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Casey Deal Episode 206: Lianne La Havas

“Can’t Fight”



Lianne La Havas is a singer and songwriter from London. She’s been nominated for a Grammy and a Brit award, and in 2020, she released her third album. In this episode, she breaks down her song “Can’t Fight,” and traces its evolution — along with her own evolution – over several years.

You can buy or stream “Can’t Fight” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Mura Masa, co-writer and co-producer
Aqualung, co-writer / co-producer
Davide Rossi, string arranger
Victor Wooten – Me and My Bass Guitar (Also, here’s Victor Wooten talking about his bass guitar and performing the song.)
Real World Studios

The post Episode 206: Lianne La Havas appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Casey Deal Episode 206: Lianne La Havas

“Can’t Fight”



Lianne La Havas is a singer and songwriter from London. She’s been nominated for a Grammy and a Brit award, and in 2020, she released her third album. In this episode, she breaks down her song “Can’t Fight,” and traces its evolution — along with her own evolution – over several years.

You can buy or stream “Can’t Fight” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Mura Masa, co-writer and co-producer
Aqualung, co-writer / co-producer
Davide Rossi, string arranger
Victor Wooten – Me and My Bass Guitar (Also, here’s Victor Wooten talking about his bass guitar and performing the song.)
Real World Studios

The post Episode 206: Lianne La Havas appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Casey Deal Episode 205: Jon Batiste

“We Are”



Jon Batiste is a pianist, songwriter, and composer from New Orleans. He’s been nominated for multiple Grammys, and just won the Golden Globe and got an Oscar nomination for the soundtrack to the Pixar film Soul, which he composed along with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Jon is also a recipient of the American Jazz Museum’s lifetime achievement award, and on weeknights, you can see him as the bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In March 2021, he put out his new album, We Are. But the title track from it came actually came out much earlier, last year, in June 2020. In this episode, Jon talks about how he drew from his roots, at a very personal level — and at a cultural, historical level — and wove all of it into the song.

You can buy or stream “We Are” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Kizzo, producer
Autumn Rowe, co-writer
Pomo, producer
Cory Wong, guitarist
Nate Smith, drummer
Sam Yahel, organist
Ed Sullivan Theater
Carol Burnett
Mac Miller

The post Episode 205: Jon Batiste appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Casey Deal Episode 204: Glass Animals

“Heat Waves”




Glass Animals is a band from Oxford, England. They’ve released three albums since forming back in 2010. One of their biggest hits is the song “Heat Waves,” which came out in June 2020. It was certified gold in a bunch of countries, and platinum in Australia, where it hit #1. Dave Bayley is the singer, songwriter, and producer of the band. He won the UK’s Music Producers Guild award for “Self-Producing Artist of the Year,” and he’s produced songs for other artists, as well. In this episode, Dave tells the story of making “Heat Waves,” over several months. First, on his own, and then later with his bandmates, Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer, and Drew MacFarlane.

You can buy or stream “Heat Waves” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
The Church, studio
Arlo Guthrie
Auto-Tune
Johnny Depp
808s

The post Episode 204: Glass Animals appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Casey Deal Episode 203: Sasha Sloan

“Until It Happens To You”



Sasha Sloan is a singer and songwriter based in Nashville. She put out her debut album, Only Child, last year. Before that, she’d written songs for artists like Katy Perry, John Legend, and Charli XCX, and she’s been a featured guest vocalist on songs by electronic artists Odesza and Kygo. Sasha made her album with her boyfriend, producer Henry Allen, aka King Henry, whose other production credits include songs by Beyoncé and Diplo. In this episode, Sasha, along with Henry, tells the story of making her song “Until It Happens to You.”

You can buy or stream “Until It Happens To You” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
LANY
Jake Goss, drummer
Snow Patrol
Arcade Fire
Explosions in the Sky
Granulator

The post Episode 203: Sasha Sloan appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Casey Deal Episode 202: PJ Morton

“Say So (feat. JoJo)”



PJ Morton is a singer, songwriter, and producer. He’s the first artist ever to be nominated for a Grammy for the Best R&B album three years in a row. In 2020, he won the Grammy for Best R&B song for his track, “Say So,” which is a duet with the singer JoJo, a platinum-selling artist in her own right. But that version of “Say So” almost didn’t come to exist. In this episode, PJ takes us through his original voice memos, the demos, and the isolated pieces of the final studio recording, as he tells the story of how the track was created, then disappeared, and then got re-created, and ultimately became one of his biggest songs.

You can buy or stream “Say So” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Moog Model D synthesizer
Quincy Jones
DJ Raymond, bass player

The post Episode 202: PJ Morton appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Casey Deal Episode 201: HAIM

“Summer Girl”




HAIM is a band from Los Angeles, made up of the sisters Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim. They’ve released three albums, and they’ve been nominated for three Grammys. Over the years, they’ve worked extensively with Grammy-winning producer Ariel Rechtshaid. Danielle and Ariel share the emotional story behind the song “Summer Girl,” from HAIM’s third album, Women in Music Pt. III. In this episode, they break down their experience creating the song, along with Este Haim and the song’s co-producer and co-writer Rostam.

You can buy or stream “Summer Girl” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Cass McCombs“County Line”
Usher“Climax”
The Valley
Something to Tell You, second album
Lou Reed“Walk on the Wild Side”
Henry Solomon, Saxophonist
Bono
Paul Thomas Anderson

The post Episode 201: HAIM appeared first on Song Exploder.

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hrishikesh Episode 200: Yusuf / Cat Stevens

“Father and Son”



The legendary singer/songwriter Yusuf / Cat Stevens released his first album in 1967. He’s a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and his albums have sold millions. In 2020, he released Tea for the Tillerman², a re-imagining of his hit 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. In the song “Father and Son,” he sings a duet between the two title characters, doing both voices. But in the 2020 version, he approached this song in a kind of astonishing way  —  he recorded the part of the father, but for the part of the son, he used a live recording of himself from 1970, taken from a show he played at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. So the two parts are still both sung in his voice, but 50 years apart. In this episode Yusuf / Cat Stevens tells the story of how he created, and then re-created “Father and Son.”

You can buy or stream the 2020 version of “Father and Son” here and the original version of “Father and Son” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
The West End, neighborhood
Nigel Hawthorne, actor and collaborator
Mona Bone Jakon
Morgan Studios
Chris Blackwell, Former Head of Island Records
Island Records
Paul Samwell Smith, producer
The Yardbirds
Moonshadow, The Musical

The post Episode 200: Yusuf / Cat Stevens appeared first on Song Exploder.

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Olivia Wood Episode 199: Common

“A Riot In My Mind”

 

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Common is a Grammy- and Oscar-winning rapper, actor, and activist from Chicago. He’s been making records since 1992, and in October, he released his thirteenth album, A Beautiful Revolution. In this episode, he breaks down how he made the song “A Riot In My Mind,” along with a handful of collaborators, including Lenny Kravitz and a cameo from Chuck D.

You can buy or stream “A Riot In My Mind” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
PJ – singer & cowriter
Bookmarks – Netflix show
Isaiah Sharkey – guitarist
Boom Bishop – bassist
Karreim Riggins – drummer
Robert Glasper – cowriter
Muhammad Ali
DJ Dummy

The post Episode 199: Common appeared first on Song Exploder.

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