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My Favorite Episodes From ‘Song Exploder,’Tiny Desk’ and ‘Dissect’

An aural feast for the music obsessive.

Music podcasts combine words and music, making them particularly fascinating if you are obsessed with music. Here are a few of my favorite music podcasts and episodes. 

Song Exploder is a show in which “musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” Unlike most podcasts, the conversations are edited to be one-sided, showcasing the artist and their creative process without any fluff. Here are my top episodes in no particular order:

Episode 152: Japanese Breakfast

Episode 144: Blood Orange

Episode 83: Mitski

You’re probably familiar with NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, through a viral clip on social media or as a regular listener. Tiny Desk features artists from different genres playing in a stripped down manner at the NPR studio in Washington, so everyone is sure to find something that hits the spot for them. Here are my top episodes in no particular order:

Mac Miller

Cigarettes After Sex

Japanese Breakfast


I wanted to pay homage to this episode, being Tiny Desk’s first one. 


Each season of Dissect focuses on an album and dissects each song, lyric by lyric. I came across this podcast in search of reviews of Frank Ocean’s Blonde got so much more than any article or standard album review could cover.

Here are my top episodes in no particular order:

S3E18 – Season Finale: Blonde by Frank Ocean

S3E12 – ‘Skyline To’ + ‘Self Control’ by Frank Ocean

S3E7 – Channel Orange Recap + 4 Years Gone

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

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