Episode 106: Michael Kiwanuka

“Black Man in a White World”

SongExploder106-MichaelKiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka is a singer/songwriter from London. His second album, Love and Hate, came out in 2016, and was named one of the Best Albums of the Year from the BBC, NME, The Guardian, GQ, and more. One of the songs on the album was used as the theme for the hit HBO series Big Little Lies. In this episode, Michael breaks down the song “Black Man in a White World.”

You can get “Black Man in a White World” on iTunes.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Son House – Grinnin’ in Your Face
Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

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Episode 102: Gorillaz

“Andromeda” (feat. D.R.A.M.)

SongExploder102-Gorillaz

Gorillaz is a creation of musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. They’re a virtual band made up four animated characters. The songs are written by Damon Albarn and a roster of collaborators. Since the first album was released in 2001, Gorillaz have sold over 16 million records worldwide. In this episode, Damon breaks down the song “Andromeda” from the 2017 Gorillaz album Humanz. The song features guest vocals by D.R.A.M., a rapper and singer whose own hit single, “Broccoli,” went quadruple platinum in 2016. D.R.A.M. tells the story of how he got involved with this track, and Damon shares an exclusive clip of a scrapped version of the song with D.R.A.M. on lead vocals.

You can buy “Andromeda” and order the Gorillaz album Humanz on iTunes.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Twilite Tone (producer)
Michael Jackson – Billy Jean
Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go for That
Bobby Womack

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Episode 99: Sleigh Bells

“I Can Only Stare”

SongExploder99-SleighBells

Sleigh Bells formed in 2008. They released their fourth album, Jessica Rabbit, in 2016. In this episode, Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller break down their song “I Can Only Stare.” I interviewed the two of them in front of a live audience at the Kaufman Music Center in New York, as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival.

Buy “I Can Only Stare” on iTunes.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Amy Grant – Baby, Baby
Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill

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