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The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in popular music criticism, trends and news.


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Separating Big Business and Bad Behavior in ?Tár?

The film about a renowned and embattled conductor puts a fresh spin on conversations about art, power and misdeeds. Guests: Vulture's Alison Wilmore and Zachary Woolfe.
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50 Years of Stevie Wonder?s ?Talking Book?

A conversation about the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist?s studio innovations, and melding of social consciousness and musical creativity. Guest: Jon Pareles.
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Taylor Swift?s ?Midnights?: Listener Mailbag

The New York Times pop music team had its say; now a new panel answers questions about the blockbuster album. Guests: Madison Malone Kircher and Pitchfork's Quinn Moreland.
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Taylor Swift?s ?Midnights?: Let?s Discuss

The blockbuster singer-songwriter?s 10th studio album finds her at a crossroads: Will she continue to reckon with her past, or forge another new path forward? Guests: Joe Coscarelli, Caryn Ganz, Jon Pareles and Lindsay Zoladz.
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Remembering Loretta Lynn

A conversation about the country music titan?s sly radicalism and the many readings and misreadings of her work. Guest: Jewly Hight.
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The Young Women Who Make TikTok Weep

Songwriters who have found success on the app via emotional catharsis have expanded its range, and piqued the music industry?s interest. Guest: Stereogum's Rachel Brodsky.
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The Sudden Rise of Zach Bryan

The breakout country-folk singer and songwriter has found an audience for his old-fashioned artistry largely on a newer platform: streaming. Guest: Grady Smith.
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Popcast Live! The New Faces of 2022

Blondshell, Central Cee, Ethel Cain and more: a conversation about what?s breaking through, plus questions from the audience at our first live taping. Guests: Joe Coscarelli and Caryn Ganz.
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The Perseverance of Megan Thee Stallion

The rapper?s rise has been accompanied by outside noise. How has she grown on record, and how have extra-musical narratives shaped her career? Guests: Rolling Stone's Mankaprr Conteh and Pitchfork's Heven Haile.
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What Is a ?Fake? Artist in 2022?

Firestorms over the ?virtual rapper? FN Meka and faceless artists on Spotify have sparked conversations about alienation and creative agency. Guests: Joe Coscarelli; Garbage Day's Ryan Broderick; and Music Business Worldwide's Tim Ingham.
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Rage Against the Machine, Roaring On

A conversation about the band?s return, its evolving message and the nature of comeback tours. Guests: Rolling Stone's Andy Greene and the writer and "Summer of Soul" producer Joseph Patel.
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Beyoncé?s ?Renaissance?: The Speed Round

The conversation continues about one of the year?s most ideologically provocative pop albums, its queer inspirations and its credits. Guests: Naima Cochrane, Vulture's Jason P. Frank, Resident Advisor's Kiana Mickles and Patrik Sandberg.
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A Renaissance in American Hardcore Music

A look at the recent burst of bands and how the scene operates as music, ethic and feeling. Guests: Stereogum's Tom Breihan and The Ringer's Chris Ryan.
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The Robust Return of Beyoncé

A deep dive on ?Renaissance,? her relationship to queer music communities and her framing of authorship. Guests: Joe Coscarelli, Wesley Morris, Jon Pareles and Salamishah Tillet.
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Lizzo?s Complicated, Joyful Pop

The singer, rapper and songwriter?s peppy empowerment songs have made her an outlier in a field dominated by melancholic music. Guests: The Ringer's Justin Charity; Lindsay Zoladz; and William Robin.
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?Elvis? vs. Elvis

How much do fantasy and imagination play into how we remember pop culture heroes? Guests: A.O. Scott and Alanna Nash.
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What?s Next for Jack Harlow?

He?s one of hip-hop?s biggest emerging stars, and he?s cutting a very different path than the white rappers who came before him. Guests: Hunter Harris, Larisha Paul and Peter Rosenberg.
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Where Is Jazz Most at Home?

The genre has long been filled with tension between mainstream outlets and the spaces in which the music is most likely to grow. Guests: Giovanni Russonello and WBGO's Nate Chinen.
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Drake Hits the Nightclub

How did the rapper arrive on the dance floor? And what subcultures and expectations might he experiment with next? Guests: Joe Coscarelli and The Baltimore Banner's Lawrence Burney.
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Digging Into Bob Dylan and Lou Reed?s Archives

Attempting to uncover unknown things about very well known people. Guest: Ben Sisario.
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Mailbag Madness: Adele, Jack Harlow, the State of Rock?s Return

The team answers your questions about Chance the Rapper, how the critics consider extramusical concerns and more. Guests: Joe Coscarelli, Caryn Ganz and Jon Pareles.
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Can Harry Styles?s Music Catch Up to His Fame?

How his time in One Direction and a powerful online fan base have shaped the pop star?s career. Guests: The Atlantic's Kaitlyn Tiffany, and Lindsay Zoladz.
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Kendrick Lamar?s Anxiety Era

During his five-year pause between albums, the rapper has been reckoning ? with his own evolution, and the narrative that?s been constructed for him. Guests: Rolling Stone's Jeff Ihaza; New York magazine and Vulture's Craig Jenkins; and The Nation's Stephen Kearse.
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How Gossip Is Remaking Online Hip-Hop Media

Actual music can seem like an afterthought as digital coverage of the genre has tilted toward tabloidism. Are there other paths forward? Guests: HipHopDX's Jerry Barrow; Complex's Andre Gee; and Genius's Rob Markman.
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Why We Collect

A conversation about the urge to accumulate treasured items and the stories objects can hold. Guest: The New Yorker's Hua Hsu.
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A Decade of Drill Rap

Pop Smoke, Lil Durk, Fivio Foreign and more have taken the sound that emerged in Chicago in different directions. What might come next? Guests: Joe Coscarelli and David Drake.
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Machine Gun Kelly?s Pop-Punk Pivot

After decreasing returns in the hip-hop world, the musician and actor stepped into a revival that had roots in SoundCloud rap, and a champion in Travis Barker. Guests: Meaghan Garvey and Arielle Gordon.
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Will Smith, Before the Slap

Plenty has been said about Oscars night. But what about the rapper-turned-actor?s remarkable journey up to that point? Guest: Andscape's Soraya Nadia McDonald.
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The 2022 Grammys: Let?s Discuss

What are the awards at this point, and who benefits from them? Guests: Jon Pareles, Wesley Morris and Lindsay Zoladz.
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Charli XCX?s Ever-Evolving Pop

The singer and songwriter?s career has inspired dance parties as well as spirited conversations about her ambitions and aesthetic innovations. Guests: Hazel Cills and Shaad D?Souza.
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The Many Worlds of Rosalía

The Spanish phenom?s music takes in a host of global influences, making her one of the most sonically ambitious and critically dissected pop artists today. Guest: Joe Coscarelli.
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The Sounds of Ukrainian Pop

A conversation about some of the country?s stars, the musical traditions they work within and how they have grappled with the war. Guest: Vogue's Liana Satenstein.
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Reggaeton?s Global Expansion and Wide-Open Future

As the genre grows in worldwide popularity, it is engaging with the pop music mainstream and stratifying into subsets, introducing new opportunities and dilemmas. Guests: Isabelia Herrera and Katelina Eccleston.
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The Enigma of Big Thief

A conversation about the space the breakout Brooklyn band occupies in contemporary indie-rock circles, and its latest album. Guests: Rolling Stone's Jon Dolan and Pitchfork's Sam Sodomsky.
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Remembering Betty Davis, a Futuristic Funk Force

A conversation about her unique music, her short career and the path that led to her rediscovery. Guests: Jon Pareles, Maureen Mahon and Oliver Wang.
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Mitski, In and Out of the Spotlight

The indie-rock musician?s albums inspire deep feelings and attract ever-bigger audiences, but in many ways she remains a mystery. Guests: New York's E. Alex Jung and Pitchfork's Cat Zhang.
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Spotify?s Ongoing Joe Rogan Problem

The controversy over the star podcaster and misinformation raised thorny questions about the streaming service?s role as a platform, and exacerbated its conflicts with musicians. Guests: Ben Sisario and New York's Nick Quah.
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Remembering Greg Tate, Critic and Catalyst

Conversations with two of his contemporaries about the fertile scenes he covered, and the indelible impression he left. Guests: Michael A. Gonzales and Joan Morgan.
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A Killing Jolts Sweden?s Rap Scene

A conversation about hip-hop?s evolution in the country, and how a high-profile shooting thrust the music into the spotlight. Guests: Joe Coscarelli, Petter Hallen and Alex Marshall.
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What?s Left for the Weeknd to Conquer?

?Dawn FM? suggests at least one future direction for the pop powerhouse, who?s spent a decade making careful moves. Guest: The Ringer's Rob Harvilla.
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2021 in Jazz: Intimacy and Conversation

Throughout the pandemic, the music?s flexibility has become an asset. Where will artists take it next? Guests: Giovanni Russonello and Marcus J. Moore.
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Bonus Episode: Lana Del Rey?s American Fever Dreams

As a New Year's treat, we've recovered an old episode sidelined by technical issues (thank you, Pedro!): a discussion of Lana Del Rey?s ?Chemtrails Over the Country Club? and the long arc of her career. Guests: Mina Tavakoli and Lindsay Zoladz.
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What We Forgot to Talk About in 2021

A catch-up round table on a host of topics: Maneskin, Jazmine Sullivan, Kelly Clarkson, a Real Housewife?s music career and much more. Guests: Joe Coscarelli and Caryn Ganz.
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TikTok?s Music Critics Reflect on 2021

Four of the app?s voices on pop name their favorite releases of the year and discuss developing taste in the age of the algorithm. Guests: Margeaux Labat, Eric Morris, Cam Sullivan-Brown and Hunter White.
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The Best Albums of 2021? Let?s Discuss.

Our critics spar over their year-end lists (and agree on Olivia Rodrigo and Tyler, the Creator) in a wrap-up of the year in LPs. Guests: Jon Pareles and Lindsay Zoladz.
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Remembering Stephen Sondheim, Musical Theater Visionary

A conversation about his legacy, his engagements with pop music and whether he has any true inheritors. Guests: Jesse Green and Elisabeth Vincentelli.
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Adele Returns, From Beyond Space and Time

Will we ever see a star who unites audiences like this British musician again? Guests: Jon Pareles and Pitchfork's Jillian Mapes.
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The Emotional and Financial Business of Taylor Swift?s ?All Too Well?

What does the rerecorded song from ?Red? say about how power and the past have shaped her career? Guests: Joe Coscarelli, Caryn Ganz and Lindsay Zoladz.
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Remembering the Velvet Underground Through the Mirror of Film

A conversation about how the band was experienced in its time, and how Todd Haynes?s new documentary explores the world that birthed it. Guests: Jon Pareles and A.O. Scott.
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How the Mosh Pit and ?Raging? Came to Hip-Hop

The tragedy at Travis Scott?s Astroworld turned attention to how rap festival performances are increasingly oriented toward the rowdy. Guest: Masked Gorilla and Masked Records' Roger Gengo.
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