54. Zayn

54. Zayn, Taylor Swift & The Grammys

“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 […]

51-white-christmas

51. Dreaming Of A White Christmas

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 […]

48-made-in-america

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

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 […]

43. Pop Drpo

43. Pop Drops and Chipmunk Soul

A strange syndrome is wreaking havoc on the voices of our biggest pop stars. From Rihanna to Justin Bieber, no one is safe from having their beautiful vocals chopped up, screwed down, repitched and repurposed. As dance music takes over the charts and new software grants vocal manipulation at […]

42. Gideon

42. The Gideon and Hubcap Show

This episode marks something of a departure from the norm. With Charlie away, host Nate, aka “Hubcap,” takes us on a home-show tour of the Scottish Highlands with his traveling minstrel act, The Gideon and Hubcap Show. It’s an entirely different kind of summer music […]

41. Breaking Down The House

41. Breaking Down The House

The fingerprints of house music are all over mainstream pop, but much of its sound has been whitewashed. That ubiquitous four-to-the-floor kick and synth bass sound draws from Chicago’s queer, black and latinx warehouse club culture. Micah Salkind is working on a book on the […]

40. One Dance

40. Around The World With Drake

How do you create a hit that both breaks sound barriers and chart records? Drake has done this with a unique mix of international music from Africa, the Caribbean, the U.K. and Canada. But is his chart topping success musical appropriation or celebration? A deep listening […]