well as Best Alternative Song. In this episode, Natalia breaks down the writing and recording p...Show More
Youth Lagoon - The Knower

12:20 | Nov 16th, 2015

Youth Lagoon is the moniker of Trevor Powers, who has been releasing albums under the name since 2011. In this episode, Trevor breaks down “The Knower,” the lead single from his newest record, Savage Hills Ballroom. He talks about how the idea for th...Show More
The Arcs - Put a Flower in Your Pocket

11:31 | Nov 5th, 2015

The Arcs is a new project from Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. He started the band with some of the musicians and producers he's worked with over the years. For this episode, Dan and his bandmates Richard Swift and Leon Michels break down how they ma...Show More
Chet Faker - Gold

14:17 | Oct 26th, 2015

Chet Faker is the stage name of Australian singer and songwriter Nick Murphy. His debut album, Built on Glass, won five ARIA Awards, Australia’s version of the Grammys, including Best Male Artist, Producer of the Year, and Best Independent Album. In ...Show More
Harry Gregson-Williams - The Martian

14:20 | Oct 15th, 2015

In the film "The Martian," astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) is stranded on Mars, forced to rely on science and his ingenuity in order to survive. The film opened at #1 at the box office, and has earned critical praise as well. In this epi...Show More
Deradoorian - A Beautiful Woman

15:07 | Oct 5th, 2015

Angel Deradoorian has been a member of the bands Dirty Projectors and Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, and has contributed to albums by Vampire Weekend, Flying Lotus, and Brandon Flowers. This year she released her first full-length album as Deradoorian, ...Show More
The Magnetic Fields - Andrew in Drag

13:19 | Sep 24th, 2015

Stephin Merritt has fronted the band The Magnetic Fields for over twenty-five years. In this episode, he breaks down the song "Andrew in Drag" from the band’s latest album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, even though he doesn't actually remember writi...Show More
Joey Bada$$ - Hazeus View

13:13 | Sep 15th, 2015

Joey Bada$$ released his debut album on January 20, 2015: his 20th birthday. It hit the Top 5 on the Billboard charts. For the track "Hazeus View," he worked with Kirk Knight, another member of the Pro Era hip-hop collective. In this episode, the two...Show More
American Football - The One With The Tambourine

13:11 | Sep 3rd, 2015

The band American Football formed in 1997, and released only one album and an EP before breaking up about three years later. Their critically acclaimed debut went on to achieve cult status as one of the most influential records of the '90s, and was r...Show More
Best Coast - Feeling Ok

12:19 | Aug 27th, 2015

In this episode, Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno of the band Best Coast take apart their song "Feeling Ok," from the 2015 album California Nights. They trace their process and their influences, from the movie "10 Things I Hate About You" to the vide...Show More
HEALTH - Stonefist

10:53 | Aug 18th, 2015

The band HEALTH formed in Los Angeles in 2005. Their newest record, Death Magic, came out in 2015. They spent four years trying to make it. They describe themselves as a noise band, but for this record, they reinvented their palette and their process...Show More
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love

13:30 | Aug 10th, 2015

Multi-Love is the title track from the 2015 album by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. In this episode, Ruban Nielson tells the story of how he made the song with help from his brother Kody Nielson, and how it was influenced by Romeo and Juliet, Questlove, a...Show More
Thundercat - Them Changes

12:06 | Jul 30th, 2015

Thundercat is the alter-ego of bassist and singer-songwriter Stephen Bruner. He’s played bass for both Suicidal Tendencies and Erykah Badu and went on to help shape Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp a Butterfly.' In this episode, Thundercat will break down t...Show More
Death Cab for Cutie - El Dorado

11:57 | Jul 20th, 2015

Death Cab for Cutie released Kintsugi, their 8th album, on March 31, 2015. The song El Dorado, like other songs on the record, was written in the wake of the divorce between the band's lead singer Ben Gibbard and actress Zooey Deschanel. In this epis...Show More
Sylvan Esso - Coffee

11:32 | Jul 8th, 2015

Sylvan Esso has two members, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, who met while they were both working on other projects. Amelia asked Nick to do a remix of a song by the band she was in at the time, and when that remix was done, they both loved how it tur...Show More
Will Butler - Anna

11:59 | Jun 22nd, 2015

Will Butler is a member of the band Arcade Fire, and he co-wrote the score for the film Her, which earned him an Oscar nomination. In March 2015, he put out his first solo album, Policy, and in this episode, he breaks down the song "Anna" from that r...Show More
Ramin Djawadi - Game of Thrones

10:37 | Jun 11th, 2015

Game of Thrones premiered on HBO in April 2011 and became the most watched show in HBO's history. The main title theme was written by Emmy-nominated composer Ramin Djawadi. In this episode, he'll break down the different elements in the piece, and ho...Show More
Brian Tyler - Avengers: Age of Ultron

08:11 | May 29th, 2015

The title card for Avengers: Age of Ultron comes up twelve minutes into the movie. Against a black background, the Avengers logo takes up almost the entire screen. You might expect a triumphant, heroic piece of music, but the film called for somethin...Show More
tUnE-yArDs - Water Fountain

14:06 | May 18th, 2015

In this episode, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs breaks down "Water Fountain." It's a song that draws inspiration from the politics of drought and dancehall reggae, and you'll hear how (and why) she tried to make this song less catchy. Despite that effo...Show More
John Lunn - Downton Abbey

07:07 | May 6th, 2015

The British TV show Downton Abbey is the most popular drama in PBS history, with over 10 million viewers per episode, and more Emmy nominations than any non-US show ever. The theme music is one of its signatures, but it was originally written as a pi...Show More
My Morning Jacket - Spring (Among the Living)

13:08 | Apr 23rd, 2015

Jim James is the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated band My Morning Jacket. Since starting in 1998, they've put out six albums, and in this episode, Jim breaks down the song Spring (Among The Living), from their soon-to-be released seventh album, Th...Show More
Toro y Moi - Half Dome

10:37 | Apr 14th, 2015

Over the past five years, Chaz Bundick, aka Toro y Moi, has made music that's spanned a range of genres and styles. On his newest album, What For?, he shifted styles again. In this episode, Chaz explains why. He'll break down the song Half Dome, name...Show More
RJD2 - Games You Can Win (feat. Kenna)

13:31 | Apr 1st, 2015

RJD2 has been making music since 2002. His song "A Beautiful Mine" was turned into the opening credits music for Mad Men. He's a producer and beatmaker, but also a singer and songwriter. But for the vocals on the song "Games You Can Win," he tapped K...Show More
How to Dress Well - Pour Cyril

13:29 | Mar 25th, 2015

In an interview with Belgian filmmakers the Dardenne brothers, talking about the kinds of stories they tell, Luc Dardenne says, "Human suffering; that interests us very much." It also interests Tom Krell, a songwriter and producer who goes by the nam...Show More
White Hinterland - Ring the Bell

14:01 | Mar 13th, 2015

Casey Dienel is a producer, singer, and songwriter who goes by the name White Hinterland. In this episode, she'll break down her song Ring the Bell. To make it, she had to break out of her comfort zone of working alone and reach to other people. She ...Show More
Warpaint - Love Is to Die

13:33 | Mar 3rd, 2015

In 2013, Warpaint starting working on their sophomore album. They retreated away from their home in Los Angeles to the nearby desert oasis of Joshua Tree, California. There, they wrote the song "Love Is to Die," and it was decided that it would be th...Show More
Jeremy Zuckerman - The Legend of Korra

13:05 | Feb 20th, 2015

In 2005, Nickelodeon premiered an animated series called Avatar: The Last Airbender, about a young boy and his friends who have to keep peace and balance in the world. It combined fantasy and martial arts, and ran for four seasons, won an Emmy and a ...Show More
Alexandre Desplat - The Imitation Game

12:04 | Feb 9th, 2015

The Imitation Game is a biographical film about Alan Turing, a mathematician who pioneered computer science and helped the British government break Nazi codes, but was then later prosecuted by the British government for being gay. Composer Alexandre ...Show More
The Long Winters - The Commander Thinks Aloud

19:35 | Jan 30th, 2015

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart while reentering the earth's atmosphere. John Roderick, singer and songwriter of The Long Winters, wrote "The Commander Thinks Aloud" about that fateful moment. This episode was made from an...Show More
Blonde Redhead - Penultimo

12:12 | Jan 19th, 2015

The band Blonde Redhead formed in 1993. Twenty-one years later, in 2014, the trio released their 9th album, and in this episode, they deconstruct Penultimo, a song from that record that caused some dissent between the band members. At the heart of th...Show More
Ghostface Killah - The Battlefield

16:29 | Jan 7th, 2015

In November 2014, Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan released his 11th album, called 36 Seasons. A lot of people worked on it: soul band The Revelations served as a kind of house backing band for the whole thing. Lil' Fame from M.O.P. and engineer ...Show More
Tycho - Awake

11:40 | Dec 8th, 2014

Tycho is the project of designer-turned-musician Scott Hansen, along with guitarist Zac Brown and drummer Rory O'Connor. For this episode, which was recorded in front of a live audience in San Francisco, Scott breaks down the title track from the 201...Show More
Stars - No One Is Lost

11:47 | Nov 26th, 2014

Stars is a band from Toronto, who have been making music together since 2000. Their seventh album was released in October 2014. For this episode, I spoke to several members of the band: singer Amy Millan over the phone, and to Evan and Patty in their...Show More
The Books - Smells Like Content

15:51 | Nov 12th, 2014

Before The Books broke up, they released four albums that combined composed music and found sounds. In this episode, Nick Zammuto explains how he crafted the song Smells Like Content, off of their 2005 album Lost and Safe, out of unlikely sources, li...Show More
Julia Holter - Horns Surrounding Me

13:27 | Oct 29th, 2014

Julia Holter studied composition, and in the song Horns Surrounding Me, she arranges not only acoustic and electronic instruments, but also layers of ambient field recordings and background noise. The song was released in 2013 on her acclaimed album ...Show More
Valley Lodge - Go

13:03 | Oct 15th, 2014

Dave Hill is a comedian and host of his own podcast which, like Song Exploder, is on the Maximum Fun network. He's also the frontman of the band Valley Lodge. In this episode, Dave will deconstruct the Valley Lodge song Go, which you might recognize ...Show More
The Thermals - No Culture Icons

13:40 | Sep 18th, 2014

The Thermals originally began as Hutch Harris's solo recording project. He sang and played all the instruments on the 2003 Thermals record More Parts Per Million. In this episode, Hutch breaks down his lo-fi recording of the song No Culture Icons. Th...Show More
Anamanaguchi - Prom Night

13:04 | Sep 2nd, 2014

In addition to guitars, drums, and bass, the band Anamanaguchi makes their music with the 8-bit sounds that were built into Nintendo video game consoles made in the 1980s. They use software called a tracker to meticulously sequence and produce those ...Show More
Spoon - Inside Out

16:35 | Aug 19th, 2014

Spoon was formed in 1993 by singer Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno. They've released eight albums, including their most recent record, They Want My Soul, which came out in August 2014. In this episode, Jim Eno breaks down the song Inside Out, explai...Show More
Brian Reitzell - Watch Dogs

17:06 | Aug 6th, 2014

In May 2014, the video game company Ubisoft released Watch Dogs, about a vigilante hacker in Chicago in the near future. Here's how the game is described on their website: "You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker and former thug, whose criminal ...Show More
Open Mike Eagle - Dark Comedy Morning Show (feat. Toy Light)

11:06 | Jul 15th, 2014

In this episode, rapper Open Mike Eagle talks about making the song Dark Comedy Morning Show, along with the track's producer, Walker Ashby, aka Toy Light. Mike breaks down how Toy Light's original instrumental version of this song inspired him, and ...Show More
The Microphones - I Want Wind to Blow

17:34 | Jul 1st, 2014

In the fall of 2001, Phil Elverum released the album The Glow Pt 2 on K Records. Pitchfork named it the best album of the year. In this episode, Phil recounts how he created the first song on the record at Dub Narcotic Studio. He spoke with me from h...Show More
Nite Jewel - One Second of Love

14:26 | Jun 2nd, 2014

In this episode, we'll get a deconstructed view of the song One Second of Love by Nite Jewel. I spoke to Ramona Gonzalez of Nite Jewel and her partner and producer Cole MGN in their home studio in Los Angeles as they took a break from making a new re...Show More
Garbage - Felt

19:04 | May 15th, 2014

The band Garbage formed in 1994 when three guys from Madison Wisconsin — Butch Vig, Steve Marker, and Duke Erikson, met Scottish singer Shirley Manson. Twenty years later, they've sold over 17 million records worldwide. In this episode, we'll get a v...Show More
Poliça - Smug

13:19 | May 1st, 2014

Ryan Olson is a member of the band Polica. Though he doesn't perform with them live, he put the band together, produces the songs, and co-writes them. I interviewed Ryan in his bedroom studio in Minneapolis. In this episode, he breaks down the song S...Show More
Loren Bouchard - Bob's Burgers (Theme Song)

14:28 | Apr 15th, 2014

Loren Bouchard is the creator of the animated television comedy Bob's Burgers, a series about a family and the restaurant they own and live above, currently in its fourth season on Fox. In addition to being the co-executive producer and showrunner, L...Show More
Jeff Beal - House of Cards (Main Title Theme)

15:15 | Apr 1st, 2014

Composer Jeff Beal deconstructs the main title theme music to the Netflix original series House of Cards. The show has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Original Main Title Theme and Outstanding Music Composition. The sho...Show More
Daedelus - Experience

11:11 | Mar 17th, 2014

Alfred Darlington, better known as Daedelus, takes apart his song Experience. This early track of his is made with only acoustic sounds, but Alfred still considers it a piece of electronic music, and explains why. He also talks about the unexpected l...Show More
Sea Wolf - Kasper

12:09 | Mar 1st, 2014

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf breaks down Kasper, a song from the album Old World Romance. He talks about his songwriting process, collaborating with his bandmates, and the evolution that comes with learning the difference between making something th...Show More
Baths - Miasma Sky

12:12 | Feb 14th, 2014

Will Wiesenfeld of Baths breaks down his song Miasma Sky, which came out last year on his highly-praised sophomore album Obsidian. Will talks about using the computer to intentionally destroy sounds, trying to find a balance in his music between simp...Show More
YACHT - Plastic Soul

10:05 | Feb 1st, 2014

Claire and Jona of the band YACHT deconstruct their brand new single Plastic Soul, a fun pop song about human suffering. They explain how technology inspired them musically as well as lyrically, and how they recycle bits of their old recordings to cr...Show More
The Album Leaf - The Outer Banks

16:16 | Jan 15th, 2014

Jimmy LaValle of The Album Leaf takes apart The Outer Banks, a song he recorded in Iceland with members of Sigur Ros accompanying him. He reveals how the melody of the song was made from a glockenspiel, violin, and Moog synthesizer; and he talks abou...Show More
The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

11:35 | Jan 1st, 2014

Our first guest on Song Exploder is Jimmy Tamborello, aka Dntel, aka one half of The Postal Service (the other half being Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie). Jimmy breaks down the song The District Sleeps Alone Tonight, and talks about his instrumen...Show More