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

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Episode 46

SOUR

Olivia Rodrigo

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.

Transcript

Note: our transcripts are mostly AI-generated for now. 

Cliff: You’re listening to TuneDig, a conversation between two lifelong friends about the power of music, one album at a time. I’m Cliff Seal.

Kyle: And I’m Kyle Stapleton. Each episode we talk about a single album in depth, unpacking it through conversation to understand what makes it worth appreciating and learning a little bit about life along the way.

Cliff: If you’re listening for the first time because we’re covering an artist or a record you love, we promise you’ll learn something new or gain a new perspective by the end of the episode.

Kyle: And if you’ve stuck with us for multiple episodes, you know by now that you’re bound to expand your horizons. As we share a clear entry points for artists you may never have tried to get into before.

Cliff: Today, we’re talking about sour by Olivia Rodrigo.

Kyle: so I want to, I want to issue a couple of guardrails right off the top. I’m old. That’s what’s happening? Um, there, there are two phenomenon. That are sort of the, the edges of where I want to go with this conversation. I want to avoid to, abyss if at all possible the first is for those of you who have seen 21 jump street, the parking where I’m just one strapping my way through this conversation.

And then I inadvertently punched somebody just uh, show what an out of touch I am immediately. Um, so stop, stop me. Stop this episode if it veers too far into, um, college die at the high school party, still type, really want to strenuously, avoid that the second is while preparing for this episode, I saw a tweet.

Um, and I’m just going to read it. Uh, at static blue bat says, I wish I could remember who it was that said this, but I remember seeing someone say that Patrick Bateman’s pop music monologues are less effective in 2022, because that’s how everyone talks about pop So, um, you know, short of the, maybe probably very legitimate let’s ax murderer, I’d like to avoid sounding like Anthony Fantano on this, uh, on this whole, thing.

Cliff: busiest music, no nerd.

Kyle: Uh, and and

somebody Somebody actually literally replied with a screenshot of Fantana his face, uh, and, and the tweet is meant to be read in his voice. I think there are undisputed masterpieces hip to be square.

a song. So catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. Like you can hear, uh, Anthony Fantano Bateman. So anyway, we, I just want to, I want to create the negative space right now, the things that I don’t want to do, uh, having said that it is a bit of a point of pride we’ve been texting about, we chose to do the cover of this album, like kind of a long while before any of this stuff started happening around it.

Um, not that any of these things needed to happen to legitimize. What is interesting and good and unique about this record, but in the time, since we selected and have been preparing to talk it had a full documentary released about it. That is great. And we will talk about parts of it what makes it And at one, three Grammys, again, does not need the institutional legitimization from the old guard,

maybe it could be the one thing that tips one person in the direction of listening to it. If it’s Right. Um,

Cliff: all rectangles are squares, but some Grammys can point you in the right

direction

Kyle: That’s right. If it’s the one that Mariska Hargitay did a shot out of that was which is currently

Cliff: But NOT if it’s skipping Power Trip in 2021, which is the unforgivable sin.

Kyle: If it has a guitar in it, we should give the Grammy to the foo R.I.P. Taylor. So, let’s talk about Olivia Rodrigo, who blew up with a song called driver’s license and was literally born in the year 2003.

When we got our driver’s licenses, she was born after nine 11, which is a little bit of a trip. I always said, that’s the point at which I would retire once I had colleagues that were that age. Um, and we have this curious case. of like, So immediately you watch a documentary, you start poking in on Olivia and her career and like her ascendancy it’s not long before you run into a quote, like she grew up listening to her parents’ favorite alternative rock music, such as the bands No Doubt, Pearl Jam, the White Stripes, and Green Day. And you just have to take a deep breath and you’re like, this music was not made for me, but that’s okay.

Cliff: If you find yourself offended by that sentence, grouping of artists,

you may not like,

Kyle: I guess it is a little weird

Cliff: white strides to what

Kyle: also Pearl jam a full decade before. Um, so that’s one interesting thing to know the other thing oh, this makes a lot of sense is, uh, she has the same birthday as my wife and Rihanna and Kurt Cobain who are all intense Pisces. So for those of you who are astrologically inclined one or more everything about this record will make a lot of sense while you’re because it is big and bright feelings. And if you’re in that part of your life, where biologically your big and bright been tamped down by the the passing of time and the brutality of labor under capitalism,

then

it may be the flavor may be a little too you. the frequency cuts through One of the things I thought was really interesting you to jump in just like, let’s talk about pop I think it’s easy to jump into sort of the we’ll spend let’s zoom out for a second. Now that I’ve done, my old man Kane shaking zoom at you. You provided very valuable

Cliff: Well, you spent a moment trying to verbalize your old man thing, but my old man thing follows me in the front of my brain in all of my experiences. So I, I was already out in front of any record like this before I ever knew that, uh, I could hear and enjoy this record. I thought that it was a record that I would never listen teenager who grew up channel, original movie verse, who was not in brink. that’s, that’s got nothing to do with me, man. If it’s not Johnny tsunami, we’re in the wrong Disney channel decade.

All right

Kyle: Maybe, maybe my date with the president’s maybe that’s as far as I’ll

Cliff: wish upon but like, especially without, I mean, I I’m child-free individual, I got no exposure for the most part to someone who would have fit into my mold of who digs this record.

Um, and then this record became a meta way for me and you to start talking about how to not miss great pop, because the only way that this came into my stratosphere at all, was that someone started to play it before I knew what was happening. And I heard the first guitar line come in on brutal and I thought straight up someone has either found a way to get Queens of the stone age to do a pop record. Or someone is aping them so directly that I really need, like I need to understand is a Greta van fleet thing happening now for Kyuss in pop.

Like I got to under, I got to chase this whole rabbit down. Like, what song is this? Right. And then that, I, I think you and I have joked about a lot that this whole record, uh, as an active listening experience can be a whole “and then, and then, and then” cause everything that they choose to do, production-wise. Works. It is a masterful pop record in a different way than pop traditionally has great pop records. Like this is twisty and turny without ever leaving the overall genre, uh, that Olivia Rodrigo needs to stay inside of.

Um, and yet it’s this giant post-internet blob of things that we can recognize because it’s all from times where we paid a lot of attention Like now all of a sudden, as I made my way through this record the first time, and then now, you know, having a lot more than I ever

expected

Kyle: enough times that while I was playing it, as we were setting the equipment up, you were singing the

words to it.

I like, no kidding. Other than maybe me without you. I can’t think of a single other episode where that’s where you just like whistle while you worked to it. Uh, and this would have been the farthest thing that I would have desks like, oh, cliff. is All in on this record, boy, cliff is listening to this record outside of the context of this podcast.

It’s, it’s, BS, he’s broken out of the gravity of the tune dig cinematic universe, and he just likes it as a person.

Cliff: It’s true. This, this and Dolly, uh, put, put some real tunes inside of my head. So did Otis Redding, but that kind of leads to a different vibe

when you go around just singing.

Uh, yeah, but this became a real exploration in like, actually, I don’t think we’ve talked about this before, but to me, this is a better form of when we used to talk about how we ought to cover a Justin Timberlake because the idea

So

Kyle: glad we never did

Cliff: that

Kyle: Oh yeah, it’s nice to be right

Cliff: about Um, but

the, the reason we used to talk about that it would be helpful to bring out a Justin Timberlake record is because you’ve got a match up of a very, very good vocalist. Someone who really knows what they’re doing and true, great production, deep, detailed, layered word, painting type stuff that still fits within the boundaries of a particular vibe and genre.

And this record doesn’t even better. Of both of those things, um, then, then we would have ended up covering anyway. Um, and and now we don’t have to talk about

Crimea know, saves me

how long do you have, to Um, you know, the Queens of the stone age thing was my end texted and said, Hey, I found a pop song that’s like an Era Vulgaris song. And then it was the, downstream of the guitars. really dry drums. And the, the vocals on that record are a lot like “I’m Designer”, it’s very, like, snitty punk. The first thing that I thought of actually, when I listened to the song and the lyrics no fun by the Stooges,

it was just like,

there’s a lot of Iggy

Kyle: dead, simple, very Iggy pop.

And the rest of the record is not like that. And I’m but that was a great Trojan And now having seen the documentary and knowing that that song came in the process like, we need something Uh, tempo. we need to like, get the lead out a little And it was a quick, like he wrote the strum riff on an acoustic guitar sitting in just kind of rip it’s like more or less takes where she just kind of ripped it And and then also in the documentary, And that one is inside the hall of an airplane in the Mojave with an all girl reminded me of the Bourdain episode where he goes and hangs out with Josh Homme and they’re like tapping into the mysticism of the desert. So she’s, she immediately, I’m like, she’s tuned in to a frequency way beyond what I expected for this record. So I’m, I’m all in So I hope that whether it’s this song or another song on the. record, It’s a very shuffle-able record. I, I think the important thing to know about it is if you’re on a mood for a song and it’s too low or too high, you’re going to get to another place immediately.

It’s the Frank ocean effect that we talked about you’re going to hit the remote and go to a different sometimes it’s best if it’s not what you expected the next time. Um, and that’s one of many things that I think cool happening popular non none, of that matters.

Like what defines a great record a lot different narrative arc or Sonic

Cliff: And it was surprising to be able to pick out then speaking of it being such a, w how have we ended up here musically over all these years of technology moment, because I can, you can go in and it’s almost like you can sift it into like, well, that’s Taylor swift, that’s Haley Williams.

Um, that’s Regina Spektor. That’s Alannis Morissette like, and you can really start to pick out what it means to have grown up in an era where exposure to music was just, well, what would you like to listen to today? Like we, we like to try to draw that out a lot in these episodes anyway, about.

Culture or moments have changed the way that music evolved and all that. But I mean, this is a real accumulation of an entire-ass person, a real human being going all the way through the process of being born. After not wondering if Y two K would be a thing

like

it all like entirely after that, All the way past, like not having to struggle to go discover music on your own and download it.

Not even having that moment of exploration

where it’s like,

well, you can find anything you want, but you have to remember what it is that you’re looking for. Cause no Mehta catalog of everything exists. This is just what happens when people are born for their entire lives, having access to anything that they want to use as And then therefore, you know, I think something that’s been brought up a couple of times was the influence of Olivia Rodrigo’s parents on her and their musical influence. And like, just, just think about that kind of swirling ball of being now. You’re I mean, Kyle, you’re having this experience or you will soon, like you’re an adult now with access to all of the history of music after having been a person who didn’t have access to the entire history of music, you’re about to have to figure out how to talk to your kid about.

Like gestures broadly,

but,

and that’s, that’s a lot for somebody who cares about music and who cares about the story of it

Kyle: never been more stoked about a responsibility

Cliff: home

Kyle: the thing about that, uh, that access I use an X all of that access, all of those reference Cyclops glasses, Olivia Rodrigo, the person.

Part of this young person. And at that feelings go supersonic. Like I’m not minimizing or trivializing I

Cliff: see.

That’s really how it

Kyle: I see so much of when I 17, this, And I haven’t really thought about it in a pointed way, in a really long. time. Um, this just person.

I Zenga blog like, oh God. And she just does so much better a job wielding that. And I think part of it is because she has that vehicle of like, uh, she Cyclops without glasses. Like every lasering everything with very intense feelings, but these give the, these point, the lasers in a direction and they give her a you, you made the Fiona apple comparison just the, poignancy And it really comes out in the get really struck by a couple of One is how the hell do you have a grasp what you’re when, when your feelings are moving at 120 miles an hour at all to the way she talks and that This. So I wrote this song at a time in my life when I was feeling X and like the whole cycle of writing the record is 12 or 18 months or whatever. And you’re just homie, what the shit like that just happened. Um, and I don’t think that’s an Olivia thing. I don’t think that’s a teenager thing. My assessment is that more than anything?

That’s just how time is sped up. We talked in the Erica Badu episode about how

talked about her kids and how they’re vibrating at a faster frequency now I’ve thought about, I’ve thought about that. A lot. Like a lot of the seasons seems like it’s turning expressing

Cliff: My dream come true.

Kyle: you’ve been doing, you’ve been doing therapy. That’s what, This is like the final boss.

Cliff: Yeah. I know. I’m getting

Kyle: do it. all. You gotta do it in public. Now it’s the it’s the seventh step or whatever. It’s the, you’re making amends or some in some barbaric way.

Cliff: it’s like having to go into therapy and then coming out of it, like it’s a courtroom and people are interviewing you and you’re like, what’d you learn in there?

What do you have to say?

Kyle: You fall asleep after the exhaustion of therapy And then you have the dream where you didn’t study for the test, but it’s you talking publicly

Cliff: field right Just taking a deep breath and going, well, what I understand about myself

now,

Kyle: you, uh, you walk out of therapy in the dream and the next room the set tonight show with Jimmy Fallon.

And you got to get, on the couch and it’s like,

Cliff: I did just get a vision of like sway getting me in the back room, just like, Hey man, what happened in north up?

Kyle: Well, you freestyle,

that’s far enough Um, but she says in the documentary, my style of songwriting gets a little overwhelming. like, I, I was going a million miles an hour writing stuff down which by the way,

almost all female crew on, on this documentary directed by Stacy Lee, DP by Zoe Simone, Yi edited by Nia Amani.

Um, I wrote the shot of the Mexican restaurant and the documentary is some a 24 shit. Like it’s beautiful. It’s filmic. The score is amazing. And you’re like, okay, well this is, she was a Disney channel person. Like none of this should be this artful and

Cliff: right. The most recent thing that she’s been doing is high school musical, the musical,

the series.

Kyle: But okay. W w like the, the thing that I’m used to, and, and maybe the acceleration of culture. Has moved people beyond this. the, obvious virtue signaling into I’m a serious artist or I’m an adult artist now, or whatever. She skipped past all of that into, I’m just going to do exactly whatever I want.

And that’s what real maturity is. Like. I don’t have to tell you that I’m mature. I’m just going to do it.

Cliff: You mean she did what Miley Cyrus said that she was doing at the time. Yeah.

Kyle: and She didn’t even have to wear a bolster Z and do weird cultural appropriation. We

Cliff: give her a time, Kyle. Okay. Let’s everyone has time to make their own mistakes in

Kyle: Olivia Rodrigo, and Mike don’t see, that would Um, there’s there’s also a thread that she pulls out about. Uh, thinking about the spectrum of feelings, she, pulls it. Some really age old things that I think are interesting. Like she she’s talking to that, Jacob call your guy the perfect pitch, mega talent, hood of her Jeep very not planned interview situation. Um, and they’re talking about driver’s license, which like probably worth stopping down for a second. If, if this didn’t, if if, if it didn’t whistle in your ear, like if culture didn’t whistle in your ear at the frequency of driver’s that, it happened.

Um, it was massive as shit, just like all of a sudden out of nowhere. Uh, so in the documentary, they are talking about, um, where the inspiration she’s like storytelling and inspiration. Doesn’t have to come from a place of devastation and she expressed a worry, like I’m not going to be devastated for all of my life.

So what do I do so she’s 17, 18 tapped into the Teddy Perkins. Great things come from great. pain Argument already, you know, like, already thinking about the blues go away? And there’s a really cool it’s just. recording driver’s but playing it there’s very uh, album self-titled record right over her shoulder, just for the wink of

Cliff: No, I just happened to wear this bad brain shirt

every day.

I didn’t put it on for this interview.

Kyle: Um, yeah, it’s got to catch Um, but then,

you have the sensation of the Bo Burnham, movie that he did, the eighth grade movie where it’s like, oh my God, the whole acceleration there? And then it cuts to a montage of Like, you know, this is how music happens. You write it in your bedroom and then you play it on stages, but like it’s a very intimate, specific song. And then it cuts. So she’s playing it on late night shows and award shows, and festivals and massive stages, and she stopped singing and thousands of girls are singing it back to her and it’s instant phenomenology.

Um, just cause it like, it comes from uh, that being my life. You write some play it for live at Austin that’s another thing that she’s just kind of handled This was

Cliff: almost literally.

I’m going to upload this sound to tech talk and just see what happens. And then turns out it’s the most thing to have ever happened happenstance on Tik TOK ever. Like, that’s why this is all to me, such an interesting little moment in time in music, because it’s like driver’s license was the thing that compelled the album to exist at all.

Driver’s license blows up on Tik TOK, which is like,

I

feel like this is a real moment where like anyone listening to this podcast gets extremely segmented into their because either you immediately know what I mean by it blew up on Tik TOK, or you think, you know what that means, and you actually have no idea how like, sounds spread on that, on that social network, how it plays into people, creating videos based on it.

And like all that stuff.

Me and you are not a tech talk experts, but enough to understand the mechanisms of it,

but like, it’s just such a wild phenomenon that now. Ever existed before this moment. And it is the primary way that one song that was about, um, getting a driver’s license, which like, to me, that that’s where everything keeps getting more interesting.

Every time you turn it around, like the thing that caught my attention about that was But this generation like doesn’t have the same connection to cars that we do at all, like me and you

Kyle: and it’s not a ride at 16 thing. They’re doing it

Cliff: Yeah. If ever

Kyle: So it, it taps into uh, a timelessness. thing.

Cliff: Which is the, if there’s like one big takeaway from the song writing, I would say it’s that, that phenomenon plays.

Across this And I don’t know if it’s, I’m going to assume it’s got something to do with the producer. And co-writer of sour was Daniel Negro from, uh, as tall as lions. And who’s done work with like Carly Rae Jepsen To me, the thing that’s really different about this record that makes it not cringe, which dates me anyway, just by saying cringe, I guess.

But like the thing that makes it not unbearable from a lyrical perspective, which is exactly where most things are unbearable for me. Okay. Is

Kyle: as covered

Cliff: Oh yeah.

Kyle: You just want to continue documenting the, every band would be instrumental if it were up to

Cliff: yeah I’m just slowly revealing.

The vocals are the worst Driver’s

license encapsulates what a lot of those other songs do, which is somehow it’s a song about that moment and the irrationality of all of your feelings and how stupid everything and how final everything feels. And yet also, Seems to speak about it in a way that is able to express just enough of the perspective that you get five, 10, and 15 years down the where, where you,

you are able to at once notice that something is wrong and it’s been broken and I hurt and all of that stuff, but then she would keep coming back to things like, I know we weren’t perfect, but just that little bit of sensation that we, I think are all able to have once we’re 25, 30 and longer, where we look back on the moments where we were young and we remember feeling the way that we felt, and we can like, feel a sense of empathy for that moment where it’s like, I felt like everything was broken forever. And I knew in that moment as well, that my feeling about that wasn’t really in line with reality. It wouldn’t always feel this way, but I didn’t know how to feel like things wouldn’t always feel this way because things have always Yeah. And you’d never had, you never had enough lived experience to get distanced from anything.

So you didn’t even know how to figure out what it might feel like to get perspective on that

Kyle: she does.

She does a great job of throwing the like, not the, the big

Cliff: chorus. That’s a great way of putting it

Kyle: big bridge of dah. but I still fucking love you, babe.

Cliff: It’s

Kyle: oh, that when it gets to that, there are so many like chess pat moments in this.

That’s another way that I feel like it’s a big punk record Cause there’s so much stuff. That’s just like, I’m going to cry. I’m going to cry in this pit. I’m holding a tallboy beer. Don’t make me cry in this pit. Olivia. uh, Yeah, just I don’t, I don’t, there, there are so many moments on the road.

I like I’ve had to turn this record off a it’s just like, Ooh, right in the bright spot.

Cliff: Well,

that, that’s definitely one little tweak of the whole thing is like, yeah, it’s going to get talked about as a teenage angst to break up record. But, but you, shouldn’t position it that way. Like emotionally, it’s kind of more of a get you stoked and pump you up record, even though it has all these little acoustic moments and like interludes and sad songwriting. And like, it’s just the overall feeling of it. Especially listened to as like a body of work instead of just the singles necessarily. But yeah, you kind of get amped instead, and it’s not the feeling that you would necessarily expect. But to me that’s where like,

The interplay of being surprised by the perspective in the songwriting.

And then at the same time, being surprised by the detail in the production that you just ping pong back and forth between those two things for this whole record,

Yeah

Kyle: just Owen Wilson. Just, Wow.

Cliff: That, that’s what made me want to start listening to it at all. And then what made it worth talking because you can position it as a way to get you to open yourself back up to music you don’t usually pay attention to, but the reason we don’t usually pay attention to pop is cause it’s usually not very rewarding at all, to listen to pop music because it’s simplistic.

You understand where it’s going? Nothing is a surprise. Whereas here.

I mean, just hitting a couple of moments, the very beginning of this song, the like car beep that they turn into part of the beat, uh, is

Kyle: another very Queens of the stone rage like the beginning of yes,

Cliff: or the beginning of that Lincoln park record before

we knew that they were,

they were crazy in a cinder block with a hammer.

Kyle: I forgot about

Cliff: Yeah But like, so the car beep intro turns into something production-wise uh, and then, you know, you, you mentioned the part where, you know, they’ve, they swell up into the last still fucking love you. they stop at like two minutes and 30 seconds into a huge single and the song just stops in switches into another style entirely like that whole chorus bit.

There was no smooth transition to it before there, there was just a, at some point, some group of people in the studio went, that’s exactly what needs to happen right there.

And

just turn the entire song. And to me like that, like the willingness to stop and shift in a totally different direction is a big strength of this record.

And what made me feel like driver’s license is connected stylistically to brutal because the same way that at the end of brutal, they all of a sudden start slowing it down for no reason. It was like

Kyle: your favorite move in hardcore.

Cliff: That’s like,

but the reason it’s my favorite move in hardcore is because it’s the, it’s the thing to do when you realize that we’ve been playing this riff for like, well, how can we shift it immediately and make it weird?

And I’m like, well, okay. In that moment in driver’s license, like switching to a chant with reverb after. Basically a sad ass, little thing has been going on for a couple of like sort of is the meta thing that makes this a rewarding listen overall as a record. And then even after like it breaks back into like she, when she sings, like I know we weren’t perfect and climbs the scale with just the piano.

Like it’s really chromatic and winds back up and this it’s just a wild selection of production to begin with on any song, much less one that was created before there would be an album to wrap around this single to begin

Kyle: which is such a fun thing

Cliff: to

Kyle: point out podcast about albums. this has been a real celebration of a body of work an hour or so expression, Uh, interesting. Sort of generationally that that’s like put out the single get on a playlist, you can also so, so she’s not alone example in that, like there are but also that determined. She was like, I know this which is a little anachronistic, right? So there’s the, she does such a great job balancing right now, this can be me and only larger, Um, the second single after that was deja VU. expressed anxiety putting out a song after such a And the interesting thing about deja VU it is about the special, like such an interesting and crushing thing about growing up.

Um, she said that she wanted to write a vivid and specific. This was Jesus, you really She said specificity and authenticity are my two favorite things. A learned that from of all the other touch points that we’ve talked about.

Like I thought about the Dolly there is a, another song on the record called enough for

Cliff: yeah. Oh yes. Yes.

Kyle: So there’s a lot of Dolly on there and and I think the thing, a lot of the things that are charming appealing about Dolly Parton Are sort of appealing about Olivia Rodrigo too, the bringing an ASL to accompany I don’t want to make too big a deal about that, but it’s cool because other people don’t do it. Um, that attempt to be inclusive without being really performative about it.

is a very Dolly

Cliff: Um,

Kyle: so like, I don’t, I didn’t want to hang that Olivia’s coat rack. Like I hope she’s the next Dolly Parton, but there are a lot of that I have come to that have made me

Cliff: Well, what we can and should say is, Livia Rodriguez seems like she is in the lineage of the progeny of Dali. Uh, and so are we though, like doll, Dolly is, has spread out into more. People need to be like figure out how to not be a piece of shit and not tell everybody that you’re not being a piece of shit at the same time.

Kyle: Oh no, but what, what will happen? How will anyone know otherwise?

Cliff: that’s the problem. Yeah. How will I get Instagram followers without telling people I’m not a piece

Kyle: How will I get good place points If, if people don’t vote me for good place

Cliff: Nope No one likes Dolly’s answer, which is then don’t go in the rock and roll hall

of you know, then don’t put my bust in the Tennessee capital, you know, like no one likes that answer cause like, blah, but I still want the thing and I want to be neurotic about

Kyle: Are you darling, are you willing to accept the possibility of ego death in your life? Well, then Don’t know what to

Cliff: I think you brought up, uh, enough for you in there, which had some of that feel, uh, that that was another really positive pop connection for me because there’s, you know, we talked about there’s, there’s plenty of a Taylor swift, Regina Spektor type, uh, departures. There’s a lot of Haley Williams and just pair more in general, like pair more across the ages.

There’s a lot of pair more Um, but enough for you specifically brought out to me the inside ones out era of John Mayer, where he was doing songs like my stupid mouth in neon.

There is this, if you’ll go with me here, and this is part of this, like the way that the songwriting happens on this record, like why it’s so interesting. So on inside wants out, uh, which was John Mayer stuff before know, no such thing blew up and my, your body is a Wonderland. So before he ever played your body isn’t Wonderland or tried to make fun of it, he Abadi,

uh, before he ever did that, like, there’s this record of extremely introspective acoustic songs that basically he used to play it at he’s attic, just up the street in Decatur,

but

the way he used to write

Kyle: sorry to the person who has never been to Atlanta, Georgia, and he’s attic is your local singer venue a town

Cliff: like you’re not supposed to.

That kind of shit. Um, but the perfect place

Kyle: it’s our Bluebird cafe.

Cliff: yeah,

yeah. The place where the really introspective type of songwriters go to not feel so awkwardly introspective,

and it

Kyle: your audience is normally It’s a, it’s the improv venue filled improv.

is typically

Cliff: Like lots of that kind of Ben Howard type a I’m really wordy and using acoustics as more of like a backdrop to the

Kyle: capital S serious.

Cliff: But.

Kyle: I’m a real

Cliff: Sometimes they are. And sometimes it sounds good. John Mayer was one of those who was actually a good enough, like musician

to be able to do

Kyle: We just had to endure a 20 year or a John Mayer ego before he ego died sort of a Jim Carrey thing.

in

music

Cliff: emotional Benjamin button.

Yeah. He’s getting Uh, but so, but like on inside once out my stupid mouth and neon, especially are these approaches to songwriting that seem like they’re telling you a story from a first person perspective, but have a moment where they begin to negotiate with the person telling the story as it. As if you’ve been reading a book, thinking you’re hearing it in first person and it turns out you’re hearing it in third person representing what the first person was thinking. But now you’re the third person and you don’t know who you in.

Yeah.

Well, and so like with John Mayer, like an example of that would be like on my stupid mouth, he says, you know, I’m never speaking up again.

Uh, then says like, starting now. And then like the whole song fades. And he says one more thing. And the key comes back in and starts the next verse. And it’s this kind of, I am aware of the moment that I’m speaking about right now. And I feel like I can commune with the person I was when I was experiencing the story.

And so the song is actually about current day, me and that me kind of having a dialogue about whatever was happening here. And however we can like explain it to ourselves and feel it out, uh, and like, so on enough for you. Like a couple, couple of minutes in, I think she says like, someday I’ll be everything to somebody else.

And they’ll think I’m so exciting. And like, those are the moments where you can’t feel that when it’s happening, if you feel anything close to that, when you’re feeling broken hearted, it’s that that’s pure right? That’s like, oh, you’re gonna, you’re going to regret losing me, buddy. Yeah. Whereas like the way it actually gets approached in these songs, she runs right up to the line of, of the kind of like, you know, what like right up to it.

And then backs off only in the way that you can. Once you’re a full fledged adult, once you’ve realized that you cannot spend your emotional energy on everything all of the time, but it’s like a move that you don’t know as an And so to me that that theme keeps playing out a lot on this record in a way that keeps it from being.

I mean silly that keeps it from feeling like I don’t want to relive this part of my life so much. I’m not really interested in what this is talking about

Kyle: Yeah. You, you almost look back with a nostalgia feelings, which is insane because when you’re in the middle of them, it feels like your house

Cliff: right now

Kyle: so that’s that I think And You’re right. That the, nuance of getting right up to the line of full 100% uncut feelings and backing it off just a little like I’m going to get it as raw as I can back it out just a little. And you can see some of that in some of a songwriting but like enough for you.

She said of that song. It’s about having the care and kindness to have the courage, Did you say any shit like that? Did you have a thought like that enter your head when you were before? Yeah, not even, not even a little Um, so for that reason, and for the reason that she was playing a disco ball Rhodes in the middle of the woods in doc Martins, um, while performing that song, just like that’s, that’s everything about this is super rad.

I don’t wanna, I don’t want to put too much weight on her. It’s not my place to do anything like this. Um, but thinking about all the things that like Fiona apple and being visible and bearing the weight of Capitol w women trying to exist do things straight white dudes can just kind in that, you know, there’s a thousand David Lee Roth that we don’t question at all, but let talk about Dave.

Cool. Yay. And The whole thing shuts down.

I, I felt so glad, uh, as the, as the dad of a daughter that I, I want to in all her multitudes and flaws and the world and into a group to just like, have all the privileges that we had growing up, basically. Um, I felt really glad girls and young people broadly around the world can see just, it made me feel like young in spite of all the bullshit that uh, the crushing weight coming down on all like all that and, and like you feel it in such sharp relief

Cliff: So

kind of relative to what you were saying about being able to kind of experience all this feelings and have these songs that are about all of those feelings in that moment. And hopefully just being able to express something and not have it interrogated all the time. interestingly enough, like we’re talking about the seeming maturity that comes from however, the songs were written, but, you know, giving a sense of perspective that doesn’t someone around the But I also think it was helpful to contrast this. Um, again, as a, as a record, that seemed, uh, sensibly to be a breakup record. And people really love talking about how much of a breakup record but like, uh, I’m going to quite literally date myself in this moment. But if I were to pick a breakup record that would have occurred at a time when we were 18, that would have been.

Literally

dashboard confessional. Okay. And so thinking

Kyle: I don’t, I don’t claim that I rebuke that I hear you, but but also

Cliff: I’m just saying, if you had to pick a breakup record in the like 2004 ish timeframe, your someone’s going to make an argument for Chris Carrabba. It,

Kyle: if you were a terrible boyfriend, you probably would have

Cliff: but

that brings kind of what you were talking about into sharp relief because those songs were.

You know, lyrics from dashboard or like this is the best day I can ever remember. Right. They’re extremely written from the perspective of the exact moment that they were experienced There’s no desire to gain perspective. There’s no real desire to even comment like the whole kind of movement and eventual cartooning of emo was like, I refuse to be anywhere except this exact raw edge of an emotional moment and refuse

to

the end.

Like, and I refuse to interrogate with it. This is a reasonable thing to feel or think at all, you know, um, or like, you know, in screaming, infidelities where it’s just like, your hair is everywhere. Like they’re all extremely present moment feelings and realizations about being hurt. And so many places on this record, you know, we’ve mentioned On

driver’s license brutal. Uh, but even trader is a pretty good like, This is almost like a mature emo kind of thing, because she builds you all the way up, sort of energetically with this sort of like, um, woe is me almost stuff, but then the way that she performs after she builds the song up, it’s, it’s reminiscent like vindicated by dashboard where like, man, I’m, I’m really talking about dashboard a lot more than I actually like them, but it’s such a good example here because like dashboard did the vindicated song.

Yeah. But,

but they, they got to where emo was like, it would build up into an Anthem. Right. And it could start to take you away a little bit from the just absolute whininess of the story and the moment and all that. But like trader does a good job of it, but never. Devolves back into the, like, this is purely about my feelings in the moment.

There’s always any time the songs build towards statements, even across the arc of the record itself, they build towards sincere statements they build towards. Yeah. it’s

almost like in the song the emotions are set up and then the conclusion is. Like taken to a few other people and shop around for feedback this is, this is this, is this going to be something I want to have said in seven years about myself?

And if not, can we go ahead and like, add that in now, can you just give me the benefit

of the next 10 years,

give it here so I can look back on this in five years and feel super mature about it. And it’s just got that feeling about it all the way through, um, in a way that again, keeps building back around the production that supports it.

When you get to like one step forward and three steps back, like there’s, there are birds in the background of the song, which bring you like spatially outside from driver’s license, which had you spatially inside of a car, because you could hear all the noise, you know, you could hear the beats and all of that stuff. Um, but then on, on one step forward and three steps back, like they bring you into a different space.

They she’s talking about like power dynamics in this, like, hate that I give you power over that kind of stuff. Like thinking about how you give yourself power over things. Again is not an 18 year old thing.

There’s just power. And you either feel like you have it in the moment or you don’t, but then even things like, uh, around, I think I made a note around a minute and 12 seconds into that song where she says understand, and she’s kind of, she’s talked through this whole thing and comes down to trying to communicate the sheet, understands something, and there’s a single blast, a reverb on that like as if it has a finality in a space to an, in a conclusion.

Um, and then like, you know, 30 seconds later, they’re picking up into this kind of bridge and her vocal performance picks up a sense of agitation. Again, like that whole momentum of one step forward and three steps back of feeling I’m more mature than I feel like I am age wise, but also I don’t want to miss the things I should be experiencing age wise at this moment, just because I’m thinking about being older, like that constant push and pull.

Um,

Kyle: where’s my fucking teenage.

Cliff: exactly, and like, even in that, is she talking about the Katy Perry album? You know, like just, oh, just being able to turn those little moments over and over again, like this is a really creative thing for, for adults to be able to play with who appreciate like musicality and in especially very good word painting type production stuff.

That’s designed to support an overall like theme in a record. And the thing that keeps it from feeling again, just like to where it becomes a cringy Anthem is because none of these songs devolve.

Pink It’s just because you can say, and

Kyle: I’m going to try

cause that’s the It’s always, If she does something like that, it’s like the electric guitar crunch at the end of it thing, like you talked in the conversation, sort of the mashing part and part and part, which on paper it sounds like it wouldn’t work, but nothing ever overstays its welcome which is another very punky thing where like everything’s just a little bit of a wink.

Um, it’s, it’s very hard to do. I think one of the things that really stood out to me in terms of vocal performance, as well as the control Like there’s not too much of anything, which is another pop Pop is a very, it tends to be a very maximalist thing like feeling like Patrick Bateman My attempt. Um, um, but she keeps everything from. And she keeps everything from going to the full up and stay there place or down in say their place. And when I think about something like a dashboard, I hate that because it’s like, I’m,

all the way up here or I’m all the way you’re doing, you know, it’s like, there’s no nuance. at all. Like just, Hey buddy, take a breath. Right. It’s like You said about the processing. Um, she does that, not only in multiple sort of swings throughout the album, but like within the song, there’s very, feels very real emotionally because has sort of honed and crystallized like very specific like it’s this color Pantone, teal feeling.

And then it goes just a little further into this little different and it doesn’t go all the way. Electric lime green and two, then all the way down to deep void black, uh, She just like, there’s a, there’s a dynamic is, is masterfully So when you’re listening to the, the music aspect of this.

And you’re hearing the space between the pieces in each song that allows you to really feel everything crystal clear, which again, felt like Jolene there’s not one iota more thing in a perspective than there needs to be at any moment ever everything cuts, but then her vocal she, she already has sort of a natural control slipping in and out of sort of a Serpentini sing song thing into a little bit of a talk thingy.

Yeah Yeah

Cliff: good

Kyle: Yeah.

It’s huge. Like she can go to hugely different emotional places inside of a stanza and not in a way that’s jarring ever. that,

Cliff: Not in a like Celine Dion way.

Kyle: We’re up here now. Yeah. It’s like Right. you, got you that you got to listen kind of hard for it.

it’s a thing that like kind of hooks you in on a subconscious level. And then when you go to actively listen to the way she’s performing and delivering the lyrics, everything is calibrated for maximum impact relative to the So those two things stay in total alignment which is like, that’s, that’s kind of more of a theater thing to your point, right?

It’s very hard to do without it being theatrical, but I’d argue she does it pretty much pitch

Cliff: I think the quickest, funny example of that to me was, uh,

before I was convinced that I could just like this record. Uh, and, and while I was trying to convince myself that I had misunderstood something and I definitely wouldn’t, um, when I got to good for you and it sort of drops into this, like, oh no, oh no, she’s about to do a rap.

Oh no. Oh no.

And I got to say like, again, as a, uh, as a person who spent a lot of time in my life, really intentionally listening to music and getting pretty good at reading patterns and understanding

where things are going,

that I got about two beats into that measure. And I went, well, this is where we’re going to drop off.

This is where we’re going to lose it.

And even that is such a killer example because when you talk about nothing, overstays its welcome. This thing didn’t even get like eight entire measures. Like she does a thing stylistically and is at the same time immediately morphing it into the next part of it, which is not going to feel like that at all.

And like the, the ability to transition vocal styles and then separately from that transition musical styles at different times is the thing that makes these feel like they’re flowing in and out so often. And that it’s constantly changing. But again, I think what we’re just drawing out the two really good things are working together here and that’s like extremely good and intricate production and very good vocal performance with a lot of intentionality to the point to where, you know, a song that I thought was going to be a very bad rap situation.

It turns out to be described later as “Lorde covering a Dookie b-side.” Like, okay. Okay. Like we got there from where we were at the beginning of this song, like it’s just a real journey. Um, and I, I think it’s, it’s worth encouraging people. Even if, uh, I would Arly blame anybody that was still skeptical, even after listening to us for this long about why you don’t have to be skeptical about this record,

but

even if you just do one good active listen through and hate the songs, then fine.

But like, listen for the details. Like w we’re not kidding, like the

E

people really cared about these songs. Um, and you can really feel it in the way that the, all the little moments of reverb, little strings, a little, uh, like the birds or the nature of the sounds, or the slightly different tone that comes in, or the beat that drops in like lots of different pieces of intricate care about getting these songs communicated as best they could.

Like they pay off, they pay off in a way. That’s, that’s really interesting to listen to you. Um, even if you don’t end up like backdooring yourself there’s

Kyle: moment said she had a moment of clarity after oh, the songs I make from here are going to be lot originally would be like, this was for it comes that awareness the last

Cliff: you mean the one that on paper?

Uh pretty cringy silly song. Yeah. And ends up actually being pretty great.

Kyle: so the, for the performance the I mean, I think it’s worth like pause the episode, go read all the lyrics.

It’s it is somebody loves you song, which is, if that’s a very teenage thing. Um, but she pulls up on the beach and what looks like Malibu and they’re performing and there’s a string section. one by one, they all go jump in the ocean at the end, just like I’m relieved to have shared this.

has gotten better for therapized about all the bullshit of the adult world for a minute. And like we have. this, This joyous little group of people who love and support each other. and, they go like not to be weird, but they go like baptize And just, just the joy and the people.

I don’t know of a song from when we were grace it’s, the way that me, without you fucks with you that song every time I think

Cliff: Yeah, it’s a it’s a really beautiful and thoughtful note about how to be empathetic of people’s respective situations. Um, but also be able to express a pride in the person who’s in that situation for what they have been able Um, I, I know a lot of people who I personally am proud of them, that they were created with the courage to unlearn all Mike that’s, uh, I like, I viscerally hate myself for loving the song

so much.

Like, like

I really hate it. Um, but it’s, it’s done with just enough of, again, that same thing. We’ve been talking about the perspective of getting older and being able to look back and man, look, look at what you were able to do in whatever were in.

But it’s still got just enough of that raw moment and feeling where I can remember when I was around that age.

And I started slowly understand, look at how hard some things are for people like, oh my God, my, my parents were great. Oh, oh, like I was loved, oh man, like how difficult must it be to launch out of a home where you and

everything is new and terrible. Again, it’s another time to have on our minds.

Like what it means to grow up inside of a loving and caring home, no matter who you are, and to be able to be vulnerable and safe as a child around parents who can love and respect to man, everyone has a different level of that experience in this song. Speaks to it, uh, in a, in a way that can actually connect with you if you let it.

Um, and it is, again, an ending on paper that sounds really hokey and sorta seems like Disney was like, Hey, um, Hey, so listen,

you’ve been saying, fuck, okay, on this record,

I’m going to need you to give us something here at the end that we can like send out.

Please

give us a soundtrack to our like paperless post invite to a dinner party like this or the weekend send out to her friends, um, that you, that you made this record and it’s sweet and all that stuff.

And yet it still has just enough to where it never quite turns into we are the world. And that to me is what makes it impactful. Um, because it never turns the corner into no, we all got this. No, some of us do not got this very much at all. And some people are in an extremely tough situation where, uh, success looks like figuring out how to survive.

Uh, The generations that are coming after us are a lot more aware than we were, uh, at, at the same time that people are having those types of today, like as children and as teenagers, trying to figure out how to, how to bust out of their homes be full fledged adults, everybody’s got their own difficulty some encouragement in figuring out how to get out of it. And in being kind to the

Kyle: So what’s your parting What do you, what

Cliff: Well,

I want to leave you with the, lasting dread that I have of Spotify trying to recommend things for me, based on how much I been listening to sour for the last three months, I am extremely concerned. I need to understand the mechanics of the private session setting and what this is going to do to my daily mixes, to me, this in seriousness, outside of us being.

So post-internet where I have to worry about what an algorithm now thinks about me listening to Olivia Rodrigo um, insincerity

Kyle: robot. that’s that’s big Libra energy. Did I save the wrong thing?

to the algorithm? Isn’t mad at me.

Um, so, um, so Can I send the algorithm, a paperless post to let it know. that I’m sorry.

Cliff: Well, whether it is the algorithm or the all-seeing cultural, I, that we’re constantly concerned with when it comes to whether I should be a person who listens to pop music like this, it’s the same

Kyle: Did not know That we would get to Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon in the Olivia Rodrigo But here are, we fucking are.

Cliff: Yeah. It turns out if you grew up getting told God is watching you all the time. You feel watched but

Kyle: Reality is a prison. Listen to Olivia Rodriguez’s SOUR. The end.

Cliff: more like a hall of mirrors, but I don’t know how, which way to step out But this was another moment of whether or not you got convinced on this record. It’s fine.

Fine. If you don’t connect with this fine dude. No problem. But like, this is a really good reminder of the

but you’re just listening to us talk about it for an hour. he

listened to this twice already, but it’s

Kyle: reminds me of the part in deja VU. I totally didn’t even mention she has the background vocalists that go

ha talking about the new girlfriend, laughing at the jokes. Like that’s grown up shit, bro. That’s That’s next level Cod. That’s an FX comedy writer’s room level.

Cliff: Wow. This record kind of could be an FX series and I had never really thought about it like that,

Kyle: Hi, I’m Olivia.

Cliff: yeah. We need to not get her and a little Dickie together. Now that I think about it that’s they should not That’s going to spawn something different, but actually.

Uh,

wow. Here’s something I didn’t expect to say a lot, like Lil Dicky, like all of a sudden you can get super surprised by one particular piece of music that has so much intricacy and detail and care. Like with that song that blew up. I want to call it Pangea but was the

Kyle: asked

Cliff: What was the actual name of the song?

Pillowtalk okay. That’s right. Like just in the same, like, you don’t have to, you don’t have to love. This genre of music, you don’t have to love Disney channel, original movies, like, but this is a really good reminder that like, let your ear be surprised, especially if you’re a person like us who finds yourself alive on this planet.

And for whatever reason, music like lights up your synapses in the right way. This is a really good record for lighting up things in your brain, because it’s really intriguing and interesting even on multiple listens, but it is critically a reminder that records can do this. And that the only way that you can get to finding out that a record can do this is by, um,

uh, in a grander sense, letting other people have the ox because that’s, that’s how this happened for me.

I’m really glad that it did. I kind of.

I feel like I pass the contagion along to you a little bit. And now we’re just going to relive the rest of our lives. Occasionally talking to people about how we did this super serious music podcast and okay. We covered Olivia Rodrigo, didn’t we? Would you like to explain

Kyle: yourself?

Cliff: Yeah, I guess I will like, here’s why,

Kyle: but to

Cliff: exactly, but, and I have no regrets. I’m glad that we did it. We could have talked about this for another

Kyle: so glad this

Cliff: yeah.

Yeah. Let yourself be huge and surprised by records and music. And like, this is one really good way to do it.

Kyle: Go to tunedig.com for your chance to win a free vinyl copy of the album we just covered. And follow us on Instagram and Twitter for even more info about the album, including playlist links to interesting articles and videos and even some stories that didn’t make the episode. Most importantly, though, please support your favorite local record store, concert venue, or buy merch from a band you love. Thanks for listening.

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. 😎

SEASON 6

Season 6—featuring our most eclectic selection of albums yet—kicks off Friday, March 11, with new episodes every other Friday through July.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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FRIDAY HEAVY

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.

SEASON 5

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.

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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?”

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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".

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TUNEDIG RADIO

SEASON 4

SEASON 3

SEASON 2

SEASON 1

BONUS TRACK EPISODES

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.

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WHO WE ARE

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.