About

Nate Sloan

Nate Sloan

Music Professor at Fordham University. Plays the piano pretty well, and the banjo just OK. 

@NeatSloan

Charlie Harding

Charlie Harding

Former music major, current music player. Prefers things with strings, and attempts to sing (to his wife’s chagrin).

@CharlieHarding

The Show

A podcast about the making and meaning of popular music hosted by musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding. We break down pop songs to figure out what makes a hit and what is its place in culture. We help listeners find "a-ha" moments in the music. Switched on Pop will make you laugh, dance, and ask ridiculous questions like: does the falsetto in One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” essentially make them our modern day Castrati?

We Met in College

We met in an orchestration class in college and both worked at the radio station. Charlie really liked Nate’s playing and would go sneak into house parties to see his band, Spank City, which played every basement in Providence. We both ended up in San Francisco, where we formed a bluegrass band, Simpler Times (after our least favorite cheap beer).

Yoko Ono Broke up our Band

Nate’s wife Whitney got a dream job curating for Yoko Ono’s first one-woman show at MoMA in New York City. So, yeah, we get you, Paul. Disbanded and venturing to new cities, we had to keep sharing our love of pop music, musicology and songwriting with the world. Thus, Switched on Pop.

We record from two cities

We’ve only ever recorded in person a few times. Thanks for setting a great example, Terry Gross. The first episode was recorded on our last weekend together in San Francisco. Now we independently produce the show from LA and NYC.