We live in the golden era of podcasting – there are tons of shows available on any imaginable topic, with new podcasts coming out what seems like every other day. If you’re an avid music lover or a musician (or both), it’s highly likely you’ve got at least a couple of favorite pods to keep yourself entertained, get music knowledge and expand your playlist.
Whether you are looking for new options or just starting your journey into the wide world of music pods, we’ve got you covered! Here are some of the best music podcasts out there today.
One of the most known and universally loved podcasts about music, Song Exploder features musicians taking apart their songs piece-by-piece. They explain each and every decision they’ve made during writing, recording and mixing, all the way to how the final product came together. As a listener, you get a real look at the creative process behind the songs of such artists as Nine Inch Nails, The Killers, Lorde, Solange, Björk, Gorillaz, U2 and many others. What makes Song Exploder different is that the host edits out his side of conversation, shifting focus to musicians telling their story.
The podcast is hosted by singer-songwriter Joe Pug, who invites fellow songwriters to share their stories about the creative process and experience in the industry. Hour-long episodes come out every month and feature some of the best contemporary songwriters, including Drew Holocomb, Amanda Palmer, Elizabeth Cook, The Milk Carton Kids, Dashboard Confessional, and Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. & Sebadoh. It’s a must-listen for musicians who want to pick up techniques from experienced artists, hear entertaining stories and learn how songwriter careers are shaping in today's day and age.
This weekly podcast hosted by Matthew Sweet delves into the world of film music. Instead of focusing on specific scores, it explores movie genres, cultural movements and sonic themes, and finds ties that you most likely wouldn’t have noticed or learned in any other place. If you’re interested in the music from various movies, shows and video games, you should also check out the Art of the Score podcast. Hosts Andrew Pogson (producer, director and jazz musician), Dan Golding (critic, academic, former director of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival) and Nicholas Buc (composer, conductor and arranger) traverse through the world of soundtracks, taking you to the journey of the greatest scores.
There are a lot of musicians in the podcasting game (Nicki Minaj, Hozier, Perry Farrel, Rick Rubin, to name a few), but no one does it quite like Questlove. The legendary drummer of The Roots creates long-form deep dives into the careers and art of numerous fascinating musicians. Every episode is a very fun and informative listening experience thanks to Questlove’s encyclopedic musical knowledge and world-famous musician guests. Though the emphasis is on hip hop and soul, a wide array of other music genres and styles are regularly touched upon – rock, gospel, electronic music, you name it.
Many songs are build on the melodies borrowed from completely different pieces, genres and decades. Sometimes the sample origin is on the nose, other times it comes from such an underground song or was manipulated so much, you can even tell. But when you start listening to the Riffs on Riffs podcast, you gain the superpower to connect the musical dots. Hosts, Joe Watson and Toby Brazwell study sampling in popular music and discover tracks and musicians that everyone has heard but nearly no one had heard of. It’s a fascinating listen for music lovers and artists alike.
Hosted by James Calamera, a San Francisco DJ with over 20 years of experience, the podcast provides mixes of new and classic dance tracks in such genres and styles as Deep House (hence the name), House, Trance, Chill Out, Club, Disco, Hip Hop, R&B, Disco, Funk, Afro-House, Reggaeton and Dancehall. Musicians can pull a lot of great tracks from the pod for sampling while music lovers can blast the episodes at parties of just listen to while running errands, working, commuting, cooking, etc.
For over 10 years Decibel Geek Podcast delivers information about all things rock and metal, covering bands and songs from the 1960’s through today. It features in-depth conversations about heavy music, album reviews and interviews with members of legendary bands like KISS, Vixen, Killer Dwarfs, WASP, Alice Cooper and many more.
Speaking of Alice Cooper, the legendary rocker has his own podcast where he already interviewed a glut of rock royalty that shared for career-hinging moments guaranteed to leave you shocked. The first few episodes are dedicated to Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, and Brian May. If you are keen on classic rock and its icons, the Alice Cooper's Vintage Vault podcast is an essential.
This weekly podcast is an invaluable source of information for all women in the music business. Hosted by Bree Noble, the show shares insights on how to transform your career and become a profitable professional musician. Interviews with successful female artists, business strategies from industry professionals, and many other nuggets of informative and inspirational information you will find in the episodes of this podcast will help you turn music-making into a day job.
Bree Noble also hosts The Profitable Musician Show where she covers the business side of music more broadly (not just from a female musician perspective) and provides numerous relevant tactics on recording, releasing, performing and live streaming music, and getting consistently paid for it.
This is another great podcast geared towards musicians who want to build a sustainable career and keep the creative and financial control in their own hands. One of the longest running shows, DIY Musician Podcast covers all topics an independent musician may be interested in, from ways of getting the first devoted fans, booking gigs and making an impact with album cover art to creating a compelling artist website, getting out of songwriting rut and knowing what record companies to avoid.
The pod also goes into detail about such currently relevant topics as NFTs for musicians, releasing and touring in the post-pandemic era, and music promotion through viral videos. What’s more, DIY Musician Podcast regularly interviews artist of all backgrounds, as well as music publicists, promoters, lawyers, publishers, and talent buyers.
The Three Track Podcast is a hundred hour-long episodes, each introducing you to three favorite tracks of the episode guest. Together with Gabriel Ebulue, the host and knowledgeable music enthusiast, guests discuss what makes the picked songs so great, breaking them down to every beat and intricate detail. Every part of the show is filled with passionate yet casual conversations about music, and the pleasant sound of the host’s English accent is a cherry on top. If you want to get some bangers from niche B-sides to the most ubiquitous chart hits and listen to some interesting and entertaining tangents about music, this podcast will definitely hit the spot.
Ever wondered what makes pop hits so catchy? What is the magic of those simple songs you might actually hate but just can’t get out of your head? Switched on Pop answers these and other questions about pop music. Musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding deliver dissections of the innards of pop hits and sprinkle them with a fair amount of music history and theory. Each episode is a fascinating listen where you learn the secret formula of pop music from the 90’s to this day. Tune in to get into the multi-faceted make-up of the most infectious and/or annoying songs dominating the charts.
Stepping outside of pop music realm, another great place to learn what makes a song tick is the Strong Songs podcast. Hosted by Kirk Hamilton, a writer, musician and composer, the show is a in-depth analysis of the devices, techniques, lyrics, performances and all other elements of a music piece that make it special. Strong Song features not only every existing genre from jazz and soul to rock and metal, but also covers video game music and even cartoon OSTs. The production quality of the podcast is superb, and the host’s knowledge of iconic works will pleasantly surprise you.