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.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • BobsMyMan
    So great
    I have told everyone I know about this show. I would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed popular music over the years. If you have any doubt, just listen to the episode on Prince’s “Kiss.” Absolute tour de force. Kirk is super-knowledgeable, broad-minded, multi-talented, and manages to explain the technical aspects of music and production in a way that enhances the sheer joy of it rather than over-intellectualizing it.
  • Budhahand
    One of my favorite podcasts!
    I never hear a song the same way again. Its like reading a book with your English teacher. You hear the song in ways you would not hear on your own. I love it!
  • Live oaks dweller
    Love this podcast!
    This is a podcast that gives me joy. I’m not musically trained, hence Kirk Hamilton has helped me to appreciate details and nuances that I would otherwise be totally oblivious to. Some of my favorite episodes include The Wichita Lineman, Steely Dan, Hamilton, God Only Knows. And thank you for finally covering Joni Mitchell!!!
  • Groov3CrusadeR
    p good
    awesome quality just wish he would pick some better song
  • V Meg
    Completely Entrancing
    Long car drives fly by while I’m listening to Kirk break down songs both familiar and new to me. He is so enthusiastic and so clear about everything. Who knew how many little choices an arranger or vocalist makes that completely alter how the song lands? Three versions of “I Will Always Love You” — I’ll never hear them the same again. And how many instruments are going at once to create that inimitable sound? Why does it matter just when the guitar or drums come in? What is a groove? I’d give it ten stars if I could!
  • Dave M 907
    Best music breakdowns
    This is the music podcast I have been looking for! These song and/or music breakdowns are the best. I am a self taught drummer trying to figure out music theory and how read music for piano/keyboard. Hearing breakdowns of of a lot of songs and music styles that I love and grew up with are extremely helpful.
  • LRJalarned
    Strong Song-ImHooked
    You are simply phenomenal. I love how you analyze this whole song. It bring back memories of when I was in my college.
  • BW birder
    Great podcast!
    Saw this recommended in the NYTimes and tried it with the “Africa” episode and was hooked! Working my way through all the episodes now.
  • Dickwad22
    This guy knows his stuff
    Love this podcast. The host know his stuff and is a great teacher of music.
  • Mddoak
    I love this podcast!
    I’m so glad I found this podcast. The deep dive analysis in these really scratches my music-student-nerd itch. I love listening to the host break down the instrumentation and production of some of my favorite songs of all time.
  • bonnieakirk
    This podcast is amazing! It sometimes makes me laugh out loud, sigh, exclaim in wonder and even cry, it’s so moving. Well done, Kirk! Love it!
  • carmingular
    Earnest and Endearing and Enlightening
    Kirk Hamilton is the Ted Lasso of podcasts. He’s so genuinely into the fun, great, and good of music. It’s refreshing. And I’m getting into stuff I’ve never heard or didn’t like. It’s a cozy hug when you’re anxious.
  • Trey Chiles
    Love Strong Songs
    Just recently got turned on to Strong Songs by one of my musician friends. Great podcast - I’m currently getting caught up on past episodes Love the knowledge - and Kirk’s style and enthusiasm! Trey
  • JohnC18
    A fellow song geek!
    Love all types of music, have been a musician for years, and know a bit of theory, production, recording and songwriting. Very cool to have someone more experienced break down some great tunes and explain how the parts work and fit together. And in a fun way - not boring whatsoever
  • HeynayBill
    Strong show
    Love learning about music from Kirk who clearly loves music. Great show.
  • HARsquad_29
    I love this podcast
    What is that makes the sound from disc 11 in the game of Minecraft help me please!!! Thank u
  • JustaSaxPlayer
    Really loving this podcast
    As a fellow musician (fellow sax player) I am really enjoying Kurts perspective and love how he deconstructs and reconstructs the songs with such great enthusiasm and detail. I will definitely be spreading the word among my friends and fellow music enthusiasts. So many strong songs to go — should keep Kurt busy for a long while!
  • zoomcreep
    Such quality
    Love ,love the Zelda episode
  • MattyTiz
    Fantastic podcast
    This podcast rules. I really enjoy the way Jason breaks down every square inch of the songs. He utilizes just enough music theory to explain the process without overwhelming someone like me who is a very very casual musician. His passion and joy for the subject is infectious and it leaves with me a much deeper appreciation for each song as well as the art of crafting music in general. Only recently started listening after hearing Jason on one of his other podcasts Triple Click (also strongly recommend if you’re into video games). I’m working through the backlog from the beginning and looking forward to every new episode.
  • thatAnimalCrossingLover
    Everything I wanted in a music podcast
    I love, love, love this podcast. it’s so well done, the audio is spectacular and so is the host. even if you aren’t familiar with the topic of the episode he explains it so beautifully that it’s easy and fun to follow. Hearing different genres to ones you know dearly, this podcast has an episode/topic for everyone.
  • Ginadraws
    Better than a college class
    I’m not a musician or composer myself- but Kirk’s engaging, knowledgeable and just plain enjoyable analysis draws me into each episode, even the ones I wouldn’t naturally have an interest in to begin with. He’s able to make the most technical aspects of music production approachable to the layman, and he’s clearly just having so much fun that it’s impossible not to want to go along for the ride. This is one of the few podcasts that I’ve immediately gone back to the beginning to start binging, and I’m dreading the day I catch up and have to start waiting for episodes like everyone else! Thanks for the great content.
  • Really2me
    For Musicians and Non-musicians Alike
    Lots of reviews recommend this podcast for musicians. I'm not a musician, but I enjoy music. This podcast gives me fun insights into what makes a song magic. Enjoy it!
  • The Whole Truth
    Addictive and informative.
    Kirk delves into why we love certain songs so much more than others. He easily explains the grooves and ear worms and you now understand what makes these songs great. And then you immediately go to the next one to learn more. Can’t stop. Excellent.
  • casseroleppaying
    What you need
    Kirk Hamilton’s passion and enthusiasm are infectious. He is knowledgeable, approachable, and just has a lovely mix of excitement but also a very calming energy. I appreciate this podcast so much as it helps me understand these great songs on a deeper level! This podcast is in the pocket for sure:)
  • dufferjogolfer
    Just amazing
    Don’t know where to start. Just love this podcast. Kirk is obviously a very skilled and knowledgeable musician who expertly articulates how and why great songs are constructed and recorded, adding just the right amount of music theory and context for us to understand the many nuances of strong songs.
  • Sfnysf
    Everything In Its Right Place
    Strong Songs has the ideal balance of how-to, culture, theory, and significance. Host Kirk explains how and why songs work with an honest appreciation for the artist and expert songwriting perspective.
  • twdempsey
    This podcast is head and shoulders above every other podcast about music. Because? Because it actually talks about music… the notes, chords, timbre, rhythm, composition and finally analysis. If you’re a musician, you cannot let this one go by. Listen now!
  • fujiapplepi
    Insightful Analyses of Good Music
    Step-by-step breakdown of music and what makes it great!
  • WholeLottaLotti
    Strong songs. Strong show!
    I’m a gamer and a musician, that’s my whole deal. Heard about this show while listening to one of Kirk’s other projects, Triple Click. Now I get to hear Kirk’s hot takes on BOTH of my two major interests. Keep it up dude! Love hearing your thoughts on stuff.
  • Wofungla
    I have been an “active listener“ for decades without having a term for it. I love picking out separate parts in songs. This podcast feeds that need in me in a fantastic way. Check it out. You will be glad you did! Thanks Kirk!
  • VonAranson
    Exactly what I’ve been looking for
    Very approachable for the musically interested though not necessarily musically well-versed. Both the song analyses and q&a’s could be stand alone podcasts, and they go along well together too! Great job Kirk!
  • emhow
    Loving it
    I just discovered this a couple days ago but I've listened to several episodes already. I love what I'm learning, I love the songs Kirk picks, and I love how much fun Kirk is obviously having making this. Keep up the good work!
  • Megan 0571
    Great work, entertaining and smart
    Kirk obviously puts real work and exploration in providing listeners with a personal view point combined with knowledge in a tasteful humble way. Whether one may agree or not with all brought forth, it’s expressed in a way that provides another view into various aspects of the creative and technical aspects behind contemporary (mostly pop) music. Super! I can see Kirk being a great Sensei for young musical explorers!
  • SarahInChicago
    Always something interesting!
    As someone who is not in any way a musician, Kirk makes music minutiae so interesting! This is a go-to podcast for me.
  • PresEmeritus ;)
    Makes you remember why you love music
    The host shares his joy in a really palpable way that infectious. When he shares his music theory knowledge it doesn’t come off as academic (even though needs like me don’t mind if it does). I’d recommend the Janelle Monae episode to get an example of the fun and intelligent analysis. It’s really really great.
  • 1971kmrk
    Class Act
    This is a master class on how to deconstruct music. There’s no clowning, no cynicism, no bro talk... just a brilliant, good-natured guy who seems to take joy at sharing his musical knowledge with the masses. The “Dancing Queen” ep is in my top 5 podcast episodes ever, and that’s really saying something. No other “song by song” music podcast does it half as well as Kirk.
  • JanMCannon
    Enthusiastic thumbs up!
    We love this show so much that we sometimes even listen together on long car rides with our kiddos. Now that’s a rave review!
  • laurelcrayon
    This podcast is my happy place
    I am not a musician, though I spent enough time hanging out with a few in my formative years, perhaps, to gain a little familiarity with many of the instruments, styles, and concepts that come up during the musical deconstructions in each episode of Strong Songs. But the real treat of this podcast is the genuine delight that is so apparent in Kirk Hamilton’s delivery. His friendly casual tone welcomes me to hang out for a while in this geeky space where he breaks down complex musical concepts without ever talking down to me. I gain appreciation for songs I didn’t know or might not have gravitated toward because of his infectious enthusiasm, and songs I already like he somehow makes me feel like I’m listening again for the first time, only to discover I like it even more than I thought I did! The whole effect is really satisfying and always puts me in a good mood—something I really need from time to time these days! So when I’m feeling down or listening to too much news, now I put on a Strong Songs episode and suddenly I’m in a much better place.
  • Ginermp
    Fun and educational
    My knowledge of music theory is very basic, so a lot of what Kirk says goes over my head, but I have fun listening anyway, and really enjoy the little mini lessons he throws in. I'm better at listening to music, and enjoy it more, from having listened to this podcast. My favorite moments, though, are not the little lessons, but when Kirk's playing a part of a song that he probably listed to 100 times before recording, and still breaks out into joyful laughter while it plays. This is a person talking about something he clearly loves.
  • Adam Vermont
    Great stuff
    Very enjoyable podcast if you’re interested in musical craft!
  • Arizonakhatru74
    An Real Eye Opener!
    This podcast is a fun, approachable way to learn new information and hear amazing details about music and Strong Songs. I have listened to about half of the episodes so far - mainly the songs I am already familiar with and WOW! I am enlightened to discover, thanks to the host, Kirk Hamilton, so many new, intricate facets of songs that I assumed I already knew inside and out. I am thoroughly enjoying these mini "lectures" that not only include interesting bits and pieces sometimes buried in production, but also comparison and technical notes wrapped up for the listener's enjoyment!
  • McAliciaL
    Binge listening!
    Found this podcast 24 hours ago from Twenty Thousand Hertz and now I’m addicted. I plan to binge listen multiple times. It’s obvious Mr. Hamilton spends a lot of research hours on each episode and his musicianship is impressive! Learning so much . . Thank you Kirk Hamilton!
  • Evepop11
    One of the Best
    This is one of my favorite podcasts. Kirk Hamilton brings a wealth of musical knowledge to every episode without making it inaccessible to people who might know share his level of expertise. He also has an infectious enthusiasm for music and the songs he breaks down. A thoroughly entertaining show and a must if you love music!
  • Drschmitty
    Just the best.
    Such an incredible wealth of information. Mr. Hamilton presents it all with an infectious enthusiasm and his love for what does is unmistakable. There is something for everyone here whether you’re an accomplished multi-instrumentalist or have never touched an instrument.
  • McCueDan
    I listen and re-listen to my favorite episodes. I always love learning something new. Thanks. I love the way it really opens up a song, but keeps it light and fun. Thanks.
  • mooredg
    Great musical analysis
    Kirk has a great style. Very accessible and informative.
  • DC Czarina
    So engaging, so illuminating
    Kirk explains so clearly and in such a funny way how pop and rock songs work, wedding music theory for all levels with crisp, thoughtful takes on arrangement, harmony and instrumentation. I’m a performing singer/songwriter and I learn so so so much from how he breaks this music down
  • samajax
    One of the best 👍
    I’m not a musician, yet I relish listening to the host expand my knowledge of how songs are constructed. His love of music is infectious, and he brings his expertise to the podcast without it ever being dry or to technical.
  • elizascyular✌️
    Awesome podcast
    When my dad saw the Satisfied episode I basically screamed! Me and my friends Kadence and Rooney LOVE musicals soooo much! I’m planning to be a Broadway star when I grow up! PS can you do an episode for A Little Fall of Rain from Les miserable?✌️
  • AJDP in LA
    Loving what I’m hearing
    It’s a pleasure to hear someone take a deep dive into the music I love. To hear Kirk breakdown “Stolen Moments,” which I have loved for decades, made me hear it with new ears. I am excited to hear more! Thank you!
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