TuneDig is an in-depth and informed conversation between two lifelong friends about the power of music — one album at a time.

In each episode, we go down the rabbit hole to spend a while in the strange world we discover. We take an honest look at creativity in all its complexity—from writing and production to history and cultural impact.

We promise you’ll learn something new every time, no matter how much you already love the album we explore.

Episode 017



For an artist as creative as Björk, finding the essence of her sound meant pushing farther out than ever before. Ideas, sounds, and approaches that seemed at odds added up to something greater on Homogenic. The result was vast, nuanced “emotional landscapes” unlike anything we’ve ever experienced … do yourself a favor and walk around them with us. We dare you.


Episode 017: Björk's "Homogenic": Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Episode 017: Björk's "Homogenic": this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

You're listening to TuneDig, a podcast from Music lovers, the premise is simple we dig into an album to discover what makes it interesting and then we dig into the crates for a vinyl copy to give away to one lucky winner. Go to TuneDig.com for your chance to win. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for more info about the album that didn't make the episode.

Today, we're talking about Bjork's homogenic.

I've been really excited almost to the point of being psyched out to talk about an album that was described as one of the best electronic albums maybe ever. But the more I dug and the more I felt like all of these things that were seemingly a contradiction in terms about Bjork and about this music and about the stories that led to it revealed a false dichotomy between the natural and the technological, between the minimal and the Máximo, between the old and the new, between love as tenderness and love as strength and fury. All of these things are part of the same whole. Nothing is really at odds with each other. There are forces to be reconciled at different points for tension and release. And she does it really masterfully on this record.

Her initial idea for homogenic was to literally put strings and beads and voice in different channel strings in the left channel beads in the right channel and the voice in the middle, as if to draw out the idea of these being seeming opposites and then give you a little bit of an onramp to see her put those things together. But I think what we saw and probably learned a lot more as we researched and understood some of the process of this album, was that maybe what she thought was going to have to be broken apart like that to make it more obvious, didn't end up having to be that obvious because it works so well when she tried to put these things together between her own ideas and the people that she collaborated with.

These multitudes come from a vast musical knowledge from somebody whose first album was released when she was 11 years old, kind of an interesting, weird story. Her music school was featured on Icelandic state radio.

She sang a cover of a disco song and she was offered a record deal and she released her her debut debut, not the album debut in 1977 that. Put everything in a whole new context for me, like she's had this creative spark and has known what to do with it and where to put it for a very long time and for a very long time since the beginning, she's been doing things and then coming back and saying, I actually don't like that phase at all, shot the whole thing down.

We're going to start over because it means you didn't really even pursue what came about from those initial recordings that she did as a child. Like she basically knew enough as a child somehow to reject childhood stardom.

Everything is an experiment with her. It's an art project. I'm going to express myself and like, oh, no, no, no, no, no. You're reacting too much in the right. Like you're getting too fixated on this one thing. It's time to move on to the next idea, to the next expression. This is not who I am all the time. This is who I am right now. And homogenic is probably the most this is who I am right now in this moment record, because that was the whole artistic intent. This is where I come from. This is who I am. So let me put a flag in the ground.

Yeah, she did a really good job of creating a snapshot here. And I think we can break apart the different components of that. But she's talked several times about her desire to make music that encapsulates the feeling of being in a moment in the same way that understanding, taking a snapshot means that you'll never really have that moment again and so she can let it go. It gave us an interesting way to look at who she was influenced by at the time and how she thought about creating this music and why she thought all the different pieces she wanted to put together were a worthwhile endeavor.

At this point, I don't think I've run across an artist who does a better job of reflecting the nuance of feelings and things that might seemingly contradict each other. Like she's not willing to oversimplify for the sake of getting a message across. She is the musical equivalent of those German and Japanese words that have no English equivalent, right. They they express multiple layers of feelings, which is why the phrase emotional landscapes makes so much sense. And to compare it to the geography of Iceland and to be inspired by the geography of where she comes from makes a lot of sense because it's really beautiful, but also a little bit violent and very dangerous and breathtaking. And you feel a lot of things and they cascade and collide into one another. And that's definitely on display here, I feel.

And you push me up to the state of.

So she did 10 years of classical music schooling, right?

So I think it's very important to note she has a perfused technical knowledge as a musician about theory and about execution. And she rejected that schooling around the age of 15, the quote is having stormed out at the age of 15 as an angry punk who thinks Beethoven sucks. She then started and drummed in a band called Spit and Snot. She was drawn upon because of that, everyone was equal mentality. She was in a punk band called Kyle, which was a supergroup of Icelandic punks. And the interesting thing about the Reykjavik punk scene was it was anarchic, like there was heavy instinct bass, but there was also heavy intellect bass because Reykjavik is a super cerebral, super literary city because of their pagan Norse background. So you have to be very smart, but you also have to embrace chaos.

And there's a there's a sense of the old in the new Iceland has this long mythological background and its heritage, but it's also one of the most technologically advanced places. So it's evolved at a very rapid rate.

So there's an inherent tension there as well. So all of these ingredients make for a very unique combination to make Bjork possible, like she was sewn in very unusual soil.

I love that there are so many touch points throughout this that literally involve the mythology of Thor, because everything that you just described sounds like it. And so it's neat to have a literal comic book analog for this whole idea.

She received a big award, basically like the Icelandic equivalent of a Kennedy Center honor. And the person who gave her the award compared her to Hamdullah, the guardian of the Bifrost who links between the world of the gods and Earth. And all of that stuff comes across as sort of whimsical. Right. Pretty heavy, ridiculous stuff if you're not tuned in to that frequency.

Also, I mentioned briefly this quote about her initial idea for homogenic being to experiment in stereo panning as a way to help you understand the different elements that she was putting together. I think something else that she talked about that helped me literally to see the music the way that she was perceiving and trying to create it, where she talked about wanting to make music that not only represented in a simplistic form the the landscape and geography of Iceland, which was a literal goal, but that she wanted you to get the feeling that she was singing a song while walking around outside. And I think that there were a couple of really kind of nerdy components of the music that create that sensation. That's a little bit hard to describe. One is, I think combining these classical and electronic elements, like the wavelengths on both sides, ended up being kind of even. And so it comes across as perfectly matched. It almost seems to exaggerate a droning nature of what she's doing. She really returns back to the root note of whatever key the song is.

And pretty often in that picture of her walking around in an Icelandic landscape and singing a song I think helps you picture a little bit more of where she's wanting to take you and what she's wanting you to envision as she's singing these songs, because they don't always have a direction in the traditional songwriting way where you're kind of going up and creating that tension and release about two thirds of the way through the song. She goes up and back down and up and back down. And a lot of times the songs feel like the end where they start. And so that feeling of just putting one foot in front of the other in a gigantic realm I think helps you get in the right headspace for this, because this is another record like many that we love talking about, that takes on a really different persona when you listen to it in a room or in headphones at a larger volume, while you're not trying to do anything else, you're just kind of sitting there and listening to the music come to you.

And the way that it does reiterates that kind of droning nature where you're just kind of surrounded by something that you don't really understand.

There's a great quote that she had in the liner notes of her boxset that these elements were about trying to unite history and the present and the environment into a possible moment of utopia. She's trying to spin up Nirvana in the middle of every song, and it came from losing her voice on the tour for Post and having to enforce silence. So thinking about what's really precious, this album is about being right here right now and appreciating the beauty all around you and trying to find trying to find the now in the complexity of your feelings. So there's there's just such a beauty and a purity to that. It's a complex album. It's a layered album. It's a pretty technical album. But the purity of spirit is there throughout. So if you feel like the album is kind of losing you at any point, just almost reground grounding your awareness in in like a mindfulness sense and saying, am I aware of what's happening now?

Where these three or four different elements in the mix and just kind of touching in a really tactile way, just the few basic elements, is really brilliant to talk specifically as she did about wanting to create musically or or convey musically the landscape of Iceland. But it's sort of like she only means that on the surface level, musically speaking, there's a level kind of above that where just that concept plays itself out on an album that really takes you on an exploration of space. It's the songs are similar enough and they have the same flavor as she said that she wanted this album to have to where the elements are familiar. You know, you're in the same place, so to speak, but you definitely feel like you're walking to different sections, especially if you compare the beginning of the album with by the time you get to Pluto and the last song, I mean, you're in a very different place, but you can still tell that this is coming from the same artist with the same, again, kind of flavor. And then you end up back in a place that feels familiar by the end.

I think it's important to note what we're contrasting it against. Right. A lot of people, when they go for the one flavor or one vibe, they think of it in the traditional linear narrative arc. Right. I'm going to tell you a story. And this is just it's almost more like choose your own adventure. You can sequence these songs almost in any order. They worked the best, I think, in this order. But you can go just about anywhere with them. And it's more like an open world video game. Right. You can kind of do anything. Here's the things we recommend, but you can go anywhere. Hunter does a great job of dropping you into the world and articulating the thesis really tightly comes in with the flitter little beats and the low baseline and then this beautiful, elegant, slow, almost funereal string line.

And that's the pallet, that's the sonic palette and a lot of ways for the whole record and then Bjork comes in. It's very simple, it's minimal. Everything is very pronounced in the mix, which is an interesting thing for an electronic record. Everything is very tight, but it has the separation between the elements where everything is very crisp and you're meant to understand each of them as as very separate parts of the same voice.

It's really important to convey that without the production matching the concepts, neither would have worked here. But instead they work together in concert really well. And Hunter is a really good example of all of the different types of balance we were just talking about. First of all, lyrically speaking, it's very balanced in the sense that she seems to be kind of talking about her own creative process in that talks about bringing back the goods. But I don't know when and this already kind of sense of exploring an area until the journey is complete. But even beyond that, when we get to we get to the first part where she says, how Scandinavian of me is a really good example of what I mean by the music being spatial. In a lot of ways, it feels to me like if I take in that concept of a landscape, I kind of feel like I'm in one of these drone videos going over the big landscape and I'm seeing new things and I'm kind of moving across it. And then occasionally she'll lift her voice in this way and come right back down. But like that line, how Scandinavian of me is not only lyrically going to stand out, but then the actual way that she lifts her voice sort of gives you the feeling that you're being lifted through the mix in a different way. And by the time you land back on the place you were, you kind of have a different perspective on it. It's almost like you're at a different height or you're seeing it from a slightly different angle I sold. And that just seems to happen so much throughout the record, and that makes this whole thing a big journey. So, yeah, Hunter is a great example.

It became obvious at some point how intentional she was being about that vocal left. There's one or two lines and pretty much every song. There's one point of emphasis that she brings out lyrically and otherwise by doing that vocal left. And there are other places we can talk about on the record where that happens. But it's a very interesting technique by her. Like not everything swells up. It's not a traditional bridge in the sense that everything melodically changes and everything signals itself. She does it first and then pulls everything along with her. So the Scandinavian example is great and it sets a template and a lot of ways for the rest of the record. The other thing that I love about Hunter, all three elements move really fluidly her voice, the strings and the bass line. But then underneath there's another layer of each of those three elements that are used almost percussively.

There's percussive strings underneath that are very punchy and icy when she's doing the Scandinavian part. There are fragmented vocal layers underneath that feel like little icicles and then the beat does the same thing as well. It's very visual. It's very topographical. And I had to listen a bunch of times to start appreciating it on that level. But the album really started to reveal itself to me when I got to know the core template of the songs and then started to notice some of those details. They're all layers of the painting that go together really beautifully and again, hung in a different way than the traditional.

Like, here's a layer, here's a layer. Here's a layer stacked in three neat lines all the way down the length of the song.

We're going to make a big fan out of you yet. I'm there.

I'm there. She was completely inaccessible to me prior to deciding to cover this record. Not that this is my favorite record of all time by any means, but it's like a walk in a whole new corner of my brain.

I think it's amazing with prolific artists that we talk about who spanned decades. And obviously we've already talked about her first record came out in the 70s and she's still going. But the entry point for Bjork is always really fascinating to me for people who either listen to or really get immersed in it for the first time, because I my first exposure to her, I'm sure I knew of her before. But during the downloading spree of our middle school and high school years, I came across Modula because I thought, I'll take things that introduce viruses to your parents computer for 400.

Alex, is this a Metallica song? Nope, it's just an inventory of porn. Oh.

I kind of downloaded mid-July, which was, I think 04, so mid 2000s, which is a dramatically different entry point than mid to late 90s when a lot of this was coming out. And then, like you mentioned, a lot of people's touch point was pairing her almost with Radiohead. And so it's it's just really interesting to see her having been around this long, hitting so many different angles from within a musical career and having different people come in at different times, get exposed to different parts of it, because she's still an amazing artist. Her albums are still really immersive. And in fact, it's it's wild. It's almost reached this level of diminishing returns where the detail is so dense and complex that I wonder how many people are out there who can appreciate all the things that she did because she's been making art for decades at this point. But how many people are able to actually come along with her to understand all of the things she's doing? I mean, we just spent five minutes breaking down the first part of Hunter. Right. So anyway, I just want to encourage people kind of hours. We're talking about you and I have had different entry points to Bjork and there are still new entry points to be made. So she's a really immersive artist. But anywhere that you can start diving in, you can always move around in the catalog.

I think in this climate of so much new stuff coming out all the time, the best part of this podcast for me has been in order to do a decent job with this episode. I'm just going to listen to this one record this week. That's going to be the only thing that I do. And it feels psychotic at first. But then retraining my brain to see a new piece of the rock every time I chisel away is is a really beautiful thing.

It's really spectacular. And it's like, wow, this was here the whole time. And I've been ignoring it because there's 26 new Drake songs that just came out and there are twenty six more Drake songs that'll come out tomorrow.

And not that there's anything bad about Drake, but I wouldn't say I don't know that there's anything bad about Drake. Listen, man, I'm not. Let's back up and straighten up in this parking space, OK?

I realize I was like in the HlV Land, a Luddite town about Sennett's. I just didn't want to be that person because I'm I'm constantly with the new stuff. But I had to relearn the beauty of just like just sit with one thing at a time. And you're most rewarded when you spend time with an artist like this who has so much depth and so many layers.

And it is hard to tell. And I mean this honestly, it is hard to tell these days whether music is less dense because the way the music gets consumed has changed so dramatically in the last 10 years. Or are we just now the old people we used to make fun of who said only Fleetwood Mac is good and they don't make music like that anymore?

I think it's the latter. I think there's a lot of good stuff. I think there's a lot of great stuff coming out that we we can't possibly know. I think it will be 10 years before we know the value of to Pimp a Butterfly. And I'm a little bit embarrassed that I'm this far behind the curve with somebody like Jerk. But it's it's all time and place.

Every song. Her contextualizing herself in relation to another person or a feeling, there's a lot of I'm this and you're this, a lot of the lyrics are really grounded in that theme. It's a little bit like the semmes. She's on a walk and she goes up to another person and they have one type of interaction. And then the next song and she goes up to another person and group of people in a totally different thing happens an Icelandic RPG. It is a little bit, which is an interesting thing to say if you're Bjork, because she tried to create a VR experience for this album and is like generally always been on the technological cutting edge. So she thinks of her music very impressively and experientially. I know you meant that as a joke, but that would be like an actual Bjork thing that would happen if her mind weren't 20 years ahead of the technological capabilities.

And that given time, literally 20 years, she pulled people together to try to create that VR experience you talked about and essentially brought a bunch of the smartest people around who said you were 20 years ahead of us being able to do anything like this.

Yeah, no computer can handle what you're trying to do.

And it was really interesting to listen to stories being recounted like in the 33 and a third book about her pitching her ideas and hearing people describe the way that she described a project that she wanted sounded like the types of things that multibillion dollar conglomerates put together for people now.

Well, and the whole last chapter of that 33 and a third book is is dedicated to that that technological advancement. And Bjork's philosophy on technology is a vehicle to increase humanity. And she even said some things like this technology is going to be in the hands of major companies at some point anyway. So shouldn't artists be trying to take it on first instead of being afraid of it so that we can understand how to use this platform soulfully and to do the most good for humanity? It's almost like she was right.

Different situations with different people in different songs contrast pretty heavily song to song. So like Unravel is has this beautiful like I just woke up and I'm singing to a lover feeling where she's talking about the devil stealing their love, but she's not worried about it because they can just make new love. And there's just a really beautiful, sweet, but also kind of dark sentiment in there. And then you go into Bachelorette, where the first line is, I'm a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl. I think my favorite one in the whole record is in all neon like where the the refrain of that song is, don't get angry with yourself, I'll heal you. And she talks about the luminous beam feeding you. And there's there's a light filament keyboard sound in that eye. But she uses a line with a razor blade. I'll cut a slit open and the luminous beam heals you, honey.

I'll caveat it again.

You see, it's just so bizarre. Who else but Burack could sing a line like that back with a completely straight face and it's incredible and it makes so much sense in the context of the song.

Her earnestness makes me uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. But that song is also a great example. Just to drill in for a moment, one of the big themes of this record, which we should talk about some more, is her level of collaboration with the producers and the musicians who make this album. And so this is a really good example in all Nean like of how she was able to utilize music to capture feelings and sensations inside of the lyrical themes. She is talking in that song, sort of about being in a cocoon, being wrapped in something.

And if you break apart the music and you start to assign a meeting to the instruments that you hear, there's a high pitch in there that really feels like literally it is wrapping around the song The Louder and in a different frequency range than everything. And then the feet, it literally feels all neon lights. The beat has a sensation, a sound to it. That's reminiscent of hearing the buzzing of a white little.

Details like that are, first of all, great, because she wants to capture an emotional moment and give you almost a visual way to hear the song. But then secondly, we should definitely talk about how proficient she was at telling other people what she needed out of them to create this song and then to also allow a sense of collaboration to realize those ideas. One of the best quotes that I heard was from one of her producers and he said she's very expressive in her descriptions of how she sees a sound like the bass should be like a green ball with spiky things on it and it's floating. That was a huge theme when you would read the interviews and then you could see it play out in the music itself. The themes and feelings of the song had such a tangible effect on the way that the music was not only played, but the way that it was produced, that it has a realism to it that few other albums have, even when they're trying to be electronic or atmospheric or ambient. There's such a thread that goes through here of figuring out how to work with the right people to realize these ideas. I think one of the big things that helped me to understand the process of how this was produced was how she talked about that through the course of this record. She wanted to realize a bunch of specific ideas, but understood that in order to make it the most her to make a record.

That was me, Burack, that I would need to work with other people to express those ideas and that their feedback would be necessary to actually create more of the thing I have in mind. And so that level of humility and collaboration is all over this record. For instance, there was a huge touch point with Brian Eno, another person who was really specific about trying to capture a moment or feeling like we've talked about music for airports. That's not just a clever title. He literally tried to make sounds that sounded like going through the airport. And so that literalism, I think, was probably inspiring to Burack or at least has a common thread because he's doing a lot of musical literalism here. And not only was she inspired by Eno and found ways to work with him in other times, but her coproducer is picked things up from working with Brian Eno. And like one great example of it was they were using the studio's grand piano to add reverb and harmonics to tracks by placing a speaker, playing the song underneath the piano and pushing it through and then rerecording it. You can almost imagine them talking about like I need this to feel different. How do we get that? And then experimenting with these different production techniques until it felt like it was supposed to feel. I think that's why this record feels so complete song by song.

But then as a piece of work to you, that's where her background becomes important again. Right, because it was a philosophy that drove the making of this record and and choice by choice. It adds up to to one flavor, one ethos. She used a quote in an interview that it was about wild mutual inspiration and the rejection of ego, which is such an enlightened way to think about your creative vision. A lot of artists can get really protective and small and individual about it. But she said, I know what I'm hearing. I know what I'm thinking, but other people can help me get to that thing better than me. And I could describe it exactly to them in technical terms. But that's not wild mutual inspiration. That's not one plus one equals three. That's me hiring contractors. And she was always willing to experiment with those boundaries and what that felt like.

And then. Say, well, this didn't turn out as great as I thought it would. The collaboration with Rizza was a really interesting example. She's a big fan of Wu Tang Clan, which is in and of itself amazing. But she tried to collaborate with him and those recordings never saw the light of day. And she was very transparent about that. And her fan newsletter saying it was just an experiment and it didn't work out the way we thought it would. And I was fine. And I'm not going to force the issue, only sharing that part of herself with the world when it met her expectations or the grand vision in her head. And that takes such an artistic commitment that I really admire.

I think among all the triumphs that we can talk about here, one thing that did change the way I perceived this record in terms of what did that snapshot in time mean and what was included in it that I might not have known about was learning some more about the. Events that occurred while she was making this record, so one of her fans during the time she was recording this record. Basically publicly disagreed with her dating a black man and filmed himself on camera with a Bjork song playing in the background, killing himself, and he had also sent a apparently some sort of package bomb to her team because he was upset about her life choices. And it was an interesting kind of substory inside of all of this to read a little bit more about her experience with it. You know, some of the things that we didn't have time to touch on today was all the literal location that she was trying to find to live and record this record at the time and her really thinking through what what home means geographically and personally. And so in time that she was away from Iceland having this experience of really loving her fans and believing wholeheartedly, like we talked about, like earnestness to the point of comfortability, believing in the power of music to be healing and then to experience this idea that that one part of that ball of love and healing hurt.

So many people really sent her on her own kind of small journey to figure out do I really believe what I believe are the things that I think are true, still true when I'm faced with the reality of someone in something like this. And it was a really fascinating thing to see her process that and go through it and be able to come back to this project. I don't know what did or didn't change in light of that, but just the strength I'm sure it required to go back, regroup yourself and then bring yourself back to this project and complete it. And not only that, to not make this project then about that particular moment, to not change the trajectory of something she had in mind because something bad happened, I think is a great example of what sets her apart from other people and other artists.

You make a great point that that incident didn't color what this record ultimately became. If anything, it reinforced the original artistic intent with a new clarity. And she said as much in interviews. The one song that she did explicitly write about the incident she left off the record. But the song Alarm Call toward the end of the record takes on a new beat. When you think about it in the context of that incident, it was originally titled Jacko Was Inspired by Michael Jackson, which takes on a weird new beat and 2019 with Finding Neverland out. But let's just focus on the immense monolithic healing power of pop termism and pop music. And like one great song can unite the whole world that I'd like to teach the world to sing mentality. There's that refrain where she says, I want to go on a mountaintop with a radio and good batteries and play a joyous tune and free the human race from suffering. Even within that refrain, there's a low rumble of the strings just under the free of the human race from suffering part. That's almost like if you're reading the lyrics like a literal read Led Zeppelin. If there's an urgency and a ferocity, love is not a soft thing to her, like love is the straw to love people and life and yourself is the strongest thing you can do. And in contrast with that person who operated by fear and hatred, that was directly in contradiction to the message. So all the things come to a head really nicely there before the death and resolution of the last two tracks. While the whole record is beautiful, the last three songs, Alarm Call Pluto, All is Full of Love, are just a pure, concentrated bunch of what this record was trying to be.

And All Is Full of love is a great example of ending the record in that sense of balance that we've talked about. She's gone to and fro when lyrical themes, musically, talking about herself, talking about other people, establishing relationships between things, and by the end of it all is full of love for the first time is a first person lyrical theme directly back at the listener that finally talks to you, the person experiencing all this, instead of talking about her, talking about another person, talking about Isabelle, the fictional fictional character in Bachelorette. We've talked about all these different characters and now we're ending back on this kind of one to one dialog between Burack and basically anyone else who is willing to embrace the thing that she's putting out there.

And she wrote the song was originally called April. She wrote it in the south of Spain where she did most of the recording. But you're right, it does have a little bit of that. Like, well, that was an interesting story. What have we learned today? Musicologists describe the the way they handled the vocals on that song where they bounce in the stereo track and they kind of go in the round in almost a hymnal way as being a call and response and having a healing quality.

It's like an angel is singing it a little bit and it's such a beautiful way in the record.

Go to TuneDig.com to sign up for our emails and click the link in the email when you want to win, that's at.

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your mp3 files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you'd love including automated transcription, automated subtitles, collaboration tools, advanced search, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.

(function(s,o,n,i,x) { if(s[n])return;s[n]=true; var j=o.createElement('script');j.type='text/javascript',j.async=true,j.src=i,o.head.appendChild(j); var css=o.createElement("link");css.type="text/css",css.rel="stylesheet",css.href=x,o.head.appendChild(css) })(window,document, "__sonix","//sonix.ai/widget.js","//sonix.ai/widget.css");


We’ve curated an entire year’s worth of albums to spin, one for every single day.

If you’ve listened to TuneDig, you already know these 366 picks span history, genres, and cultures. Each day presents an album that’s fundamentally different than the one that came before it, and the one that comes after.

Original "Bitches Brew" Art

To celebrate the endless creativity of Bitches Brew—and especially its famous album artwork—TuneDig partnered with two incredible Atlanta-based artists to create one-of-a-kind, handpainted gatefolds.

With the spirit of the original art in mind, each artist brought their own vision to life. These pieces will spark conversation for any jazz fan.

Each piece includes a new vinyl copy of Bitches Brew. 100% of the purchase price goes directly to the artist, so take this opportunity to support the arts in the raddest possible way.

Seriously. There’s literally only one of each. Make it yours. 😎

TuneDig Episode 52: Alain Goraguer’s “La Planète Sauvage”

Gather ’round, sommeliers of the strange and crate-digging boogie children, for something “Strange! Frightening! Fascinating!” awaits. The soundtrack to Cannes 1973’s Jury Prize-winning film is a dazzling, surreal, avant-garde hymn to cosmic knowledge and compassion and a secret handshake among real heads. If you’re after a trip to a new dimension, here’s your one small step for man.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 51: Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You”

Marvin Gaye’s well of soul power ran mighty deep, and deep into his career, he pulled up a bucket of ice-cold, silky smooth champagne called “I Want You.” Come for the lush instrumentation, vocal harmonies, and Leon Ware clinic; stay for the stories. For our return from hiatus, we observe a titan in his element, reflect on the pain that built him into one, and consider how to reconcile our feelings when complicated messengers deliver beauty to our door.

Read More


TuneDig Episode 50: Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain”

Before uniting one nation under a groove, the lysergic lords of chaos in Funkadelic harnessed wild lightning into an amulet called Maggot Brain, bestowing the bearer with raw, dark power stronger than any force known to man. Between reaching our 50th episode and coping with the “maggots in the mind” of today’s universe, it felt like the right time to free our minds. We hope y’all’s asses will follow.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 49: Alice Coltrane’s “Journey in Satchidananda”

The story of Alice Coltrane — an accomplished bebop pianist from Detroit who transcended into something far greater before walking away from public life altogether — is a glimpse into what it means to be truly free. Alice’s masterpiece "Journey in Satchidananda" is a cosmic dance that sparked creation from destruction. And in a time when we’re all desperately searching for a spark of meaning and hope, Journey abides abundantly.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 48: Heart’s “Little Queen”

Take a moment to appreciate Ann and Nancy Wilson, who kicked down the doors of rock ‘n’ roll’s boys’ club with their peerless guitar work, soaring soul vocals, and tight songcraft. 1977’s Little Queen — an oft-overlooked gem in the classic rock canon — offers a snapshot of those elements at their most urgent and pure, powered by the Wilsons’ simple motivation (as described by their producer): “It was a war.”

Read More

TuneDig Episode 47: Tangerine Dream’s “Phaedra”

When you think of “electronic music,” what comes to mind may not be a genre you deeply love — hip-hop, house, new wave, or even dub reggae — but all of it owes some debt, scientifically or otherwise, to Tangerine Dream. Dig in with us as we study a prime example of the band’s brand of effortful innovation, where they patiently and persistently labored at the cutting edge of electronic technology to open a portal to new worlds in our minds.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 46: Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR”

Did you catch one of 2021’s biggest albums, or like us, did you almost overlook it? If you have any expectations of pop music, "SOUR" will likely subvert them. Teenage dream this is not; it’s an exquisitely universal portrait of a weird time to be alive.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 45: Fela Kuti’s “Expensive Shit”

The story of Fela Kuti — one of the most famous people on an *entire continent* passionately struggling to liberate power to more people — is absolutely one worth deeply knowing, regardless of whether you find yourself drawn to Afrobeat or (cringe) “world music.” But once you know it, it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with Fela and Afrika 70 as their revolutionary grooves rewire your brain in magical and meaningful ways.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 44: Meshuggah’s “ObZen”

Meshuggah’s ObZen—an artifact of human creativity pushing the limits of what’s possible—will quite literally make you hear music differently. If you’re looking for a new musical adventure, and especially if you don’t think you like “heavy” or “weird” music, consider this your sign to push past your comfort zone.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 43: mewithoutYou’s “Catch For Us the Foxes”

A misunderstood wise man once said “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds.” In our most personal and vulnerable episode yet, we do some seeking through the lens of songs that fill us with the bravery and sincerity to love ourselves and others fully. Dig deep with us as we fish for words about our tiny place in the universe and dance with gratitude for our ability to do so.

Read More


For lifelong headbangers and the musically curious alike, a new podcast from TuneDig is here to push your palette with aggressive, abrasive art. Each short, fast-paced episode offers (1) a new metal, punk, noise, or experimental release we recommend, (2) a related playlist we’ve curated, and (3) a heavy issue to consider and an organization doing something about it. Join us in the void.


TuneDig Episode 41: Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew”

Let’s be clear: "Bitches Brew" is a challenging record, even to some of the best musicians in the world — but all of them say it’s worth the investment. It’s the kind of trip that, even if we *could* draw a map, it wouldn’t take you there. Let go of the need for meaning and enjoy the ride with us. We can promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised where you end up.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 40: Fiona Apple’s “Tidal”

On the heels of one of 2020's most acclaimed albums — Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters — we revisited Apple’s debut Tidal and wound up working to extract ourselves from the mostly male gazes that made its reception … much different. We arrive at a question much like writer Jenn Pelly had: “People would constantly prod Fiona on how an 18-year-old could write songs as mature as these ... Why did they not ask instead how she became a genius?”

Read More

TuneDig Episode 39: Death Grips’s “The Money Store”

The modern world is accelerating beyond our control, shaping our reality in ways we can’t yet perceive or understand. Enter Death Grips, an art project capturing the chaotic energy and illustrating the absurdity of our hubris in trying to harmonize the surreal and extremely real — never more perfectly than on 2012’s prescient "The Money Store".

Read More

TuneDig Episode 38: Augustus Pablo’s “King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown”

Reggae music is easy to take for granted, but its impact is underappreciated and massive — in the case of dub in particular, everyone from Radiohead to Johnny Rotten to Run-DMC owes it a debt. Augustus Pablo and King Tubby together created what’s regarded as “one of the finest examples of dub ever recorded.” Join us as we dive into the culture, history, and unique engineering experiments that made it possible.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 37: Rihanna’s “ANTI”

By every measure — sales, awards, chart-toppers, global name recognition — Rihanna is objectively as big as the Beatles ever were. In fact, ANTI is so big it’s still on the charts, a record five full years later. Take a closer look with us at “the record you make when you don’t need to sell records”, and get a taste of the true freedom that comes from focusing on your inner voice when faced with insurmountable expectations.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 36: Son House’s “Father of Folk Blues”

All American music traces back to the blues, and deep at the root sits Son House. That the recordings on "Father of Folk Blues" even exist is something of a gray area that cuts to the heart of the great American myth, but wherever you land after hearing these stories, you’ll find that what matters most is what the great Muddy Waters once said of House: “That man was the king.”

Read More

TuneDig Episode 35: Melvins’s “Stoner Witch”

The futility of describing the Melvins has stretched critics in the direction of absurd words like “Dadaist” for nearly 40 years now. They’ve belligerently flogged any attempt to pinpoint their essence simply by being themselves, but "Stoner Witch" remains a reliable mall directory for the Melvins’ vast and wild discography. Grab yourself some pretzel bites.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 34: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”

We should talk about Dolly the way we talk about Prince. Her extraordinary kindness and unique kitsch both make her universally loved, but what gets left out of the conversation is the very thing that made her famous: the music. Join in as we focus attention on the sonics and songwriting of the low-key masterpiece "Jolene".

Read More







Kyle and Cliff

BONUS TRACK: How We Got Here

We got a bunch of interesting listener feedback in our off-season, and it encouraged us to shed some light on why we do things the way we do ‘em. Also, we reflect on our first writeup, which was ... interesting.

Read More


We're Cliff (right) and Kyle (left). We’re two dudes born and raised in ATL with day jobs in tech and sustainability, respectively.

We met in middle school, and in one way or another, music’s been the thing that’s kept us close for the two decades since — whether it’s sharing and talking about new music (like this podcast, except in our texts or over beers), going to shows, or working with our favorite record stores to help them survive and thrive.

We started TuneDig as a little art project that connects us more deeply ourselves and to the world through the infinite gift of music. We hope you’ll join us for the conversations, let us know what you think, and share discoveries of your own.

More About TuneDig

TuneDig began as a little something called MusicGrid.me, which we created after realizing there was no place online to directly exchange music recommendations with your friends. Our aim was simple: to make rating albums simple, useful, and social. We got some love from places like MashableWiredEvolver.fm, and Hypebot. We managed to foster conversation between music lovers, get thousands of reviews, and meet great people.

Along the way, we realized that record stores were an essential part of the music lovers’ community. After many a conversation about how we could helpfully connect them to the people who loved them, we began helping them leverage technology to create new revenue streams and embrace streaming services without giving up what’s unique to them: expertise and curation. (Long live the counter clerk who knows exactly which record will be the right introduction to jazz fusion!)

TuneDig is our vision to connect music lovers with the music they love, because no matter how much has changed in the way we discover and enjoy music, recommendations from people you trust and respect will always be the best way to find new music you’ll dig. With this podcast, we’re channeling the spirit of trusted curation pioneered by record stores, and bringing you something to take you deeper into music you can love.