Episode 94: Solange

“Cranes in the Sky”


Solange Knowles released her first album in 2002, at the age of 16. Her third album, A Seat at the Table, came out in September 2016, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. It’s gotten widespread critical acclaim, including being named best album of the year by Pitchfork and by Vibe. In this episode, Solange takes apart the song “Cranes in the Sky.”

Buy “Cranes in the Sky” on iTunes.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

Alice Coltrane – Transcendence
Taz Arnold

This is episode is sponsored by
Blue Apron and Squarespace.

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Episode 92: La La Land

Justin Hurwitz – “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”


The film La La Land tells the story of Mia, an aspiring actress played by Emma Stone, and Sebastian, a jazz pianist played by Ryan Gosling, both of them struggling artists in Los Angeles. The musical was written and directed by Damien Chazelle in collaboration with composer Justin Hurwitz. It’s the third film they’ve made together, and the follow-up to the Oscar-winning film Whiplash. In this episode, Justin Hurwitz breaks down a song from the film sung by Emma Stone; it’s called Audition (The Fools Who Dream). Plus, some thoughts from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote the lyrics.

This episode is part of a series I’m doing over the next few months, highlighting awards-worthy film music. These awards episodes are presented in partnership with New York Magazine’s site Vulture. For more, go to vulture.com/awards.

Buy “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” or the entire official soundtrack on iTunes.

La La Land trailer

This is episode is sponsored by Ghostly International, DTS, and Lagunitas.

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Episode 91: DJ Shadow

“Mutual Slump”


In 1996, Josh Davis, aka DJ Shadow, released his first album, Endtroducing…... It’s been hailed pretty much universally as one of the best albums of the ’90s, and Time Magazine included it in its top 100 albums of all time. It changed hip-hop and electronic music, and helped define the trip-hop genre. Now, for the 20th anniversary of the release, DJ Shadow breaks down the song Mutual Slump.

To mark the anniversary, DJ Shadow has released a deluxe box set version of Endtroducing….., which features album outtakes and remixes by artists like Hudson Mohawke, Daedelus, and others. You can order the deluxe version here, and you can also buy the song “Mutual Slump” on iTunes.

Björk – “Possibly Maybe”
Pugh Rogefeldt – “Love, Love, Love”

This is episode is sponsored by Treefort Music Festival, DTS, and Slack.

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