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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Episode 167: Robyn

“Honey”

 

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Robyn is a Swedish singer and songwriter. Her first album came out in 1995, when she was 16 years old. It went platinum in the US, double-platinum in Sweden. Since then, she’s been nominated for five Grammys and started her own record label. But there was an eight-year gap between Robyn’s album Body Talk, which came out in 2010, and her most recent album, Honey, which came out last October. Time, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork all named it one of the best albums of the year.

For Song Exploder, Robyn breaks down the song “Honey,” the title track from that album. The first time the public heard the song was in a 2017 episode of the HBO show Girls, but that’s not the final version that was released on the album. In this episode, Robyn traces the long history of how she made “Honey,” a song that The New York Times called “her masterpiece.”

You can buy or stream “Honey” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Collaborators on “Honey” –
Markus Jägerstedt
Klas Åhlund
Joseph Mount of Metronomy
Phillipe Zdar of Cassius

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