Music
Switched On Pop | Death of the Chorus (with Emily Warren)
A podcast breaking down the music of pop hits.
Switched On Pop
Published 13 January 2021
Emily Warren

Pop music surrounds us, but how often do we really listen to what we’re hearing? Switched on Pop is the podcast that pulls back the curtain on pop music. Each episode, join musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding as they reveal the secret formulas that make pop songs so infectious. By figuring out how pop hits work their magic, you’ll fall in love with songs you didn’t even know you liked.

Listen to Top 40 pop over the last decade and you’ll notice something weird is happening. The chorus—the emotional apotheosis of a pop song, its dizzying high, its cathartic sing-along center—is disappearing. In its place, artists from Bad Bunny to Taylor Swift are toying with new, chorus-lite song forms that introduce a new musical grammar to the sound of contemporary pop.

We may not think much about pop structure when listening to our favorite songs, but this is a big deal—the last time pop experienced such a seismic shift was when the chorus first came into fashion, back in the 1960s.

What does this mean for modern musicians and listeners? Emily Warren, songwriter for new-guard stars like Dua Lipa and Khalid, joins to break down why the sea change in pop form represents a new horizon of creative possibility.

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