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70. Kendrick Lamar’s HUMBLE w. guest Amber Mark

With Charlie off the grid, Nate sits down with singer/producer Amber Mark to explore the different levels of Kendrick’s hit HUMBLE.. Then, they turn to the diverse influences (including house music, Carnatic samples, and autodidactic piano chords) behind Mark’s own track “Lose My Cool.” Featuring: […]

69. Not Sorry

69. Demi Lovato is Not Sorry

Demi Lovato’s latest, “Sorry Not Sorry” is at once an unapologetic anthem of defiance and a super catchy mashup of multiple genres. As we’ll see, every small musical choice is here for a reason, together fostering Lovato’s message of ascension—or even, transcendence. And as we […]

68 Feels Groovy

68. How to ‘Feels’ the Groove

How does a song with nonsense lyrics capture our attention, making us want to move? It is called the groove. Enter Calvin Harris’ “Feels” (ft. Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Big Sean). Known for mainstreaming EDM, Harris throws out the software and picks up hardware […]

67 Kesha

67. Anthems of Resilience – Kesha and Imagine Dragons [LIVE]

This episode of Switched on Pop comes at you live from Block Island, RI, recoded in front of an audience of friends and family following a solar eclipse. Fittingly, the two songs discussed that day formed their own kind of syzygy. Kesha’s “Praying” and Imagine […]

66 Despacito

66. The Many Worlds of “Despacito”

What has catapulted Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” to the top spot on the Billboard charts? Sorry, typo—to its status of 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 – […]

65. Bad Liar

65. Selena Gomez: Bad Liar, Psycho Songwriter

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 […]

64. Alanis

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

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 […]

63 Rule Of Three 2

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

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 […]

62. I'm the I vi IV V

62. DJ Khaled – I’m The One… six… four… five

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 […]

61. Puth & Haim

61. Musical Architecture in Charlie Puth + HAIM

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 […]