The Best Podcasts For Music Lovers

Culture
By Rufus Punt | 27th July 2023
music podcasts

Whether you play multiple instruments and know the ins and outs of a recording studio or simply love to flick on Spotify while you clean the house, music unites us all. Share that love of tunes and listen to one of our picks of the best music podcasts.

From the shows that break down pop hits verse by verse to a look into the history of musical genres, these are our top recommendations.

The Best Music Podcasts to Listen to This Week

music podcasts

Song Exploder

‌Song Exploder is a podcast in which a musical guest is invited on to break down, or “explode”, a song of theirs and give you a sense of the ideas behind it.

Creator and host Hrishikesh Hirway will probe said guest to reveal how the song came about from its meanings to its musical components. Sometimes you’ll hear what emotions and life experiences resulted in a particular feeling or lyric, and other times you’ll hear exactly what tools were used in post-production.

Artists that have been analysed include R.E.M, U2, Dua Lipa , Fleetwood Mac and others, and the series has also explored TV and film music like Game of Thrones and La La Land.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts and Spotify

switched on pop - music podcasts

Switched on Pop

‌This is a podcast all about, you guessed it, pop music, and why it’s always important- even when it seems easy to dismiss.

Generally, it goes into the ins and outs of some of pop’s biggest hits to explain why they’re so addictive to listen to and hard to forget, as well as some of the names that have changed the game. From Louis Armstrong to Bad Bunny , John Denver to Taylor Swift , there’s a myriad of different eras and genres within pop music that are explored. It’s a way to keep up with what’s on the forefront of the charts as well as the roots that modern music comes from.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts and Spotify

questlove supreme - music podcasts

Questlove Supreme

‌Drummer and co-frontman of The Roots Questlove hosts his own music podcast called Questlove Supreme and it’s definitely worth a listen for anyone passionate about music.

Questlove and his co-hosts Team Supreme speak to an eclectic mix of names in the music industry, ranging from singers to producers and industry execs, as well as occasionally other entertainers or public figures who have an interest in music. Guests have included the likes of Bruce Springsteen , Debbie Harry , John Oliver and Michelle Obama .

Listen on: Apple Podcasts and Spotify

sound of cinema - music podcasts

Sound of Cinema

‌A slightly different type of music podcast, Sound of Cinema revolves entirely around cinema and its music. The series takes the scores of some of Hollywood’s biggest hits and analyses them in-depth, as Matthew Sweet looks to find what makes certain film music iconic.

Episodes often focus on a specific director, like Christopher Nolan or David Lynch , a particular composer like John Williams, or a theme or emotion like Jane Austen or anxiety. Each release is around 20 minutes long, and packs as much info about a certain film niche as possible, getting you thinking more about the music to your favourite comfort film or the new Netflix drama that’s sitting on your watchlist.

Listen on: BBC Sounds and Apple Podcasts

bandsplain - music podcasts

Bandsplain

‌Bandsplain is a podcast with a pretty simple premise: host Yasi Salek sits down to find out exactly what makes a certain cult band or artist so appealing, with the help of an expert or two. If you prefer your music tastes to be a bit more off-kilter, this is the podcast for you.

These podcasts tend to be two, three or four hours long, meaning there’s plenty of time to dive deep into the artist in question, their history and what makes them tick. The name of the game here isn’t “obscure” bands, it’s ones that have something of a cult appeal and following. There’ll be some names you’ll have never heard of, and others more well-known like The Cure, Primus, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan .

Listen on: Apple Podcasts and Spotify

the horne section - music podcasts

The Horne Section

‌You’ll know him as Greg Davies ’ co-host on Taskmaster, but comedian Alex Horne also has his own comedic band called The Horne Section. The group hosted the Horne Section podcast from 2018 to 2021, which saw the band joined by a special celebrity guest for an episode of chat and musical fun.

Guests are often other comedians like Davies, Sara Pascoe , Tim Key and Daisy May Cooper , or other entertainers like Robbie Williams and Richard Osman. With a mixture of banter and songs, each episode is a light-hearted treat, and it’s certainly worth giving a listen to if you want some comedic listening.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts and Spotify

disgraceland - music podcasts

Disgraceland

‌Disgraceland is a show that combines the music world with the unending appeal of true crime podcasts. Each episode sets out to tell a story that revolves around the supposedly true claims made about some of the biggest names in music- usually something illegal. Britney Spears , John Lennon , Jimi Hendrix , The Sex Pistols, Jay Z : they all have an episode here that investigates some of the alleged stories surrounding their careers.

The podcast makes clear that it isn’t journalism, and is entertainment with fictionalised elements- but it does draw from true events and stories that are dramatized. If you love music and true crime goodness, then it’s time to be received in Disgraceland.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts and Spotify

your favourite band sucks - music podcasts

Your Favourite Band Sucks

‌If you’re looking for a podcast to pick a fight with you, Your Favourite Band Sucks should suffice. It does pretty much as it says on the tin: finds a popular artist and knocks them down by explaining why they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.

The first episode, for example, picks the music contrarian’s favourite target, The Beatles, and claims that didn’t do anything to change pop music. Talking Heads meanwhile are insufferably smartarse, Taylor Swift is totally fake, Nirvana is super-overrated and Frank Sinatra was “a fuckboy” (their words, not ours). Some artists are unfortunate enough to get two parts for their music crimes. Just remember not to take it too seriously.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts and Spotify

desert island discs - music podcasts

Desert Island Discs

‌At this point, Desert Island Discs is often thought of as one of those ancient radio shows that only middle-class uncles listen to. And yet, it’s stood the test of time (over 80 years), having become a way for some of the world’s most famous people to archive their music tastes forever.

If you’ve been living under a rock (or on a desert island) and don’t know how it works, the premise is simple: guests imagine that they’re a castaway on a remote island, and are asked to choose a set of recordings (usually music), along with a book and luxury item. They explain their reasons for the choices, and excerpts are played during the show. It’s always worth dipping into, with everyone from David Cameron to David Attenborough to David Beckham having been featured.

Listen on: BBC Sounds and Spotify


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