Looking for a new podcast to dive into?
Now feels like an opportune time to learn more about any area of music and the greater industry – and what platform better to do so than podcasts? They’re an excellent companion for walks, cooking, cleaning, or staring at a wall. Whether educational or entertaining, they provide an opportunity to broaden your musical horizons and learn something new.
With so many amazing podcasts available today, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you out, the Splice team gathered some of our favorite music-related podcasts. In no particular order, we present you shows of all formats from track breakdowns to industry interviews, and discuss why we like each one.
Meg: Disgraceland perfectly bridges the gap between my two interests: music and true crime. Every episode shares a story about a music legend and the alleged criminal connections they have. The stories feel like, well, stories with the way they’re narrated, and give me plenty of tidbits to reference when I’m talking with friends.
Anonymous: This is a forensic-style evaluation of recent iconic hip hop albums. It’s a detailed look into the musical, lyrical, personal, spiritual, and often socio-political approaches to some of hip hop’s greatest recent works. I love this podcast for so many reasons, one of which is that an appreciation of the music is not at all a requirement to establishing an appreciation for the individual and their art.
Shakeil: Popcast is one of the best pop music podcasts in the field, primarily because it embraces the broadness of what constitutes ‘popular’ music in this day and age. Jon Caramanica can undeniably be hit-or-miss sometimes, but the guests that he brings onto the show are almost always spot-on, bringing together a wide variety of music journalists and industry insiders. One thing is for sure – I always walk away from this podcast with a new song to bump.
Pablo: This podcast is more like a mixtape featuring great sets with a blend of ambient, techno, and other genres of electronic music. It’s especially great for late-night work or focus.
Shannon: Similar to Smoke Machine, Reverberation Radio is a mixed bag of incredible vinyl cuts, usually rare and totally un-Shazamable. But not to fret, all of the tracks are listed with each release on their site, which is currently being worked on. You can find their archive there and new episodes on their iTunes page.
Harrison: In this weekly podcast, two sibling composers listen to and discuss the soundtracks of various video games. Focusing on a different title or franchise with each episode, they talk about compositional techniques that make the music effective, how the score fits within the context of the game, and more. It’s a great laid-back podcast to put on in the background and can be a neat source for music discovery for game music fans.
Shannon: I’m cheating with this one by sharing two shows, as they both feature interviews with indie record labels. Bruchman and Orr have different interview styles and not much guest overlap. The Subliminal Inevitable plays a lot of tracks from the label throughout the show and sometimes alternates episodes between interviews and playlists. Other Record Labels has also begun publishing mini-episodes with industry insights gathered over time. If you want the full spectrum of what it’s like running an indie label (or how to get on one), listen to both!
Shannon: Honestly, I was a late-comer to Dolly Parton with the exception of loving her on the film, 9 to 5. After listening to much of her music and getting lost in this podcast, I get the mass obsession now. Host Jad Abumrad and producer Shima Oliaee do an incredible job of not only exploring the depth of Parton’s music but also her role in politics, social constructs, and culture in general. It’s a fascinating listen whether or not you’re on the Dolly train.
Shannon: Talkhouse facilitates conversations between two artists, sometimes from the same field, sometimes not. For example, I really enjoyed the episode with comedian and actress Abbi Jacobson and musician Jeff Tweedy. The conversations between Steve Albini and Jerry Casale and Cate Le Bon and Ariel Pink are also great. There are tons of huge names on there to explore.
10. Song Exploder
Shannon: Similar to Dissect, Song Exploder (which launched on January 1st, 2014) shares an artist breaking down a track that’s either meaningful to them or presented creative challenges. Host Hirway almost completely edits himself out of the conversation, so it feels like the artist is talking directly to you. All episodes are about 20 minutes long.
Do you have a favorite music-related podcast to add? Leave it in the comments below!
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May 14, 2020