91. Summer Heat of the 2000s: Nelly + Katy Perry (Pt. 1)

What made summer jams of the aughties like Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” so hot? The answer: big, sweaty, doses of harmonic tension. Specifically, each track relies on the Baroque technique of the ground bass. Wait, we mean: the Baroque technique of PEDAL POINT!  When the chords in these songs don’t match up with their bass notes, the ratcheting tension adds heat—fueling both dance moves, and controversy.

Featured:
Nelly – Hot in Herre
Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

All summer Switched On Pop & Splice have been diving into the DNA of summer hits, and now we want you to show us what you’ve learned. Get inspired by sound packs and chord progressions created by Switched on Pop and share your best song of summer with us and the world. Hosts Nate & Charlie will be listening and will choose their favorite submission to win a year of Splice Sounds and have their track played on the podcast.

Check out all the details at http://splice.com/onpop-fire

And check out Owen Pallett’s excellent article on the use of harmonic tension in Teenage Dream.