Make your listening experience more than…well…music to your ears in time for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on April 3, 2022. Whether you’re a musician, music connoisseur, or casual listener, a good podcast might help you find your latest music obsession. Bring some variety to your usual rotation of sound with these shows packed with news, trivia, song analyses, and stories behind your favorite songs and artists.
With so many podcasts available to satiate even the most avid music consumer, here are some of Podsauce’s favorites. What’s awesome about this list is there are snippets of music featured on almost all of these shows’ episodes. So, plug in and rock on with these 11 electric music podcasts.
Rolling Stone Music Now
This show is by the writers and editors of Rolling Stone and presented by Cumulus Podcast Network. It looks at the music industry’s biggest stories, featuring interviews, music news, and what Rolling Stones’ staff is currently listening to. Recent episodes interviewed Keith Richards, dove into the history of “Batmusic” including Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” on The Batman‘s soundtrack, and spoke with Ukrainian musicians about their once-thriving scene.
She Will Rock You
Bethanne Tarpley and Leah Jones host the rock music history podcast, “She Will Rock You.” They’ll share bands’ stories, highlight women in the music industry, and interview new artists you need to know about in biweekly episodes.
All Songs Considered
If you’re into new music, NPR’s “All Songs Considered” will fill you in with the latest and greatest. Featuring new music and interviews with artists, hosts and music pundits Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton prepare a snapshot of new music released during the week. Song excerpts are also played throughout the semiweekly episodes.
Switched on Pop
Musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding chat with songwriters, artists, and producers about what it means to create pop music on Vulture’s “Switched on Pop.” The hosts scrutinize one pop song per episode and explain why the tune is widely-loved and has experienced considerable success. They also observe how songs can play a critical part in culture and society.
Breaking Waves: Seattle
Audacy’s “Breaking Waves: Seattle” dives into the grunge music scene. In episodes, listeners will hear from artists, insiders, and radio stations that were pivotal to grunge’s breakthrough in the 1980s and 1990s, such as Audacy’s KISW and KNDD. Throughout the season, we’ll hear how this scene became a cultural force and guests like Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and Guns ‘N Roses’ Duff McKagan chronologically tell a story every music fan should hear! Check out new episodes every week.
Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia
From Slate comes “Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia,” a music history podcast brimming with factoids and narratives. Hosted by Chris Molanphy, “Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia” digs into the backstories of songs. It explores why specific songs are hits and how they relate to the cultural stratosphere. Many of the episodes are released in two parts. For example, Molanphy provided an in-depth analysis of Taylor Swift’s version of country music. He investigated the trend of singing rappers and rapping singers à la Lil Nas X. The legacy and deceit of Milli Vanilli and the mastermind behind the group, Frank Farian, was a fascinating listen.
“Song Exploder” is brought to you by Radiotopia. Originally developed by musician and host Hrishikesh Hirway, songs are expanded and broken down by the show’s current host, Thao Nguyen, in each episode. Isolated tracks from song recordings are played for artists to get specific, analyze, and discuss their work. After a brief bio of the artists is introduced, the guest takes the reins – TED Talk-style. Previous guests have included Yo Yo Ma, Metallica, Billie Eilish, U2, Bon Iver, and The Roots, just to name a few. The podcast has become so popular in recent years that it was developed into a Netflix show.
Journalist and author Lizzy Goodman hosts this Audacy Cadence13 original to speak with creatives about their process and journey of art. In her book, Meet Me in the Bathroom, Lizzy delved into New York City’s music scene of the early 2000s. Her first guest of the show, musician Maggie Rogers, interned for Lizzy while she was writing the book. Lizzy begins episodes by asking the guests to describe what their creative work spaces look like. Podcast guests have included Trent Reznor, Laurie Anderson, and Ed O’Brien. New episodes premiere weekly.
“Questlove Supreme” comes from the iHeartPodcast Network. It’s an educational podcast about music and culture hosted by legendary icon Questlove and his Team Supreme. They create a totally fun environment for guests, treating it like a conversation rather than an interview with traditional questions and answers. Previous guests have included musicians like Usher, Chaka Khan, Babyface, and Weird Al. Michelle Obama, Chris Rock, and Maya Rudolph have also appeared on the show.
Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bryce Headlam and Justin Richmond
Pushkin’s “Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bryce Hedlam and Justin Richmond” presents narratives about music, artists, audiences, and how they connect to the world. The hosts rotate to chat with artists on a wide array of topics ranging from unique writing processes to the importance of mental health. Recently, Rick Rubin spoke with Brian Eno about his innovations in ambient music, how technology influences music, and how he once predicted hip-hop’s birth.
The FADER Uncovered Host Mark Ronson
The FADER’s podcast, “Uncovered with Host Mark Ronson” is hosted by the musician, DJ, and producer. He speaks with a star-studded lineup of guests on his new, weekly podcast. All guests have previously appeared on The FADER magazine’s cover. So far, Ronson has spoken with HAIM, Questlove, David Byrne, Tame Impala, and Erykah Badu. His guests share about their lives outside of the music industry, too. Season 2’s episodes are updated weekly.