Songfacts Podcast

Songfacts Podcast

Songfacts, which has been bringing you the stories behind the songs since 1999, now has a podcast. On the not-so-cleverly named Songfacts Podcast, our cheeky host Corey O'Flanagan speaks with songwriters and other music makers to learn about their own songs (which they often perform on the show) and explore the music that influenced them.On this fun and enlightening musical journey, you'll discover new songs across a range of genres and take a deep dive into some you know - how they're structured, what they mean, how they make us feel.Proud part of Pantheon - the podcast network for music lovers.

Episodes

July 21, 2021 46 min
What do you think of when you think of ska music? If you're like me, you've heard of it, know it's in the realm of reggae, but might not be 100% sure what the differences are and which bands are playing it! Well, if that's the case then this episode of the Songfacts Podcast is for you.? Today I speak with Marc Wasserman, a musician, fellow podcaster, and author of the book Skaboom! An American Ska And Reggae Oral H...
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What do you do if you're a producer and you run out of tracks to sample? If you're the guys behind Analog Players Society - Ben Rubin and Amon Drum - you gather a group of New York City's best musicians, put them in a room, and hit record. It is with this mentality that the record Soundtrack For A Nonexistent Film came to be. Released in October 2020 and based on four tracks recorded in April 2019 in Amon's The Bri...
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June 23, 2021 35 min
Benedict Cork went the piano man route, much like Billy Joel. He hasn't written a hit song about the experience yet, but he has developed into an outstanding songwriter and performer, able to find beauty in the darker emotions. That kind of nuanced melancholy is his specialty, but he takes a different direction on his latest single, "Have A Good Life (See You Never)," which he breaks down and performs for us on the show...
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June 9, 2021 47 min
Aaron Lee Tasjan, who looks like a character from That '70s Show but sounds like Tom Petty (even Petty's drummer thinks so), makes a kind of unpredictable, mind-bending music that addresses concerns specific to his generation: digital overload, mental health, identity. But this isn't the confessional songwriting you're used to. It's presented with a nod and a wink to take the edge off. After bouncing from Delaw...
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May 26, 2021 33 min
John Splithoff spent the first part of his career writing single after single. One of those, "Sing To You," broke through in 2016 and now has almost 45 million streams on Spotify. This allowed him to book some tours and festival gigs, and landed him a short stint with a major label. He has since gone back to his independent roots. In 2019 John unintentionally prepared himself for the quarantine of 2020 by secluding himself...
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May 19, 2021 66 min
Pop Evil has been making pulse-pounding rock with a positive message for 20 years now, defying the long odds every step of the way. Bands aren't supposed to break out in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and they're not supposed to pay their dues playing covers, but frontman Leigh Kakaty knew better than to head for a coast and abandon their support system, and those covers paid the bills. It was rough going, especially when their ma...
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May 12, 2021 29 min
When you think of alternative, grunge or garage band, what do you think of? It takes me to a time in the early '90s that gave us a new sound and a bunch of great bands: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains.  I was taken to that time again when I was introduced to the female trio named Hello Mary. These three young ladies are combining their sound of fuzzy guitar riffs, big drum fills and uniquely designed bass runs with impress...
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Donna Jean Godchaux is the only woman to ever be a member of the Grateful Dead. Along with her husband Keith, she was in the group from 1972-1979 as a singer and songwriter. She joined them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Pre-Dead, Godchaux sang backup in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, appearing on the Percy Sledge classic "When a Man Loves a Woman." She later sang back up on two of Elvis Presley's most famous song...
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DC Glenn is one half of the hip-hop group Tag Team, who wrote and recorded the smash hit, "Whoomp! There It Is," revived in a brilliant Geico commercial ("Scoop! There It Is") that exploded on social media. You may not know that there was a competing song called "Whoot, There It Is" that was released first in 1993. In this episode, DC talks about that rivalry and explains what inspired "Whoomp!" Th...
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April 21, 2021 44 min
Imagine writing a song, sending it off under a pseudonym, and having it picked up immediately with a nice paycheck sprinkled on top. This is the story of how Zayde Wolf began. Dustin Burnett has been writing and producing since he got his first drum machine, which he taught himself to use by re-creating "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails. Since then he has made adrenaline-fueled music that has been featured on many TV shows (Love...
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April 14, 2021 50 min
At Berklee College of Music, Elizabeth Ziman was in a band with Esperanza Spalding and played shows with another classmate, Annie Clark. Ziman became Elizabeth And The Catapult; Clark became St. Vincent. Ziman is one of the more creative cats we've come across. Her sounds are organic - voice, guitar, piano, strings - but they take unexpected turns and unlock little boxes of musical delight along the way. Hear for yourself: The...
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April 7, 2021 45 min
Some of the best songwriters have very imperfect voices - Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen come to mind. We found another: Ben Cramer, who goes by the name Old Sea Brigade. Here's a lyric from his song "How It Works," which he performs on this episode: Now I can look at the scars And not think of the knife Spotify listeners know Ben from his 2015 song "Love Brought Weight," which made a bunch of their playlists, in...
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March 31, 2021 37 min
Sunny Sweeney chose a life in music for the most noble of reasons: She didn't want to get a real job. After graduating from Texas State University in 2001, she couldn't bear the thought of answering to a boss, so she became one, writing her own songs and leading her own band. Her breakthrough single, "From a Table Away," came in 2010. It's one of those songs that hits you in the heart, and it was inspired by a ...
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March 24, 2021 51 min
We're not a true crime podcast, but we dip our toe into those waters in this episode, where our guest asks, "What really killed Bon Scott?" Jesse Fink is the author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC and Bon: The Last Highway. His extensive research has led him to conclude that Scott did not die from alcohol poisoning, as officially reported. He also thinks the Back In Black album, released just five months af...
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March 17, 2021 39 min
Can anybody sing? Doe Paoro thinks so. After years climbing the ladder as an indie-pop singer-songwriter on the LA scene, she's become interested in the voice as an instrument of healing. We caught up with her in Costa Rica, where she teaches a course on activating the voice. Her latest album, 432Hz Chakra Suite, Vol 1, is a collection of meditation music at the healing frequency for music. We discovered Doe when we had Misty ...
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Firefall didn't set their sights on soft-rock stardom, but they were stuck with it when "You Are The Woman," from their debut album, dug a trench on Adult Contemporary radio, enduring as a staple of at-work listening. On this episode of the Songfacts Podcast, we welcome founding members Jock Bartley and Mark Andes. Jock, on guitar, is Firefall's mainstay, part of every iteration. Mark, their bass player, left in 19...
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"Amazed" was a #1 hit for Lonestar in 2000, but it's also Chris Lindsey's love story. "That's the exact feeling I had for her," he says of his wife Aimee, his co-writer on the track. Ever since "Amazed," Lindsey has been a top songwriter in Nashville, with hits for Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Keith Urban and many others. He's also host of the Pitch List podcast, now in its fourth season. It&#...
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February 24, 2021 53 min
In the "bad bitch" community (think Cardi B), there's not much room for insecurity or empathy. That's why Bailey Bryan has branded herself a "sensitive bad bitch," creating a sub-genre that is confident, but also in tune with real emotions. Bryan is just 22 but has already ripened past her jaunty first single, "Own It," released in 2017 when she was 18. She's really on to something with this ...
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February 17, 2021 50 min
This episode brings us to Toronto, where we catch up with talented and soulful Jesse Gold. Jesse has been honing his skills as a guitarist and songwriter from around the time he could walk. He polished his skills at Berklee College of Music and got some studio time with big names like Babyface and Craig David (Jesse proudly tells a story about Babyface tearing up his music - one of his many learning opportunities). Please listen t...
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February 10, 2021 34 min
Before Adam Levine, Benny Blanco and Travie McCoy got to it, "Stereo Hearts" was an emo song Brandon Lowry co-wrote on a piano. Fed into the star-on machine (otherwise known as The Voice, where Levine promoted it), the song got swole, amassing half a billion streams on YouTube alone. Contrast that with Brandon's life as an independent artist. Recording under the alias Baby Fuzz, he makes music with a dark humor that hi...
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