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Switched On Pop

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Location:

United States

Networks:

Panoply

Description:

A podcast about the making and meaning of popular music.

Language:

English


Episodes

66. The Many Worlds of "Despacito"

8/11/2017
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What has catapulted Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" to the top spot on the Billboard charts? Sorry, typo—to its status as the biggest song in the world? Your hosts explore the many worlds of "Despacito" in search of an answer. Featuring: Lusi Fonsi ft Daddy Yankee - Despacito Luis Fonsi ft Daddy Yankee y Justin Bieber - Despacito (Remix) Luis Fonsi y Juan Luis Guerra - Llegaste Tú Major Lazer ft Justin Bieber - Cold Water Los Del Rio - Macarena Daddy Yankee - Gasolina Avril...

Duration: 00:32:56


65. Selena Gomez: Bad Liar, Psycho Songwriter

7/14/2017
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Selena Gomez's "Bad Liar" stands out on the charts by doing things a little differently: it's a subtle, at times even awkward, summer surprise. Breaking down this pop morsel reveals it has teeth, though—and not just because it borrows a bass line from the Talking Heads' macabre "Psycho Killer." This is a fun one. Come along for the ride. Featuring: • Selena Gomez - Bad Liar • Julia Michaels - Issues • Selena Gomez - Same Old Love • Talking Heads - Psycho Killer

Duration: 00:44:33


64. Breaking Down Alanis Morissette (and our own Preconceptions) with guest Andrea Warner

6/29/2017
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Author, critic and podcaster Andrea Warner joins for a throwback episode exploring politics in Lilith Fair, harmonic anger in Alanis Morissette's iconic "You Oughta Know," and the blind spots in your host's assessment of women in rock. Featuring: •Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know Artists mentioned by Andrea Warner: SZA Ibeyi The Overcoats Lizzo

Duration: 00:32:54


63. Morgan Page Reveals the Rule of 3 in Julia Michaels and Maroon 5

6/16/2017
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Your brain can only hear three things at the same time. What you may not know is that musicians use this cognitive limitation to guide your listening all the time. Charlie and Nate are joined by Grammy Nominee music producer Morgan Page to reveal the secrets of this ubiquitous technique. Listening to Julia Michaels' hit "Issues," we unveil how the rule of three is used to draw our attention and keep us free from sonic distraction. And we look at how Maroon 5's "Cold" uses the same...

Duration: 00:46:05


62. DJ Khaled - I'm The One... six... four... five

6/1/2017
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DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo from Migos and Lil Wayne have allied for a new smash hit: "I'm The One." Despite the star power present, the resulting track is less than the sum of its parts—repetitive, derivative, uninventive. And yet, the lackluster "I'm The One" sits comfortably at the top of the charts, which raises the question: why?? Our answer: because Khaled and company understand the bewitching power of tonal harmony, and they've utilized the most surefire chord...

Duration: 00:38:51


61. Musical Architecture in Charlie Puth + HAIM

5/19/2017
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Two new songs have captured the attention of your hosts—Charlie Puth's "Attention" and HAIM's "Want You Back." On the surface, these two songs appear to have little in common. A closer look, though, reveals the subtle musical architecture undergirding each track, a perfect balance of symmetry and asymmetry that keeps reeling us in for more. Featuring: • Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor - Marvin Gaye • Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth - See You Again • Charlie Puth ft. Selene Gomez - We...

Duration: 00:42:19


60. The End Of Pop Music As We Know It: Fall Out Boy & Charli XCX

5/4/2017
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Is it true that all pop music sounds the same today? For the past year the “pop-drop” has dominated the airwaves. This new form of EDM infused pop came out of DJ culture and has infused its sound with every mainstream act like Lady Gaga and Coldplay. Tiring of this sound, some artists are finding creative ways to parody this pop trope. The rock outfit Fall Out Boy’s “Young And Menace” demonstrates equal parts mastery and mockery of the pop-drop. And PC Music, a rising art-music label out...

Duration: 00:48:08


59. Harry Styles, Eschatology and Teen Girl Fandom

4/20/2017
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One Direction wunderkind Harry Styles has just released his first ever single, "Sign of the Times," and it's a doozy. Strap in for a discussion of the apocalypse, late Beatles, teen wisdom, and the amen cadence—among other demons exorcised in this most peculiar pop tune. Featuring: •Beethoven 5th Symphony - Scherzo •Harry Styles - Sign of the Times •Prince - Sign o' the Times •David Bowie - Space Oddity •Zayn Malik - Pillowtalk •Steve Aoki + Louis Tomlinson - Just Hold On •John...

Duration: 00:46:16


58. What's to Love About Ed Sheeran? (guest Ross Golan)

4/7/2017
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Songwriter Ross Golan comes over to start up a conversation, encouraging us to follow his lead and give Ed Sheeran's chart-annihilating record "Shape of You" a chance. Ross, a studio vet with multiple #1 hits (including numbers discussed on this very podcast, such as Ariana Grande's "Dangerous Woman" and Selena Gomez's "Same Old Love") is the ideal guest to convince a skeptical Charlie and Nate that Sheeran might have a song handmade for somebodies like them. Plus, Ross takes us behind the...

Duration: 00:44:01


57. Stay ft. Grey

3/23/2017
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Charlie and Nate sit down with up-and-coming producer duo Grey—fresh off their hit "Starving" with Zedd and Hailee Steinfeld—to uncover the secrets behind Alessia Cara and Zedd's dramatic dance track "Stay" and Grey's own deep cut "I Miss You" (ft Bahar)i. Snare drums as currency, Game of Thrones samples and screaming into the void are all discussed in this deep dive into the world of pop orchestration and 21st century songwriting. Featuring: Zedd + Alessia Cara - Stay Hailee Steinfeld...

Duration: 00:45:44


56. Chained to the Green Light: Katy Perry + Lorde

3/10/2017
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Two artists who haven't released new music since 2013 recently remerged into the limelight: Katy Perry, with her dystopian disco banger "Chained to the Rhythm" and Lorde, with the melodramatic-yet-uplifting anthem "Green Light." Listening carefully, a fact becomes apparent, despite Lorde's insistence that she "hears new sounds" in her mind: there's something familiar lurking beneath both these tracks. And indeed, both were co-written and produced by key figures of the modern pop music...

Duration: 00:36:58


55. Oscar Week!: La La Land ft. Genevieve Koski

2/24/2017
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With the Academy Awards around the corner, Charlie and Nate try something new: a break down of the movie musical La La Land through two of its key songs, "City of Stars" and "Start a Fire." These numbers, one by composer Justin Hurwitz, the other by Hurwitz and John Legend, might represent the two poles of the film's dramatic structure. But a deep dive into their musical construction reveals leitmotifs and left turns that leave us staggered at the different levels to La La Land's score....

Duration: 00:52:36


54. Zayn, Taylor Swift & The Grammys

2/10/2017
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"I Don't Wanna Live Forever," the new track from Zayn and Taylor Swift, finds two members of the pop pantheon joining forces with producer Jack Antonoff to craft an inexorable hit song. But this duet—between a former One Direction heartthrob aiming to avert the sophomore slump and a megastar returning to the limelight—is far from triumphant. Instead, "Forever" delves into themes of loss and separation—emotions in turn embedded in the very structure and melody of this most unusual duet....

Duration: 00:33:17


53. The Puzzle of Ariana Grande's "Into You" (with K. Flay)

1/27/2017
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"Into You" was one of the biggest hits of 2016, the stellar production of reclusive legend Max Martin combining with the acrobatic vocals of Ariana Grande to create an undeniable, ubiquitous earworm. With "Into You" still burning up the charts, we dive deep to uncover the insane puzzles, Trompe-l'oiel tricks and Baroque games that lie under the surface of this morsel of pop perfection. PLUS, brilliant rocker and rapper K. Flay joins to discuss the mysteries of Ariana Grande and takes us...

Duration: 00:48:09


52. Seduced by the Sound: The Weeknd + Daft Punk

1/12/2017
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"I Feel it Coming" might be the slowest burning jam to hit the charts in ages, in which the Weeknd enlists the robotic hum of Daft Punk to help craft a perfectly calibrated climate of desire. Brilliant, sexy songs don't just appear out of thin air, though, so we reveal how this song's perpetual excitement is hard-won through references to past stars of sultriness like Michael and Marvin while employing its own bag of tricks to turn up the heat. Featuring: •The Weeknd + Daft Punk - I Feel...

Duration: 00:25:08


51. Dreaming Of A White Christmas

12/16/2016
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White Christmas holds the Guinness World Record for most singles sold and has been covered over 500 times. Pop stars from Elvis to Ella have recorded it, with interpretations from doo-wop to country to punk rock. With new covers each year, it seems listeners have not grown tired of this Tin Pan Alley chestnut. We use our scientific formula for holiday hit success to break down what makes this song so timeless. FeaturingCarol Of The Bells by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons...

Duration: 00:39:00


50. How to Listen to Music in 4 Easy Steps

12/15/2016
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50 episodes in, hosts Charlie and Nate take a step back to think about how they listen to music and try to define what might be called The Switched on Method™. "Hallelujah," by the late, great Leonard Cohen, acts as a perfect test case for breaking down listening into four key layers: 1) The Liner Notes, 2) The Needle Drop, 3) The Scratch, and 4) The Remix. Through this patented process, artistic revelations are all but guaranteed, with Cohen's opus no exception — his modern classic is not...

Duration: 00:43:56


50. How to Listen to Music in 4 Easy Steps

12/1/2016
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50 episodes in, hosts Charlie and Nate take a step back to think about how they listen to music and try to define what might be called The Switched on Method™. "Hallelujah," by the late, great Leonard Cohen, acts as a perfect test case for breaking down listening into four key layers: 1) The Liner Notes, 2) The Needle Drop, 3) The Scratch, and 4) The Remix. Through this patented process, artistic revelations are all but guaranteed, with Cohen's opus no exception — his modern classic is not...

Duration: 00:43:56


49. Tove Lo - Cool Girl

11/18/2016
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On the surface, Tove Lo's new hit "Cool Girl" boasts a snappy, earworm chorus and an empowering message of self-reliance. Beneath its chill exterior, though, Lo's song burns with a passion bordering on rage, and sinister sonic undertones suggest an unreliable narrator who doesn't always mean what she says. The more layers one pulls back from this song, the more Lo's source material—the novel and film "Gone Girl"—comes to the fore, turning "Cool Girl" into the kind of pop smash that sticks...

Duration: 00:31:06


48. Made In America: Toby Keith & Jay-Z

11/3/2016
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Back in 2011, two pop songs dropped with the same patriotic title: "Made in America." But the similarities pretty much end there. Toby Keith's country smash and Jay Z, Kanye West and Frank Ocean's soulful hip hop anthem have little in common except a firm conviction that each song knows what it really means to be American. Five years later, these tracks have a lot to tell us about the role music plays in shaping our national identity, and begs the question: does music truly bring us...

Duration: 00:50:46

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