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.
Robyn - Honey
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.”
Bon Iver - Holyfields,
Justin Vernon founded the band Bon Iver in 2006. Bon Iver’s released four albums, and won two Grammys, including Best New Artist.
The most recent album, i,i , came out in August 2019, and in this episode, Justin breaks down a song from it called “Holyfields,.” He’s joined by producers Chris Messina and Brad Cook. We spoke to him in July, from his studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where the song started. They finished it at Sonic Ranch studio, in Tornillo, Texas, on the border of the US and Mexico.
Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here
Sleater-Kinney was formed in 1994 by Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. Drummer Janet Weiss was a member of the band from 1997 until 2019. In Time Magazine in 2001, author and critic Greil Marcus named Sleater-Kinney “America’s Best Band.” Over the years, they’ve made nine albums, including this year’s The Center Won’t Hold , which was produced by Annie Clark of St. Vincent. In this episode, Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein break down how the song “The Future Is Here” was made.
Denzel Curry - RICKY
Denzel Curry is a rapper from Miami. He started his career at age 16 as part of the hip hop collective Raider Klan. He released his first solo album while still in high school.
In May 2019 Denzel released his fourth album, ZUU . He made it with the Australian production duo FnZ, who have been collaborating with him since 2016. The album was named Best New Music by Pitchfork , and Denzel made his TV debut on The Tonight Show .