Strong Songs

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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
  • lauf-aiya-rson
    really good
    i'm not rly a music guy but have been blown away by the few episodes i've heard. really enjoying the sheer musical knowledge and super clean editing + explanations. i like the way this show pushes me to listen to little details of the music i generally struggle to notice or name all at once. really nice listen!
  • Zepqueen
    Amazing show !
    Such a wonderful and well put together show,just started listening and it’s one of my favorites.This is a must listen for any music fan as Kirk does an awesome job at explaining all the aspects of the songs.
  • Mj6986
    Interesting podcast but makes you wish for ads
    First episode I listened to (Chicago recast) took 9 minutes before the actual content started. Had at least two plugs for Patreon before I heard a note. Will keep listening/skipping and reserve the right to adjust my rating (up) since Kirk is def doing a good thing.
  • McPoopin123456889
    What a joyful podcast!
    I use another podcast app, and I downloaded Apple Podcasts just to leave a review for this show. That’s how much I love it! Kirk brings so much joy and enthusiasm to his music analysis, it is absolutely infectious. He makes me hear some of my favorite songs in a new and exciting way. And while I originally planned to listen only to the episodes on songs I already like, I now plan to listen to all of them, because I trust that Kirk will help me to enjoy them.
  • Christine Ocho
    Accessible and emotionally resonant analysis.
    Kirk does such an amazing job with this podcast. The mark of a truly effective educator is not to simply state facts or point out salient features (this chord over that bass-line, etc) and then move on — looking at you, Rick B. — without regard for whether and how naive listeners will be able to absorb and understand the import, but to patiently break it down to the most basic level, with abundant repetition, adding layers of complexity only as and — most importantly — when it will be understandable for a non-musician. Kirk’s analysis is totally accessible and really hits home. At times, I find it emotionally overwhelming to be within the song or particular parts of a song for so long. The episodes on “Everybody wants to rule the World (TfF) & Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” are truly outstanding acheivements; almost like pieces of art in and of themselves, worth repeat listens like the strong songs they feature. Aside from his musical and technical insights, Kirk also displays a remarkable ability to describe the emotional resonance of the music or lyric, and how it taps in to our personal vulnerabilities. After all, isn’t that what really makes music special? Now, if only he would do some Talk Talk …
  • BryceThePodcastReviewer
    It’s good
    I mean, really good. Check it out now
  • kiddblur
    Makes songs you’ve never heard feel like lifelong favorites
    Kirk is such a master of breaking down that makes a song great. Episodes of this show have made me adore songs that I’ve never heard of in genres I’ve never liked. By breaking down the masterful work that the artists put into each song, you really start to appreciate the craft in a way that simply listening to music won’t give you. 5/5
  • andrew.conkling
    Nerdy in the best way
    As a music nerd, it’s nice to listen to a podcast that really dives deep on some great songs. I’ve loved to support this show since the beginning. 🖤
  • Normo4
    Come for the song; stay for the host
    Come for the song; stay for Kirk Hamilton’s contagious enthusiasm, eloquent narrative, educational deconstruction, and masterful reconstruction!
  • Turtle lover7
    Love it
    I am a almost twelve years old but listen too tons of music that was recorded before I was born and I love the in depth dives into my favorite songs also can you do a episode on a new pornographers song or beatles I also listen too some of the more child appropriate triple click eposodes Totk for ever
  • river dragon G7G7
    MORE!!!
    So impossibly good, I need more!!! It covers so much!!! I play guitar and trumpet, but this podcast has made me think about music so different. Please do Weezer!!!!!! Preferably My Name is Jonas. Also maybe some AC/DC or Metallica. But definitely Weezer!!! (And by the way, the G7 in my name does reference the chord, it was the very first one I learned many many years ago.☺️)
  • Darkmage7770
    Bruh.
    Your TOTK episode just left me inconsolable, it’s exactly what I needed 6 months after the game. Thank you for the reminder of how incredible that game was to experience for the first time. If you ever feel the burning need to do a 6 hour intense breakdown of Zelda music, you’ll have listeners I promise.
  • Jazzlover9316
    My current favorite podcast
    My favorite time of the day is when I listen to this podcast when cooking meals. I like how Kirk breaks down songs and shows their nuances. Unfortunately, I’m not knowledgeable enough in terms of music to understand all the details. I’ve also discovered a lot of great songs through this podcast and learnt to appreciate the songs I knew more.
  • Parker tweed
    Strong Songs is the best
    My favorite podcast in the world
  • cajaygle
    Great for musicians and non-musicians
    This is a great podcast for both musicians and non-musicians alike. The host Kirk Hamilton dissects songs piece by piece to discuss how they were created and what makes them interesting, unique, and great. While he gets into composition and performance details that musicians will appreciate, he’s very articulate and makes it approachable for non-musicians. Mostly though his love for ‘strong songs’ comes through and each episode makes me appreciate the song he’s covering more deeply. I discovered this podcast about a month ago and have been tearing through the archive of episodes and I joined his Patreon.
  • JC1993
    Well Done and Well Worth Your Time
    This is an astonishing podcast. The host knows his stuff and his earnest, positive approach is a breath of fresh air. So many music history podcasts spend their time tearing music down while breaking it into key components, but Kirk shows a true appreciation for all the elements, regardless of how artists chose to put it together. You’ll never listen to your favorite song the same way again - you’ll like it even more.
  • kelizwallace
    You’ve outdone yourself
    Long time listener, that opera ep sent me right to your Patreon. That was INCREDIBLE.
  • Danjones0806
    Best music analysis I’ve heard
    Discovered this show recently (through a 20K Hertz episode about Zelda) and am very excited about it. I’m going back and listening to all the episodes. I am a hobby guitarist and songwriter, and this is just the perfect mix of music theory, cool things in the mix you probably didn’t notice, good explanations backed up by accurate recreations on his own instruments, a personable and professional host, and general enthusiasm for music. I learn something worth writing down from pretty much every episode.
  • Nicc878
    Finally, someone who gets it
    I’ve always wondered if people hear beautiful, perfect songs the way I do, and the answer is “Yes!” I love the breakdowns here
  • EVJoe
    The worst thing about Strong Songs...
    ... is that it will make you wish you were a better musician, and then very aptly remind you of the various tried-and-true methods of improving as a musician, thereby leaving the onus of effort on you, the desperately inspired listener. I love this show. I found it because another podcast (A More Civilized Age) mentioned Kirk's Strong Songs episode about the music of Andor. After listening to that and being drawn in by Kirk's cheerily optimistic (but not saccharine) tone, his earnest-seeming love for music and the various musical phenomenon he discusses. If you enjoy listening to music, learning about music history (biographical AND technical) but don't have a musical bone in your body (outside of your inner ear), I still think Strong Songs has a lot to offer, and who knows? Maybe Kirk will convince you to start voice lessons or pick up a guitar, or even a synthesizer.
  • BandtheC
    Great for understanding music production
    Fantastic breakdown of songs, instrumentation, production techniques and even a little theory mixed in. A must listen for musicians wanting to produce their own or others music.
  • stampinfraulein
    Enjoyable and interesting for all levels of musical appreciation
    I’m a new listener—came over because this show was referenced in an episode of Twenty Thousand Hertz—and I’m an instant fan! Kirk’s voice is pleasant to listen to and he speaks in a friendly, easy way. I’m not a musician (aside from playing an instrument in high school) but I still feel like I understand even when he talks about nitty gritty musical theory stuff. I can’t wait to dive into the past episodes!
  • bequeath
    Varied and thorough
    Kirk does a great job of making things accessible for casual music fans but still interesting for those with a little more depth of knowledge. He doesn't just stick with one type of music; he really knows and loves it all, which not only makes each episode new an interesting but also helps him make connections between different songs and artists.
  • MusicIsLife🎵
    New song idea!
    Have you listened to the song “Fireflies” by Owl City? I think it’s a great song and would like it if you made an episode about it!
  • Tevoregon
    Go Deep
    This has become my favorite podcast about music. Kirk Hamilton analyzes what makes songs great by deconstructing and reconstructing them from the bottom up. He digs down into the depths to isolate individual tracks but then swoops up to show how the unified whole works. It’s fun to hear some of my own faves get the Kirk treatment while also being introduced to songs I’ve never paid much attention to. I’ve gained new insights into music production. I’ve also learned how the best songs marry lyrics, harmony and melody in a perfect union. (Extra points for being from my hometown, PDX!)
  • jz the elder
    So Smart, So Strong
    Kirk hits the sweet spot for the well-informed, yet still amateur, music lover. So positive, so appreciative, so strong!
  • iRuthenium
    Every Good Song is a Lesson
    I’ve long believed every great song is a songwriting lesson, if you listen closely enough. Lovely to find someone else who believes the same. Listening to great writers in the round in Nashville is like graduate school, I found, and I treasure podcasts like this that helps us listen with discernment!
  • dangerpaint
    Absolutely amazing
    I love this podcast, and am looking forward to seeing for new episodes! My favorites are the Zelda and Dark Side Of The Moon episodes.
  • rh1979
    Incredible Podcast!
    This podcast is incredible. It’s gotten me back into playing guitar and learning the piano. It has also been a great conversation starter for my daughter and me about what makes great music and listening to different aspects of a song. Thank you and keep up the great work!
  • ellie092208
    Awesome!!!
    I love it! I love all your episodes! Especially the Hamilton one!
  • Jess is all ears
    Pure bliss
    This show is entertaining, educational, and simply joy inducing. Kirk Hamilton is an incredibly personable and knowledgeable host and musician. Every episode is fascinating and I find myself binge listening several at a time. I can’t get enough!
  • MrCFPoncho
    What an AMAZING find!
    I recently discovered this podcast and I find it fantastic. I happy and appreciative to have found it. Maybe we can look forward to an episode about the curiously hypnotic Michael McDonald song I Keep Forgetting?
  • marketpop
    The Best in Music
    Kirk…you have a wonderful show! Thank you!
  • realbowie
    Great content once it finally starts
    Top content on style and substance. Too much intro small talk.
  • I. Cheese
    Music education for the masses
    Kirk is well-trained and has a load of experience and it shows. He uses this deep well of expertise to walk listeners through the ins and outs of songs without ever talking down to them. Regardless of your background, he serves as a guide to not only music theory but how contemporary music gets made.
  • Mdbrownmdbrown
    Strong Podcast! Has changed how I think about music
    The way he picks apart the music is so informative, yet entertaining! After an episode I’ll never hear the songs he’s discussed the same any more. He opens up so many dimensions of the songs!
  • KOB631
    I’m learning so much
    This is such a fun way to learn about music
  • hirhjchr8jrc
    Keep it going man👌👌
    Love this podcast, it’s on of my favorite podcasts I’ve ever listened to in my life. Keep the work going👍🏼❤️.
  • babycilantro
    Wholesome.
    Kirk is a gem, knowledgeable and humble and genuinely in love with music. It gets you hyped on the song all over again.
  • Tia Frijole
    Favorite Podcast!
    I’m not a musician but I love music, and this podcast is SO good. The variety of music is excellent, but the best part is Kirk’s genuine enthusiasm and positive attitude!
  • NPR-Junkie
    WONDERFUL!
    A family member just told me about this podcast. One listen and I’m hooked. Kirk is such a great listener and teacher. I’ve been making and studying music for 63 years and I’m thrilled by Kirk’s ability to analyze a song, and take me into a deeper appreciation of so many songs that have been the soundtrack of my life. I can’t remember ever being this jazzed by finding a new podcast!!!
  • chrisp1969
    Great podcast!
    If you love music and love to explore all the elements of what makes a song a song-this is a killer podcast. Kirk really knows his stuff and it’s easy to see that he is really a music fan, which makes the show super fun. Great variety of songs dissected.
  • paul butt
    Best music podcast
    Kirk explains every aspect in the song that is enjoyable for people who know a lot about music to people who know very little. The dark side of the moon episode is definitely my favorite, would love to see an episode on the wish you were here album someday
  • brozeiy
    From a fellow musician…
    I’ve been listening to this podcast for about a month now. Along with improvising on the piano, this is my GO TO for finding musical inspiration!! I’m just so glad I found this podcast and that others are as passionate about music as I am. A typical couple of hours listening to this podcast I find myself smiling like a kid because of all the things I’m learning. Recommended for…ANYONE!!!
  • Great Erini
    What a Treat!
    Kirk is a delight and this podcast rules! It’s like having your middle school music teacher hanging out with you and talking about “grooves.” Love this, love Kirk, and I’m always happy to hear about Appa!
  • kelsonz27
    Great Show!
    Very insightful show about music.
  • lxxxxsss
    Great!
    Kirk Hamilton is a pleasure to listen to. He explains music theory in an understandable format. He showcases songs & delves not the details so you can enjoy them even more.
  • Iron Father
    Fantastic
    I just started listening to Strong Songs and it’s quickly shooting to the top of my list of favorite podcasts.
  • Joel ben Izzy
    What a gift this show is!
    I started listening to Strong Songs after a friend recommended it. He suggested that I listen to some songs that I knew and loveed already to get Kirk’s excellent insights into them.That was great advice, and I learned so much more about songs I’d heard a hundred times or more. Then I went beyond that and decided to listen to Kirks show from the first episode onwards, paying special attention to songs I’d never heard of or actively disliked - for example, growing up in the late 60s and 70s I always thought of “Dancing Queen” as vapid bubblegum pop. Listening to Kirk’s exploration of these songs however I began to appreciate things I had never thought of before. I have come to see this podcast as a course in music theory and music appreciation, taught through songs, and I am so grateful for it. Bottom line, definitely a Strong Podcast. Thank you!!!
  • 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.
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