Music

The Music Podcasts You Should Be Listening To Right Now

Last Updated: July 30th

Music is an art form that enhances everyday life in innumerable ways, but sometimes you crave listening to something a little different while away the hours on that morning and evening commute. Over the last decade, podcasts have risen to become one of the new, dominant mediums for intelligent conversation, impactful interviews, and new discovery. Favorite hosts become something like reliable friends you can return to and check in on at any time to seek out their wisdom or humor.

While there are thousands of podcasts that touch on nearly every topic under the sun, the options for music lovers are patently overwhelming. With that in mind, here are 20 of the best music podcasts to help you discover new artists, or go deep on old favorites.

People’s Party With Talib Kweli

People

What happens when one of the most thoughtful hip-hop artists alive gets in a room with an assortment of legendary musicians, athletes, and personalities? Some of the most insightful and surprising conversations available in podcast form. With guests including Lamar Odom, Jemele Hill, and Bun B, Kweli promises the series, which includes video and podcast forms, “won’t be doing the whole late-night talk show song and dance. No gimmicks, no bullsh*t. We need every second we have to discuss art, culture, politics and social justice.”

Check out the full library here.

Sound Opinions

WBEZ

One of the longest-running music podcasts in the game is also one of the best. Hosted by two of the most esteemed rock critics in the game today, Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, this Chicago-based pair tackles an impressively wide-range of different topics and genres on a weekly basis, with a kind of authority that only comes from literal decades of experience. With over 650 episodes and counting, there’s no shortage of material here to wade through and discover.

Check out the full library here.

Song Exploder

Song Exploder

Song Exploder is one of the most fascinating programs to check out if you’re deeply interested in learning how a song is constructed. The idea is simple. An artist comes in and explains in exacting detail the different pieces of equipment they used on a given track, the ideas that went into it, and even the stories behind the lyrics. Thus far, they’ve had 100 Gecs in to deconstruct “Money Machine,” Tame Impala recently unpacked “It Might Be Time,” Vampire Weekend was on for “Harmony Hall,” and Meek Mill explained “Trauma.” Each episode only runs 20-minutes or so, so they are also incredibly binge-able.

Check out the full library here.

This Is Not A Drake Podcast

CBC Canada

This Is Not A Drake Podcast is a limited-run podcast series hosted by Ty Harper, a hip-hop head who has covered the Toronto scene for decades. Throughout each of the six thoughtful episodes, Harper breaks down seminal moments in Drake’s career while also exploring the broader context of the history and evolution of hip-hop in Toronto, R&B, gender dynamics, and Black culture.

Check out the full library here.

Indiecast

Uproxx

Indiecast is a new podcast Indiecast from Uproxx’s very own Steven Hyden and long-time music critic Ian Cohen of Pitchfork and Stereogum fame. Each week, Ian and Steven will talk about all the latest news in indie music. They will review new albums, break down trends, expose exciting new artists, and give you all the necessary context to understand what’s happening in the indie world as well as moments that established the genre’s canon. Of course, they’ll also pointlessly rank things — whether it’s the best indie albums of the aughts, the greatest Phoebe Bridgers tracks, or their favorite chillwave songs. True to its name, Indiecast has you covered on everything indie.

Check out the full library here.

Broken Record

Broken Record

Hosted by Justin Richmond with interviews by legendary producer Rick Rubin, author Malcolm Gladwell, and former New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, Broken Records stands as a modern-day replacement for liner notes on albums. Each episode, a member of the Broken Record team sits down for an in-depth conversation with one of today’s biggest artists ranging from Tame Impala to Pharrell. While the discussion may temporarily divert from music, Broken Record aims to contextualize an album and allow musicians to connect with their audiences on a deeper level.

Check out the full library here.

KEXP Music That Matters

KEXP

KEXP is one of the best radio stations in the US, hands-down, bar-none. Operating out of Seattle, KEXP gives a platform to a wealth of burgeoning local and national acts you might not hear on any other broadcast. They bring a similar spirit to their weekly podcast, Music That Matters, which features a wide-ranging collection of songs put together by some of the station’s most knowledgeable DJs like Kevin Cole, Cheryl Waters, and John Richards.

Check out the full library here.

All Songs Considered

NPR

NPR is maybe the most prestigious music podcast platform out there. While there are several incredible podcasts that operate under their banner — you can never go wrong with Tiny Desk — All Songs Considered is the flagship enterprise. If you’re looking to get an edge on what’s happening right now, which albums are dropping, which tracks are popping, this is the place to find out, courtesy of host and musical director Bob Boilen.

Check out the full library here.

Talkhouse Music Podcast

Talkhouse

Who better to talk about music than musicians? Makes sense right? Talkhouse is the premier place to hear some of the best most intriguing and thoughtful artists out there today discuss amongst one another the trials and tribulations they face in the music industry and the effort and inspiration that goes into their every project. Where else can you hear Questlove from the Roots mix it up with Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney, or Kid Cudi unload with Paul Reubens aka Pee Wee Herman? Exactly.

Check out the full library here.

Rap Radar

Rap Radar

There are a lot of talking heads out there in hip-hop who enjoying spouting off just to get a reaction. I’m not going to name any names, but if you’ve been following along for any length of time, you certainly know who they are. Elliott Wilson and Brian “B.Dot” Miller are two of the most well-respected journalists in hip-hop history and bring a breadth of knowledge and insight to their podcast that’s incredible to behold. Their recent, multi-part interview with Jay-Z just after the release of 4:44 is mandatory listening.

Check out the full library here.

Switched On Pop

VOX

It’s kind of absurd the lack of good and compelling podcasts that deal exclusively with pop music. As you’ve seen already, the wealth of rock and hip-hop pods are incredible, and it’s disappointing that pop has lagged so far behind the other genres. The best of the bunch is probably the Switched On Pop program hosted by musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding. The pair take on their subjects like Demi Lovato, Camilla Cabello, and Justin Timberlake with a passion that never drifts into condescension or snark like others might. Whether you’re a Katy Kat or a Swifty, there’s a lot here to like.

Check out the full library here.

Popcast

New York Times

The New York Times has long reigned as the paper of record in the US, and lately has rolled out a series of podcasts in a variety of realms to establish its voice in that world as well. Hosted by the esteemed writer Jon Caramanica, Popcast is a semi-weekly series of talks between different writers tackling the major events and album drops of the moment. No topic is too off the beaten path, with chats recently regarding the death of rapper XXXTentacion, as well as American Idol and the Drake Vs. Pusha-T beef.

Check out the full library here.

Hip-Hop Can Save America

Hip-Hop Can Save America

Presented by the Center For Hip-Hop Advocacy, Hip-Hop Can Save America explores the innovative and astounding ways hip-hop culture and music has been applied to areas like education, science, health/wellness, theater, and more. With an array of guests from academics to entrepreneurs, Hip-Hop Can Save America has it all.

Check out the full library here.

LSQ

LSQ

Music writers come and go with every passing era, but some, through sheer wealth of talent and personality manage to stick around for the long haul. Former Rolling Stone writer Jenny Eliscu is certainly among that privileged set. For her LSQ podcast, the writer switches on the microphone to hold engrossing chats with and about an eclectic array of different artists, from Jack Antonoff and Spoon’s Britt Daniel to Angel Olsen and Danielle Haim.

Check out the full library here.

Watching The Throne

Watching The Throne

No musical artist on the planet today inspires as much heated discussion as Kanye Omari West. Whether that means fans ranking his albums, critics decrying his brash personality, hypebeasts picking apart every piece in his Yeezy fashion line, or casual fans wondering where the f*ck the new album is, it’s hard to keep Kanye out of the conversation. Watching The Throne leans into the skid with an impressive understanding of both his music, and makeup. If you’re a real Yeezy head, this is a can’t-miss.

Check out the full library here.

Disgraceland

disgraceland

Crime podcasts have become all the rage ever since Serial burst onto the scene a couple of years back, and as everyone knows, the history of popular music has its fair share of bodies. Disgraceland combines the worlds of music and murder together to tell incredible, and sometimes, little-known stories involving some of the most impactful artists of all-time. What, you didn’t know that Jerry Lee Lewis might have killed one of his wives? Find out more about it here.

Check out the full library here.

Questlove Supreme

iHeartRadio

I think it’s probably fair to say that Questlove has one of the most enviable rolodexes in all of popular music. Fortunately for all of us, he isn’t afraid to spin that thing every so often and call in some of the most indelible creators out there for wide-ranging and deeply, fantastically nerdy chats on his regular Questlove Supreme podcast. His recent sit-down with Jack White is a can’t-miss.

Check out the full library here.

Dear Young Rocker

Dear Young Rocker

As described by Dear Young Rocker’s host, writer and bass player Chelsea Ursin, the podcast is a story “for the weirdos, the loners, the ugly ducklings.” Executive produced by Disgraceland’s Jake Brennan, Dear Young Rocker is a scripted, narrative podcast that follows young protagonist Chelsea as she struggles to quell anxiety, deals with boys, and tries to find a home in music as an aspiring bass player. The podcast is formatted as a series of letters between Chelsea and her younger self, reminding us all that so many others experienced the same middle school hardships and that women will always deserve a place in rock music.

Check out the full library here.

Dissect

Dissect

To all the music lovers who can spend upwards of an hour gushing about a single song, Dissect is the podcast for you. Dissect focuses a single album per season while forensically examining the music, lyrics, and meaning of each track on an album, one song per episode. The podcast is currently focused on dissecting Beyonce’s Lemonade but in the past has turned attention to Kendrick Lamar’s Damn, Tyler The Creator’s Flower Boy, and both of Frank Ocean’s albums.

Check out the full library here.

Turned Out A Punk

Turned Out A Punk

With 275 episodes spanning over nearly six years, Turned Out A Punk is a binge-worthy podcast. Hosted by Damian Abraham, vocalist to the veteran punk outfit F*cked Up, Turned Out A Punk invites musicians, label executives, and music lovers to explore how punk music has impacted their lives in a variety of ways.

Check out the full library here.

Kyle Meredith With…

Kyle Meredith

Consequence Of Sound has spent the last couple years building out its robust podcast network, including titles like This Must Be The Gig (focusing on interviews with musicians about live performances) and The Losers’ Club (a Stephen King podcast). And of course, there is Kyle Meredith With…, which offers frequent artist interviews with the biggest subjects from across music genres. As a whole, their podcast flight is impressive, but they are equally enjoyable on their own, too.

Check out the full library here.

Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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