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Introducing Switched on Pop


Vox takes culture seriously. Our coverage seeks to understand how our cultural touchstones work — and what they reveal about who we are.

That's why we’re excited to introduce you to Switched on Pop. It's a podcast that digs into the cultural context and musical theory of pop music, and it's now part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

In this episode, you'll meet hosts Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding. You'll hear some of their favorite interviews, as they pull back the curtain on how pop hits work their magic. You can subscribe to Switched on Pop wherever you get your favorite shows.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey, we listeners, you know if, if you read the box website- and you know that we take ultra seriously whether it hung my books, movies, tv, music, one understand how cultural touchdowns work and what they were real bad are you know we in today's society and that's why I'm really excited introduced. You switched on pop there's a punk, as the digs into Physical, fearing cultural context of pop music in some part of the box media podcast network This special bonus up. So does it it's a little bit of a short one. Just sort of introduce you to the series give you a flavour of it even meet hosts Nate, Sloan, Charlie Harding. You can hear some their favorite interviews. They pull back the cardinal how pop hits work their magic. If you like what you hear, you should subscribe or just tap the Lincoln the shone out,
I have heard. Camilla Kabila's Havana stuck in my I mean. I'm just gonna go right to the course here. Van, have half of her heart is in Havana not honour. He took me back to ISA, No not at, but my heart is in the van. another, exactly. I do it then again as a last resort, but goes class again on the surface. One could say well yeah, Camilla she's from Havana, her guest star young thug, is from EAST Atlanta are right. The players at the stage done simple thesis complete. Do you think I'm satisfied now? I think there's more to
pack, your so would you think if we start in Atlanta or Havana, where, where do we begin in order to get to EAST Atlanta, we have to travel back in time to the nineteen eighties all the way over to Japan? Oh, that was surprising, ok great. What are we doing here? What we were doing in Japan is, we are listening to the first Production model of tea. Are you to wait, reducing the world's most? tr, eight hundred and eight It sounds in a word very eighties. very like a dog of the drum machine, a little tiny, not very sophisticated anyway, but wonderful like totally I loved
sounds with it. They sound a little like Fisher price world, so sexual healing uses the eight o eight ok, interesting yeah. I like what he's doing with it here is some out found a way to make these really kind of.
tinny cheap sounds work. It is favoured. So even though Marvin Gaze track help make the eighty eight famous creating desire amongst the marketplace, everyone had to get an ETA weight to make that sound. What's gonna happen is in Atlanta we're gonna zoom in on just one element of vat drum machine in order to make banging tracks, and it is specifically the kicked rum when we listen to that Marvin Gaye Track. The kick trim is a little too little weak. Oh ok see you saying that hit producers kind of rediscovered this instrument and sort of beef up the kick drum and turn it into this iconic sound from zero to hear they're, gonna popularize it by giving it the more of our Nicholas into outcasts, so fresh, so clean and we're gonna hear that they have found a way to get this simple little kicked rum to hit harder and to really start to develop. The south
oh yeah, there. It is okay. Now, that's like the ito. Eight kick I'd, know and love exactly we're missing. One really important element because there's something that happens in the Havana track, which is that EAST Atlanta sound which were not getting on outcast and if we zero on the control. What we're gonna noticed is that the actual sound of it Changes pitches on the Havana track To get a sense of what we're talking about, we need to listen to the peace, Heavy Kronk production of Will John and his credibly effective,
back get while doing now. We have that pitched element, and soon this sound takes over. It becomes totally ubiquitous such that the name of the instrument is actually now just synonymous with the sound of that particular base kick. But I want to just give you a sense of what it would sound what, if you don't have that sort of pitched banging sound, but actually just like the original sexual healing sort of sits missing something right, not quite the same, not the same so all the southern Balkans. Look! What's? U what it sounds like if we start to pitch that bees around Ok, we're
they're right day. Look closely at this porridge is like the little to call for will get there now, let's just little John outlets cranked up, let's conquered up, I'm really sorry that really about it! If you take that same SAM, you can press it, you distort it. You messed with a little bit. You're gonna get a modern anyway, and check out. Camilla song for that moderate, await sound. That's the Havana known, love it's. What was once a japanese toy. drug machine derided for its terrible rep asian of an actual drums says is now went to modern hip to modern, hip hop and for that matter pop. That is the eighth away. So when we hear that on Havana, we are actually hearing this entire reference of musical history going back to the early.
It is really the history of modern hip hop which that sound was developed right there in EAST Atlanta. Means might pose new make persons in the studio sleeping this off song kind, is not overly lyrical other pedantic or like coup. Words are images like this? Just what is now one of the things with song about you? It stood out for me wasn't, but first I wasn't through. I went back and we all want Huck ass. I went and Hamburg looking for that. Like big bill
was it worth where's that hook happening like? Oh, it's all hook the hook us all around. You haven't you got a very in and to me that is really crystallized in the waves structured, the sung in which the course and the verses have the exact same hoodie. Here again, I think it's like this does a very specific thing. This makes music into something like kind of an intense kind of like religious forms of music making, unlike folk forms going back to some of the earliest I'll see you here. America. These would be folk songs imported from the british Isles, when the Green box cure you're getting basically the hook as the verse, just as you doing, and your song
something very hypnotic about an attic. I hear you say, melody new words. he also Dumont. boy. You haven't much trend that Gene Richie Thing and the sun was incredible. There is also another fact into this work. Her the lyrics have to be good. and filled in Furthermore, if, if you had lyrics, you really loved that you wanted to highlight, that might be a reason to do this technique, because when you switch melody the listeners, your goes to the melody, whereas you know like the first example. You play This is the same melody over nor Yucas. As listening, you can Zero in on the lyrics in here
get away with using the same malady and having an uninspired second verse cause you're actually have board. Somebody arose who hey tune in correct as we move into pop there's another really cool example of this from certain parts of your. in Bruce Springsteen's born to run gay for the verse and it goes to a chorus and then goes to verse, and while the lyrics changed, music stays the same so low singer. Wrapper and host of the park has good as Hell a partnership, a refinery, twenty nine. We are so honoured to have you here.
As you know, there has been a absolute hit with our listeners things really. You forgot something: flew player, no way really Luton pellets. Add that's ear lives, but also dominated actual you're here to help us deconstruct. The Berlin New Single make me feel better El Monet. That's just the way make me We took up a magnet serving stone, yeah yeah author Es Amar, or is the Mire Corazza
Oh yeah always requires. I am always affair, I'm trusting tat. She really came through make their connection reinforced by the really sort of woe five b boxing at the opening dislike. Oh yeah, yeah. I got a thing so mouthy here the tension, isn't it so rewarding? What is attention Dewey? Fourth, how do you hear that tension? How does the support the thought it so funny, because Tension in song normally happens and like the pre yes and the first versus Boso just feel right. You have also be at what like the supposed possibilities. The wine memory lane and boring. Here we can, let me You know I mean and then she's like starting like in your life. What's about to happen like that's what it does for me that
Letty than in an reminds me of a movie like using the track out of it, and if you just hear that melody like on some violins, it sounds like you know I am a headache, yeah Superman moment, no movie where leg the little kid is running and he's running toward something like it feels like. I don't know like so some painted and Nancy started and again I think it's worth thing even for me before summer listeners who may not be familiar with music, it might be helpful. Jim discipline example of your when up of a major chord, and then you have a seventh chord, seventh chord, its unstable and it's the route.
As opposed to that that's beautiful, unresolved coins were always my kryptonite may remember his when they were planned, resolve quite a big just as you does, because that cord wants to go somewhere and it wants to go in the progression of a blues. A typical twelve barbarous corporation uses a lot of the seventh notes to have us constantly move through a progression and always have a little bit of instability to create more right so blues. Gonna start right on that one. Seventy four five and seven, that sort of the blues: russian Botz sevenths lots of tension, and if there's one thing it is happening in the song, there is tension in there is movement and she fulfils that sort of blues expectation by moving to be the next blues, cord
She goes from the one cord a little more nor write down, don't exactly sounds eyes, and you not hearing really broken down,
Transcript generated on 2021-09-11.