Episode 210: Arlo Parks

“Black Dog”

Arlo Parks is a singer and songwriter from London. In January 2021, she released her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams. It hit number three on the UK charts, and she won this year’s BRIT award for Breakthrough Artist. Last year, NME called her song “Black Dog” the year’s “most devastating song.” In this episode, she breaks down “Black Dog,” which she made with producer Gianluca Buccellati.

I want to let you know that the song being discussed is about someone who is alive and well today, but was going through a period of depression and anxiety. Both the song and the interview allude to suicide, so please be mindful before listening. If you’re thinking about suicide, or if you have a friend who is, or if you just need someone to talk to right now, you can get support by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by texting HOME to 741-741, which is the Crisis Text Line. If you’re outside of the U.S., check out the list of international hotlines at suicide.org.

You can buy or stream “Black Dog” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Sufjan Stevens – “Should Have Known Better”
Arlo’s poem

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Episode 209: Imagine Dragons

“Follow You”

Imagine Dragons are a Grammy-winning band from Las Vegas, Nevada. They’ve sold over 20 millions albums so far, and they were the most streamed band on Spotify in 2018. In March of this year, they released the song “Follow You.” Singer Dan Reynolds started the song at home, and then later, the band took it to the studio Shangri-La, to record parts of it with legendary producer Rick Rubin. In this episode, Dan breaks down the song, which tells a deeply personal story of his relationship to his wife.

You can buy or stream “Follow You” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Joel Little, producer
Rick Rubin, executive producer

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Episode 208: girl in red

“Serotonin”

Marie Ulven is a singer, songwriter, and producer from Norway, who makes music under the name girl in red. She just released her debut album in April 2021, but she already has a big fanbase and she’s gotten a lot of critical acclaim from two EPs and singles that she’s released online, including a couple of songs that went gold. The New York Times included her work in their best songs of the year in both 2018 and 2019. Last year she was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Norwegian Grammys, and this year she won International Success of the Year. “Do you listen to girl in red?” has also become code on TikTok, a kind of shibboleth, to ask if someone’s a lesbian. In this episode, Marie breaks down the song “Serotonin,” a song that started as a video she posted to her own TikTok in the early days of lockdown in 2020. You’ll hear the original version she recorded on her own, before collaborating with Norwegian Grammy-winning producer Matias Téllez, and later, with Grammy-winning artist and producer Finneas O’Connell, in order to finish the song.

You can buy or stream “Serotonin” here.

@girlinred

feelin like posty ##fyp ##foryoupage ##worldinredbaby

♬ original sound – girl in red

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

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