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5 Music Podcasts to Listen to While You Stare Wistfully out the Window

Dissect: If you love rap, music theory, and lyrical analysis, this is your ideal podcast. Host Cole Cuchna examines one album per season, typically one song per episode for extensive, in-depth analysis of artists from Kendrick Lamar to Frank Ocean. With a background in composition, he’s skilled at shedding new light on songs from every angle, and then stepping back to reveal how all the pieces connect- exploring everything from the personal background of the artist, to the instrumentals, production, and lyrics. With nearly a hundred episodes, ranging from 30 minutes to a healthy 1.5 hours, this podcast will keep you busy for some time.

Broken Record: Okay, so you know Rick Rubin? Legendary music producer and Chief Malibu Guru. In the first episode of Broken Record, Malcolm Gladwell interviews Rick Rubin during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, 2018, and Rubin is sitting there, hours after evacuating, unsure whether his house or studio will survive… talking about touring with Beastie Boys, with his trademark cool-as-a-cucumber voice. Classic. The pilot is a benchmark, but every episode is interesting- Gladwell interviews prestigious artists from all musical backgrounds, discussing songwriting process, stories from tour, and everything in between. 

Song Exploder: Want in-depth examination, but only trust the most qualified experts? Song Exploder will give you the facts, straight from the artist’s mouths. It’s an inside look at the story of a song, from inspiration to publication. 

And the Writer Is…: The time of songwriters is on the horizon and I, for one, welcome our new creative overlords. This podcast is hosted by multi-platinum songwriter Ross Golan. Maybe you haven’t heard his name, but if you’ve turned on a radio in the past ten years, you’ve probably heard his work. He’s written hits for Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, and pretty much everyone else. And the Writer Is… explores the music and careers of people just like Golan, who, through their work is on the international stage, remain largely behind the curtain. Golan and his guests cast a light on an entire industry generally shrouded in darkness, and illuminate the history you never knew about some of your favorite songs.

Popcast: Popcast zooms out to discuss the big, overarching questions of the music world- like, are artists to blame for the vitriol of their fanbase? What influence do awards shows have in the music world? And what’s the deal with Phish? Host Jon Caramanica of The New York Times invites a diverse cast of critics and editors, sometimes several at a time, for an amusing and occasionally biting look into the weird world of pop music.

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