Episode 235: Monica Martin

“Go Easy, Kid”

Monica Martin is a singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. Before that, she was based in Madison, Wisconsin, where she was part of the indie rock band Phox. She’s been a featured guest vocalist on songs by James Blake and Vulfpeck. In this episode, Monica breaks down her song “Go Easy, Kid,” along with the tracks’s producer, Khushi. It’s a pretty meta story, as she talks about making a song that’s in part about how hard it can be to make a song. And more generally, how hard it can be to let go of things we get hung up on.

You can buy or stream “Go Easy, Kid” here.

For a transcript of this episode, click here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Theo Katzman
Jacob Jeffries
Jason Goldstein
Matteo Roberts
James Blake
The Caribou, bar
Splice
Fiverr
Portal, plugin
Ásgeir
Carole King
Burt Bacharach
Amar Chadha-Patel

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Episode 234: Maren Morris

“Humble Quest”

Maren Morris is a Grammy-winning, multi-platinum artist. She’s also won multiple country music awards, including CMAs for Female Vocalist of the Year, and Single of the Year in 2020, but her feelings about the country music industry are kind of complicated, as she discusses in this episode. She breaks down her song “Humble Quest,” which is the title track from her third album. It was produced by Greg Kurstin, who’s won the Producer of the Year Grammy more than once. The album came out in March, and hit #2 on Billboard country chart. But before “Humble Quest” was a title, Maren had to figure out what the words meant to her, and that’s where the song began.

You can buy or stream “Humble Quest” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Jimmy Robbins
Laura Veltz
Rich Hinman
Cardi B
Dua Lipa

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Episode 233: Rick Astley

“Never Gonna Give You Up”

Rick Astley is a singer and songwriter from England, whose debut single, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” became an international smash hit. The song came out in July 1987 and won the BRIT Award for “British Single of the Year.” It hit number one in 25 countries, and Rick Astley was nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist. And then, 20 years after the song came out, it became a new kind of phenomenon, when the meme Rickrolling was born. Last year, the music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” passed a billion streams on YouTube. The song was written and produced by the production team Stock Aitken Waterman, who became hitmakers for artists like Kylie Minogue, and others. For this episode, I spoke to Rick Astley, and songwriter and producer Mike Stock, and the two of them tell the story of how “Never Gonna Give You Up” was made.

You can buy or stream “Never Gonna Give You Up” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Ian Curnow
Dee Lewis
Coral Gordon
Fairlight
Linn 9000
Rick’s high school band, FBI
Rick Astley on Top of the Pops, 1987
“Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross
Rick’s cover of “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations
RCA Records
Motown
Luciano Pavarotti
Bananarama
Mel & Kim
Dead or Alive
“Hotel California” by The Eagles
Never Gonna (emote)– Fortnite

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