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All I Want for Xmas is a Year in Review Episode

Charlie and Nate breakdown Mariah Carey’s classic “All I Want for Christmas is You” and revisit their favorite tracks of 2017. Sleigh bells abound. Featuring •Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas •Laura Marling – Semper Femina •Lorde – Melodrama •Khalid – Location •Dua […]

73. Bjork's Utopia

73. Björk’s Emotional Landscapes

Björk is uniquely both a pop star and avant-garde composer. Though her music often challenges our ears, underneath her records you’ll find more in common with today’s pop music than you’d expect. Pieced together, you’ll hear that she paints emotional landscapes composed of all the […]

71 Taylor Cardi

71. Unlikely Mashups: Taylor + Cardi B | Clean Bandit + Berlioz

At the top of the pop charts, Taylor Swift and Cardi B, two artists with seemingly little in common, exploit the same compositional technique to hook listeners in. Meanwhile, across time and space, electro producers Clean Bandit ft. Julia Michaels, channel the thematic tricks of […]

70. Humble

70. Kendrick Lamar’s HUMBLE deconstructed 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 […]