Episode 170: Raphael Saadiq

“Kings Fall”

 

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Raphael Saadiq is a Grammy-winning songwriter, producer, and artist from Oakland, California. He was the lead singer of the legendary ’90s R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!. As a producer, he’s worked with D’Angelo, TLC, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Solange Knowles, and John Legend.

In August 2019, Raphael released his fifth solo album, Jimmy Lee, which is named for his late older brother. In this episode, he breaks down a song he made with his nephew, Dylan Wiggins, called “Kings Fall.”

You can buy or stream “Kings Fall” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Otis Redding
Ali Shaheed Muhammed
A Tribe Called Quest
Electric sitar

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Episode 169: Clairo

“Alewife”

 

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Claire Cotrill is a singer, songwriter, and producer who goes by the name Clairo. She started releasing music in 2014 as a teenager. A few years later, songs she had uploaded to YouTube had racked up over 40 million views. This year, Clairo put out her debut album, Immunity. She’s recently performed on Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel, and played arenas, opening for Khalid. In this episode, Clairo breaks down her song “Alewife.” I spoke to Claire and her co-producer Rostam Batmanglij about how the song was made.

You can buy or stream “Alewife” here.

If you’re having thoughts of suicide, or if you’re worried about a friend or loved one, or if you would like emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 across the United States at 800-273-TALK. You can also text HELLO to 741741 to contact the Crisis Text Line. And if you’d like to donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, you can do so here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Rostam’s own episode of Song Exploder
Elliott Smith
Truth Studios

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Episode 168: Brittany Howard

“Stay High”

 

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Brittany Howard is the guitarist and lead singer of the four-time Grammy-winning band Alabama Shakes. This month, she’s releasing her first solo album, called Jaime. In this episode, Brittany breaks down the song “Stay High,” which was the album’s first single. She started working on it while staying at a house in Topanga Canyon, near LA.

You can buy or stream “Stay High” here. Watch the official music video below.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Topanga Canyon
Shawn Everett – Engineer
Nate Smith – Drummer
Zac Cockrell – Bass
Celesta
Robert Glasper

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