Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode is produced and edited by host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway in Los Angeles. Using the isolated, individual tracks from a recording, Hrishikesh asks artists to delve into the specific decisions that went into creating their work. Hrishikesh edits the interviews, removing his side of the conversation and condensing the story to be tightly focused on how the artists brought their songs to life. Guests include Fleetwood Mac, Billie Eilish, U2, Metallica, Solange, Lorde, Yo-Yo Ma, The Roots, Bon Iver, and more. Here’s the full list of episodes.
The show has been featured at the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Noise Pop Festival, and Moogfest. In 2016, the Sydney Opera House hosted a Song Exploder residency. Hrishikesh has spoken about Song Exploder at the Google Design Conference, the AIGA Design Conference, and given talks at Pinterest, Intel, Etsy, and IDEO.
“In the world of beautifully produced podcasts, Song Exploder is the beacon. Short version: It’s a show that dissects a song. Long version: It’s a show filled with serious lines of honesty, cinematic production and peeks inside the creative process.” — New York Times
“The premise might sound vaguely clinical, or even joyless—music, of course, is about more than its parts—but Song Exploder, which is in its sixth year and has recently been adapted into a Netflix series, is warm, deep, and illuminating.” — The New Yorker
“Song Exploder is probably the best use of the podcast format ever.” — Vulture
“It is possibly the most perfect podcast, really.” — Quartz
“Some of the finest explorations of the creative process you’ll ever hear.” (‘The Best of the Best Podcasts’) — The Telegraph
You can send a message via email. I’m not currently looking for song submissions for the show. Thanks!