Switched on Pop

Switched on Pop

Switched on Pop

CATEGORY: Music
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.
  1. June 28, 2022
    32 min
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    Beyoncé's House
    The world stops with a Beyoncé drop. On Monday, June 20th, our prayers were answered with “Break My Soul,” the lead single off of her upcoming album, Renaissance. The song draws from several places of inspirati…
  2. June 21, 2022
    24 min
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    Robert Glasper on jazz, basketball, and his score for "Winning Time"
    Robert Glasper is the only artist to have an album debut in the top 10 of 4 different Billboard charts. He's a musical polymath whose resume ranges from Kendrick Lamar to Herbie Hancock. At the piano, he serves…
  3. June 16, 2022
    21 min
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    Scoring Stranger Things with Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
    We recently deconstructed how Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” has found itself at the center of culture due to a placement in the Netflix, eighties, horror, sci-fi show, Stranger Things. For that e…
  4. June 14, 2022
    31 min
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    Kate Bush, Stranger Things, and a hit song four decades in the making
    Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” enters the latest season of Stranger Things during a brooding high-school hallway scene right out of the John Hughes playbook, and it has since bounded up the charts, hitting…
  5. June 07, 2022
    34 min
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    So your song went viral on TikTok. What’s next?
    On TikTok, pop stars — Halsey, FKA Twigs, and Florence Welch among them — have been complaining a lot lately about their labels forcing them to make TikToks. As people spent the early part of the pandemic stari…
  6. May 31, 2022
    27 min
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    The 1980s jam that gave Latto and Mariah Carey Big D*** Energy
    If you've heard Latto's swaggering track "Big Energy"—and after 30 weeks on the Hot 100, you probably have—you may have heard a resemblance to Mariah Carey's 1995 hit "Fantasy." That's because both songs borrow…
  7. May 24, 2022
    31 min
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    Kendrick Lamar and the big samples
    It’s been five years since Kendrick Lamar released his Pulitzer winning album DAMN. Having established himself as a modern rap virtuoso whose songs have become anthems fueling social movements, expectations run…
  8. May 17, 2022
    29 min
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    Modern Classics: PJ Morton made Nas’s Stevie Wonder dream come true
    On all of his projects — Grammy-winning albums, playing keys with Maroon 5, fronting a full string section in his NPR Tiny Desk Concert — PJ Morton evinces his mastery at updating classic soul and R&B with mode…
  9. May 10, 2022
    28 min
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    Will Ukraine win Eurovision 2022?
    Greece, Spain, UK, Sweden, Italy and Ukraine are the frontrunners in the 2022 Eurovision competition. Switched On Pop analyzes the top six songs as well as some of the more oddball picks.Songs DiscussedAmanda T…
  10. May 03, 2022
    28 min
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    Belle and Sebastian on the value of staying "young and stupid"
    Belle and Sebastian released the first album Tigermilk in 1996, and they’ve released eight more since—a catalog that helped define the sound of rock and indie in the new millennium through buoyant melodies and…
  11. April 26, 2022
    31 min
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    The New Alternative
    Last month, Nirvana entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time in nearly two decades — only their fifth time in history — thanks to a comic-book movie. The band’s 1991 track “Something in the Way” w…
  12. April 19, 2022
    20 min
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    Jump-starting the creative process with Allison Ponthier
    Allison Ponthier knows the hardest part of making anything is getting started. When she was young, she “always wanted to write songs,” fanatically scribbling rhymes in a diary, but gave it up — the prevailing n…
  13. April 12, 2022
    27 min
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    A Higher Power Ballad
    The recorded version of Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” opens with a full-blast chorus alongside driving percussion and ringing guitars. But when he performed the song at this year’s Grammys, the song’s instrumentati…
  14. April 05, 2022
    41 min
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    How sound becomes hearing
    We love listening to music at a ridiculous level of detail. But the other day we heard a podcast that made us fundamentally question the accuracy and reliability of our own listening skills. In it they played a…
  15. March 29, 2022
    27 min
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    Listening 2 Britney: Gimme More
    There’s no more iconic Britney lyric than the opening of “Gimme More.” It's 2007, four years since her last album In The Zone was released, and Britney is affirmatively back with the uptempo track leading off h…
  16. March 22, 2022
    28 min
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    Listening 2 Britney: Toxic
    In 2003 Britney Spears released “Toxic,” a song that would make converts out of pop skeptics, be named one of the greatest tracks of the 21st century by multiple publications, and become a personal favorite of…
  17. March 15, 2022
    29 min
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    Listening 2 Britney: I'm a Slave 4 U
    In the first three years of Britney Spears’ pop music career, she released annual, consecutive albums. In 1999 we got Baby One More Time – its lead single was #5 on the Billboard year-end Hot 100 chart. In 2000…
  18. March 08, 2022
    29 min
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    Listening 2 Britney: ...Baby One More Time
    On a crisp Autumn morning in 1998, the world was introduced to the voice of Britney Spears, and pop would never be the same. Britney’s mix of vocal fry, percussive pronunciations, and timbral play on “...Baby O…
  19. March 01, 2022
    35 min
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    Chartbreakers (ft. Megan Thee Stallion and the Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    Presenting Chartbreakers, in which Nate and Charlie listen to the Billboard Hot 100 chart from top to bottom and discover a TikTok controversy, a Nashville music mystery, a rogue duck-billed platypus, and Megan…
  20. February 15, 2022
    34 min
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    Leon Bridges and Khruangbin Sing a Song of Texas
    Leon Bridges is the soul singer hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, who burst onto the music scene in 2015 with the album Coming Home. Since then he’s established himself as an adventurous musician whose latest alb…

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