Episode 52: Deradoorian

“A Beautiful Woman”


Angel Deradoorian has been a member of the bands Dirty Projectors and Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, and has contributed to albums by Vampire Weekend, Flying Lotus, and Brandon Flowers. This year she released her first full-length album as Deradoorian, The Expanding Flower Planet. In this episode, Angel breaks down the song “A Beautiful Woman.” After leaving the Dirty Projectors, Angel moved from the east coast to Los Angeles to focus on her own music. She talks about how “A Beautiful Woman” was inspired by the loneliness of moving across the country, overcoming creative self-doubt, and transitioning from a secondary role in other bands to the main role of songwriter for her debut solo album.

Buy “A Beautiful Woman” on iTunes, or get the album (on colored vinyl) from Anticon.

Hocket on Wikipedia
Watch Dirty Projectors demonstrate hocketing.

This episode is sponsored by Hover (use offer code ANGEL), Lynda.com, and Lagunitas Brewing Company.

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Episode 51: The Magnetic Fields

“Andrew in Drag”


Stephin Merritt has fronted the band The Magnetic Fields for over twenty-five years. In this episode, he breaks down the song “Andrew in Drag” from the band’s latest album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, even though he doesn’t actually remember writing it. After releasing his triple-album 69 Love Songs to huge acclaim in 1999, Stephin stopped using synthesizers for the next three Magnetic Fields albums. He talks about why he stopped, and why started using them again, and why he doesn’t write down his melodies.

Buy “Andrew in Drag” on iTunes. 

Bumblebee Tuna – commercial jingle

Here’s a picture of Stephin’s Dewanatron. To learn more about the instrument, head to the official Dewanatron website.


And here’s Stephin’s studio:

Spire Recorder by iZotope, Merge Records (use code SONGEXPLODER at checkout for 20% off), and Audible.com (go to audiblepodcast.com/exploder for a free audiobook of your choice, and a 30-day free trial).

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Episode 50: Joey Bada$$

“Hazeus View”


Joey Bada$$ released his debut album on January 20, 2015: his 20th birthday. It hit the top 5 on the Billboard charts. For the track “Hazeus View,” he worked with Kirk Knight, another member of the Pro Era hip-hop collective. In this episode, the two of them break down the process of making Hazeus View, how the lyrics reflect Joey’s wide-angle take on religion, and how the beat was inspired by DJ Premier and a beat he made for the Biggie song “Ten Crack Commandments.”

Buy “Hazeus View” on iTunes, or the B4.DA.$$ album on the Pro Era website. You can also get the upcoming Kirk Knight album (currently on pre-order) from iTunes.

Notorious B.I.G. – “Ten Crack Commandments”
Les McCann – “Vallarta” (sampled by DJ Premier for “Ten Crack Commandments”)
Amedeo Tomassi – “Problemo Ecologica

This episode is sponsored by Hover (use the offer code VIEW for 10% off your first purchase), Lagunitas Brewing Company, and KQED Arts. Check out the KQED Arts “Earful” feature on Song Exploder.

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