Strong Songs


Music: it's good. On each episode of Strong Songs, host Kirk Hamilton takes listeners inside a piece of music, breaking it down and figuring out what makes it work.

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Recent Reviews
  • Spazz7890
    What fun!
    I stumbled across this podcast and it’s such a kick! I am not a musician, and I know basically nothing about music. I love hearing Kirk explain why songs sound as great as they do - what’s playing and how and why it makes a difference. It is a joy to hear someone who knows music exult in the beauty and power of a great song. It’s also been really fun learning the names of amazing musicians I didn’t know about before. I only knew the band and the front person (or 2) connected with it. Then down the rabbit hole I go to see who they are/were and other work they’ve done! Thanks for all the work that goes into making this.
  • Macchanalia
    I came across this show by accident and spent HOURS binging on it, going from favorite song to favorite song.
  • indo_cubeam
    Love this podcast
    I’m not a music theorist, but this podcast is such a wonderful deep dive into something I know nothing about beyond the melodies. Always a good time listening to Strong Song. As a note, Kirk, sometimes you talk very fast...otherwise great great work!
  • homey-bear
    So happy
    Kirk’s enthusiasm is contagious. He’s great.
  • Kdirty
    So good
    The podcast I keep recommending to everyone! So well thought out and fun! Thanks for keeping it going!
  • Burnman 65
    Great, but...
    Q. Why is this my favorite music pod? A. It's all about the music. There is little to no: artist biography; stories from the host's personal life; music business hoo-haw; attempts at humor. Kirk doesn't even talk much about the lyrics. Just a deep, informed, enthusiastic dive into melody, harmony, rhythm and production techniques. What could make the show even better is if Kirk would introduce his audience to some relative obscurities; such as album tracks, hits in foreign lands (other than the land of Eng) and classical music (yes, I know he's done 4'33", but that's neither strong nor much of a song). Kirk, I know you've got an open ear and an open mind, and you've built up a loyal audience. Go ahead and take them to some hidden, seemingly irrelevant places. If you have the courage to lead, they will follow.
  • Msuper1692
    If it were legal to marry a podcast this would be the one.
    For real, this podcast is interesting, inspiring, intriguing, and impeccably produced. Kirk’s knowledge and ability to make hard concepts accessible to everyone is unmatched. I’ve dropped every other podcast until I can get caught up.
  • NannerBot
    An Essential Podcast
    I can’t say enough good things about strong songs. It’s just the best! Kirk is so knowledgeable and so talented, and every episode is a revelation. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
  • Dave Stachowiak
    This show is just simply delightful. There are so many ways to listen to it — for appreciation, for relaxation, for music theory, and much more. Kirk’s musical talent is obvious — as well as the time and care put into the editing and production of this show. That in combination with his energy and heart for music makes this show work brilliantly. Strong Songs = Strong Show
  • Marc Rovner
    Kirk, What a joy you are! I love the complexity of music carefully crafted. I hear things that only I thought I heard. I started listening to all of yourshows and realized I’m not alone thinking there is more to musical creation than wonderful sounds and tunes brought together with a beat. Music is so wonderfully intentional! But I lack the musical sophistication to articulate what I was hearing, until you so skillfully and joyfully did, do that for me. Starting with Africa, which as each new chorus comes in, the guitar gets louder or the weird base dissonance in the Single Ladies chorus, to all things jazz and Stevie Wonder, then moving on to the complexity of one of my favorite bands, Steely Dan, you put the things I thought I heard into words. What a relief! The details of your dissections are amazing. Thank you for your mastery and for helping bring out the magic of song creation, mixing,and recording. I have started to learn piano for the first time by your inspiration! Marc Rovner
  • murchentile
    I took up an instrument I had previously played in my youth and My teacher and I go over music thepory during my lesson. Sometimes the concepts are hard to grasp I love how Kirk explains these in a basic way I can understand . His selections of music pieces is incredibly diverse. Love this podcast
  • Asmith4446
    This podcast is perfection
    I am a trained musician, and my mom has never touched an instrument. We both get so much out of this podcast. Kirk perfectly balances the little details with the big pictures when analyzing amazing music. His enthusiasm and depth of knowledge leads to a wonderfully entertaining and educational podcast that I look forward to every couple weeks.
  • jdub1964
    Is this real life? Is this just fantasy?
    I hope it’s real life because I’m a huge fan of this podcast. Started listening to satisfy my obsession with all things music and because I just can’t listen to all the garbage in the news. Fascinating the way he breaks down the songs and the stories behind the songs. Brilliant. But I think my favorite part is Kirk’s enthusiasm. He gets so stoked about music and his positivity is absolutely catching. He gives me faith in humanity. Music is balm for our souls.
  • Johnny Utah 909
    Love the podcast, love Kirk....
    ...And I’m totally (re-)convinced that Steely Dan consists of brilliant, wildly talented musicians. .....But I’m also convinced that they recorded some of my least favorite songs. This is the first time I almost didn’t play the entire podcast (and I often play through it twice!). Whoa, this band and my ears just do not get along. Still, Kirk, keep up the wonderful work! I do love you and the podcast!
  • Em493
    Breaking down the recipes of great songs!
    Absolutely love this podcast! Kirk’s commentaries and explanations are so interesting, and downright fun to listen to. He’s such a great host! I’m a music teacher, but Kirk makes this podcast enjoyable for everyone, from the novice to the pro. I find myself often agreeing with his takes, while also learning some new facts, and finding new little parts of songs for my ear to latch onto. So glad I found this gem of a podcast!
  • iFoundMolly
    Great breakdowns
    The variety of music discussed is excellent, no grass grows under Kirks feet—jazz, classic rock, soul, pop music, TV & film scores, it’s all there. Very accessible and well done music analysis.
  • Bfreal
    Great for deepening love of music
    I love this podcast. The Imogen Heap episode is a masterpiece. Hearing the examples of the I V vi IV was so effective and the writing was inspiring. I always thought that song was ear candy but now I think it’s ingenious. Keep it up!
  • maxmakesmusic
    Useful to musicians
    This podcast has quickly become an invaluable resource. I’m a musician in the process of learning more about chord theory, melody, scales, harmony...the insights shared are so informative and delivered in a truly entertaining and RICH format. THANK YOU.
  • solomen
    Let’s ask the horns what they think
    This might be my favorite music podcast. Kirk is so insightful breaking apart various songs and ideas. I love how he’ll break apart the songs into elements that he recreates, it really helps you to understand what is actually going on in the songs. I’ve been making music for a long time now, and can critically listen to music due to experience as an audio engineer, but he still finds ways to find all this stuff I miss. Thanks to this podcast I’ve rekindled some of my love of music that I’ve become jaded on. When it comes to theory Kirk really knows his stuff too. He comes from a jazz background, and I feel like jazz has got to be the best way to really learn music theory, so this clicked with me right away. I think the best thing about his theory is how he presents it though, it’s so straightforward and easy to understand, even when he’s talking about stuff that I know deep in my bones I just really like listening to him explain it. And I learn a ton of new stuff too, it’s really cool. A note on his production, it might be the best I’ve heard of any podcast. The pace of it feels like he’s composing a song himself. The way he plays around with the tracks, the elements he slips in there, the flow of it all. As someone who deals on audio I can feel the love and care he takes all ovee it, it’s really refreshing compared to the normal world of podcasts that can feel so loose. This podcast isn’t just for crazy jazz people or audio engineers either though. The analysis of the songs works in this great way where people who couldn’t even tell you what a C scale is can fully enjoy it, it’s very approachable to music lovers of all levels. He has such a good variety of song choices too; his jazz analysis makes me heart soar, and then he does pop and opens my eyes to a whole new world of music that I’ve been closed off too, and then over to rock, where it just rocks. I can’t recommend this highly enough. If you love music it’s a must listen. And check out his patreon! He doesn’t run ads on the podcast, it’s totally listener supported, so if you like it and can afford it maybe think about tossing him a few dollars, this show is def worth it!
  • pixierunner
    Awesome pop music podcast!
    Strong Songs is far and away my favorite podcast discovery in recent months. Love both the variety of songs Kirk chooses to focus on and the depth of analysis he brings to them. I also simply enjoy the way his appreciation for music shine through. That enthusiasm is contagious!
  • marklfhs88
    The type of podcast I’ve always been searching for! Wonderful!
  • Daniel Q2
    Now I know why I like the songs I like (and some new ones)
    What fun to listen to someone who clearly is excited to figure out why some songs are magical and loves to share with others.
  • knock&knowall
    Best music podcast!
    I’ve learned so much through Kirk’s ears — and his enthusiasm for music is infectious. Just so much fun!
  • boxingturtle
    Learning a ton
    I’ve been looking for a show like this forever. I love music, but never studied and instrument and have therefore always lacked the vocabulary to really talk about what I do or don’t like about how different songs or music is constructed.
  • crazymeds1473
    Thank you
    Very educational. The depth of knowledge is amazing. Love his voice.
  • Teddallo
    Worth your time
    Kirk is insightful, enthusiastic, and dynamic. If you’re musically inclined, this podcast is worth your time.
  • Entrepreneur Runnee
    Best Listens
    One of the best podcast series I have heard.
  • spider280
    Horizon broadening
    Thanks for all of the time and effort you put into the podcast. I’ve gained appreciation for genres that I normally would have just dismissed. Keep up the great work.
  • 5339kln
    My favorite show!
    Thanks for the “Year in Review” episode - now I have to listen to all the episodes! 🤣😂
  • 072114
    Hearing and appreciating so much more!
    Wow! I never knew so much was going on in these songs or that they were so complicated. I love that Kirk does such a deep dive into the music, showing how they are put together and what makes them work, how all the parts come together to make a cohesive whole. I am hearing things I never heard before and understanding so much more about music. I love that he really explains the music by using music terminology and demonstrations and does NOT dumb it down. The Beatles’ A Day in the Life and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody episodes were among the best podcast episodes I have ever heard!! Thank you!
  • AiyanaLover
    Started listening and could not stop. Please never stop and always love music.
  • lightinaugust
    Fascinating, and a breath of fresh air
    The host is able to break down the most fascinating aspects of a broad range of music, moving between ABBA, Radiohead, Miles Davis, etc., with such enthusiasm and experience, that he can hold my attention on music I ordinarily don’t enjoy. He makes music theory accessible to non-musicians. Love this podcast.
  • DavidWattsBarton
    Best music show out there
    As a lifelong musician AND music critic, I can’t recommend this podcast highly enough. Kirk’s knowledge and skill as a musician is matched by his sheer JOY and enthusiasm for it. I absolutely love his shows, I’ve learned so much and gotten so much of my own joy out of Strong Songs. Fantastic!!!
  • Rvalawyer
    My favorite music podcast period.
    Whether you are a music major or just have ears Kirk does a great job of breaking songs down and explaining how songs work the way they do. It’s my favorite listen these days and I’m devouring the back catalog.
  • Mahalodiablo
    Amazing knowledgeable friendly genius breakdowns
  • Sharp Professional
    Best music class ever
    Growing up, we used to listen to Karl Haas’ music lessons on public radio. Later, a jazz drummer and guitarist counted out the complex rhythms in Weather Report for me, but it was so confusing. But never in my life, including during piano lessons with dear Mr. Buckwalter, has anyone ever been able to take apart, explain, and reassemble music in such an articulate way. Great for anyone who would like a deeper understanding and appreciation for any type of music. Bravo, Kirk!
  • sivadnadia
    I thoroughly enjoy this pod! Kirk’s analyses of interesting songs is approachable to non-musicians while remaining stimulating to those with music degrees. He makes discussing music theory fun by linking it with popular works we all know and love. Highly recommend!
  • 7letterstud
    A treat for curious music lovers
    Pretty much puts a tear in my eye in every single episode. Few thing get to me more than human artistry. And Kirk pays tribute to the highest art for in my book, or record. Love this podcast.
  • Celia_______1
    Smart, conversational, and interesting!
    Kirk Hamilton’s love of music is so apparent and makes every episode a true delight to listen to, whether or not you like (or are even familiar with) the music he’s discussing.
  • bwg
    Smart, Well Produced, and Uplifting
    I discovered Strong Songs through Kirk Hamilton’s appearance on Twenty Thousand Hertz episode 107 (Dies Irae). I’ve become addicted to Strong Songs for a couple of reasons. 1) Kirk Hamilton’s enthusiasm for music and music education is infectious; 2) He’s a great teacher, and his explanations are helpful to anyone at any age; 3) The show is so positive and uplifting in its approach. As a theatre professor, a musical theatre buff, and an amateur pianist/vocalist, I just love everything about the show.
  • Bertkrawl
    Music fans unite!
    What a great podcast! Super fun to hear all these great songs broke down so lovingly and with such awesome attention to detail. Keep it up Kirk!
  • Brigandi1
    For years I’ve wondered what makes a great song. This show is a revelation! Kirk’s ability to deconstruct is phenomenal.
  • Socerton
    This is almost the perfect podcast. It’s premise is perfectly simple and I love how he breaks down intricate parts of these songs in a way that anyone can understand with just the littlest bit of a musical background. You won’t listen to these songs the same ever again, but it’s really for the best
  • laneontour
    Björk Hyperbalad
    Kirk’s best analysis yet. Not only was the music beautiful throughout but Kirk’s analysis built as emotionally as the music did. The final monologue Kirk delivers is so fitting for the music, the artist, and the time we are living in. It sums up not only his feelings but all of our dreams. Bravo.
  • Ggccjhgdc
    Absolutely worth a listen
    I love music but have kind of a surface level understanding of music theory. This podcast helps me understand and appreciate music in a new way. Kirk’s passion for music also has sold me on songs that initially i had little interest in.
  • themiah
    Stronk Sonks
    Kirk bring energy and fun to song analysis. Even songs I don’t fancy have something that makes you listen deeper.
  • Penguinoagain
    Fabulous and uplifting
    Kyle Hamilton does a wonderful job of deconstructing songs and explaining why they are great. He unearths trivia that I had no idea was there (and I am both and musician and I work in the industry). The best thing is his childlike enthusiasm which brings every episode to life. I'm totally hooked and especially love when I'm drawn into song that I'd never paid attention to before (or some that I'd never even heard before). Essential listening for any music-lover!
  • JaD2018
    So informative!
    The first episode I listened to was about Stairway To Heaven and I was not disappointed! I’ve always wanted to understand how this song can bring out so much emotion. What was it about the music that evokes all those emotions. And how did the composer come up with this stuff - which parts of the song are just everyday tools of the trade, and which parts were pure inspiration. Where did it come from? Are there elements that others have borrowed ever after? Does this song contain any borrowed elements? I was enthralled when I listened to this episode. The joy that it gave me made me want to reward Kirk right away through Patreon - something I don’t normally do until I’ve listened to a few other episodes. I hope that his other episodes are just as informative and inclusive, and I look forward to learning from this podcast.
  • Rickey45
    So much fun- so interesting.
    I’m not a musician, my only musical related skill is clicking on video or podcast or turning a radio dial. I comprehend what Kirk is talking about about like I would a podcast on differential equations, but, having listened to his podcasts on Satisfied from Hamilton and ELO’s Mr Bluesky, I can say I enjoyed them tremendously. Kirk puts them together so well, he breaks the music down and analyzes it in such an enlightening way and a way that is so much fun. He has an infectious personality and enthusiasm that comes through and makes his podcasts so positive and so enjoyable. Really glad I found them
  • RivMonks
    This podcast helps me listen deeper with more appreciation
    New favorite podcast to listen to on my runs! Kirk has a very approachable take on how to listen more deeply to some really great songs. I actually switched from just listening to episodes of songs I already know to listening to EVERY episode. If I haven’t heard the song before, I listen to it first, then excitedly head over to Strong Songs to get the full delicious breakdown of the things I could catch and of course the technically understanding of other elements I didn’t hear at first! Like a mystery being solved! It’s a really cool mystery to uncover as I try to guess what Kirk will talk about!
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