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Song Exploder by Christian Koons - 1w ago

“Nina Cried Power” (feat. Mavis Staples)
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A post shared by Song Exploder (@songexploder) on Jan 9, 2019 at 10:09am PST


Andrew Hozier-Byrne is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Ireland. His debut single from 2013, “Take Me to Church,” was a massive, multi-platinum hit.

In September 2018, Hozier released the song “Nina Cried Power,” which features the legendary gospel singer Mavis Staples. In this episode, Hozier breaks down how he made the song, and Mavis Staples tells the story of how she got involved.

Buy or stream “Nina Cried Power” here, and stream the music video below.

Hozier - Nina Cried Power ft. Mavis Staples (Official Video) - YouTube

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
“Sinnerman” – Nina Simone
Booker T. Jones
“Green Onions” – Booker T. & The M.G’s

The post Episode 151: Hozier appeared first on Song Exploder.

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“Prelude, Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, by J.S. Bach”


Yo-Yo Ma is perhaps the most famous and well-loved cellist in the world. He was born in Paris in 1955; his family moved to the US when he was 7. He played for President Kennedy that year. He played at Carnegie Hall for the first time when he was 16. He’s won 18 Grammys and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And for this special episode of Song Exploder, the last episode of this year, Yo-Yo Ma’s is going to break down this piece—which he didn’t create, but he’s performed so many times. It’s the Prelude from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite Number 1 in G Major. It’s one of the most famous pieces of music written for the cello. Yo-Yo Ma first recorded the Bach Cello Suites in 1983, at age 27. He recorded them again in 1998. Now, at age 62, he’s recorded them for what he says may be the last time. It’s for an album called Six Evolutions: Bach Cello Suites. Yo-Yo Ma talked to me about what’s changed about the way he approaches this piece of music.

Thanks to author Eric Siblin for providing historical context around the Cello Suites. Check out his book The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece.

You can buy or stream Yo-Yo Ma’s 2018 recording of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major: Prelude here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Yo Yo Ma’s 1983 recording of Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major: Prelude.
Pablo Casals – Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prelude. Moderato
Yehudi Menuhin – Sonata for Violin Solo No. 1 in G Minor, BMV 1001: II. Fuga

The post Special Episode: Yo-Yo Ma appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Song Exploder by Christian Koons - 1M ago

“Go Your Own Way”
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A post shared by Song Exploder (@songexploder) on Dec 5, 2018 at 7:03am PST

Lindsey Buckingham is a singer-songwriter, a guitarist, and a producer. In 1974, he joined the band Fleetwood Mac, along with Stevie Nicks, his girlfriend at the time. A few year later, in 1977, Fleetwood Mac released the album Rumours, which would go on to sell over 40 million copies and become the eighth highest-selling album in history. In this episode, Lindsey Buckingham breaks down “Go Your Own Way,” a song he wrote for that album about his relationship with Stevie Nicks.

Buy or stream “Go Your Own Way” here. And click here to buy Lindsey Buckingham’s new solo anthology.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Sound City Studios
Sausalito, California
“Street Fighting Man” – The Rolling Stones
B. Mitchel Reed – Radio DJ

The post Episode 150: Fleetwood Mac appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Song Exploder by Christian Koons - 1M ago

Breakmaster Cylinder – Reply All Theme
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A post shared by Song Exploder (@songexploder) on Nov 26, 2018 at 9:51am PST


Four years ago, on November 24, 2014, the first episode of the podcast Reply All came out. It’s a podcast about the internet hosted by Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt. And since then, they’ve put out 131 episodes. The show has gotten over 100 million downloads so far. Robert Downey Jr. is going to star in a movie based on one of their episodes. And from the debut, it’s been one of my favorite podcasts. A while back, in 2015, I did a special edition of Song Exploder for Reply All, about their theme song by Breakmaster Cylinder. I’d hear the guys talk about “the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder” in the show’s credits, but I didn’t really know who or what that was. And I wanted to find out more. So in honor of the four year anniversary of Reply All’s launch, I’m putting out this special crossover episode for the first time here on Song Exploder.

Buy or stream Breakmaster Cylinder’s Reply All theme here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Breakmaster Cylinder on Bandcamp
PJ Vogt on Twitter
Alex Goldman on Twitter

The post Bonus Episode: Reply All appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Song Exploder by Nicksong - 1M ago

“Order of Operations”
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A post shared by Song Exploder (@songexploder) on Nov 5, 2018 at 11:50am PST

Big Boi is a rapper from Atlanta. When he was a teenager, he and Andre 3000 formed OutKast, and went on to sell over 25 million records and win six Grammys. He’s released three solo albums, including Boomiverse, which came out in 2017. In this episode, Big Boi breaks down a song from that album called “Order of Operations.”

Buy or stream “Order of Operations” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Scott Storch – Producer
Diego Ave – Co-producer
Eric Bellinger – Co-writer
“Shutterbug” – Big Boi

The post Episode 148: Big Boi appeared first on Song Exploder.

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“So Afraid”
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A post shared by Song Exploder (@songexploder) on Oct 15, 2018 at 10:03am PDT

Janelle Monáe is an award-winning musician and actress who released her first record in 2007. She’s been nominated for multiple Grammys and starred in the Oscar films Moonlight and Hidden Figures. In April 2018, she released her third album, Dirty Computer, which includes the song “So Afraid.” In this episode, Janelle Monáe takes “So Afraid” apart to explain how she built it, step by step—beginning with a trip to the dentist.

Buy or stream “So Afraid” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Nate Wonder of Deep Cotton

The post Episode 146: Janelle Monáe appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Song Exploder by Hrishikesh - 1M ago

“Saint”
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A post shared by Song Exploder (@songexploder) on Sep 25, 2018 at 10:02am PDT


Blood Orange is the project of songwriter and producer Devonté Hynes. He’s produced and co-written songs for artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, Solange, HAIM, and ASAP Rocky, among others. He’s been releasing his own music as Blood Orange since 2011. In August 2018, he released his fourth Blood Orange album, Negro Swan, and in this episode, Dev breaks down how he made the song “Saint.” You’ll hear the original version of the track from 2015, as well as the layers and voices that were added over the months to create the final version that appears on the album.

Buy or stream “Saint” here, and watch the music video below.

Blood Orange - Saint (Official Video) - YouTube

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Arthur Russell – Let’s Go Swimming (Puppy Surf Dub)
Guest vocalists on the song: Bea1991, Ava Rain, Aaron Maine (Porches), Adam Bainbridge (Kindness).
Jason Arce, saxophonist

The post Episode 144: Blood Orange appeared first on Song Exploder.

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