Singer-songwriter James Walsh of Starsailor joins Sodajerker to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band's beloved debut album Love Is Here. During the conversation, James reflects on songs from the now classic album, what he's learned about songwriting over the years, and his experiences co-writing with pop acts.
Legendary songwriter, producer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham joins Simon and Brian to discuss his fantastic self-titled new album, his Cubist approach to songwriting, and the art of the ?Kevlar chorus'. During the chat, Lindsey touches on his work with Fleetwood Mac, standout tracks like 'Slow Dancing' and 'Holiday Road', and much more. This is a special moment for us, so thanks for listening!
Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson joins Simon and Brian to discuss the writing of the band's latest album Detour de Force as well as classic BNL songs like 'One Week'. In this wide-ranging chat, Ed talks about collaborating with the likes of Kevin Griffin and Donovan Woods, writing in his car, and taking inspiration from everyone from Howard Jones to Eminem.
Rising star Maisie Peters chats with Simon and Brian about the writing of her debut album You Signed Up For This. The singer-songwriter gives an in-depth account of her process and shares what it's like to collaborate with Ed Sheeran, the value of busking to her career, and the word she chose to remove from the song ?Boy?.
Will Taylor and Nick Hill of Flyte take a deep dive into the creative process behind the band's excellent new album This Is Really Going To Hurt. The guys explain their approach to collaboration, the importance of simplicity and streamlining, and how songs can retrospectively take on greater significance.
Singer-songwriter MARINA breaks down the songwriting process behind her amazing new album Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land and songs from past eras. MARINA also talks about her experiences writing with teams like Stargate, how her fierce independence informs her creativity, and why it's important to take time out.
Singer-songwriter, musician, actor and podcaster Gary Kemp joins Simon and Brian for a chat about his exciting new album INSOLO, writing mega-hits like 'True', 'Gold' and 'Through The Barricades' for Spandau Ballet, and why he likes to write alone. Gary also shares his thoughts on writing from the head and the heart, the discipline of rhyming, and the importance of storytelling.
Laura Mvula discusses her sparkling new album Pink Noise, teasing out 80's influences, and pushing herself into new musical territories. The Birmingham-born artist shares insights into her career and creative process by talking about life after Sony, working with collaborators like Oli Rockberger, and challenging herself as a singer.
Sharleen Spiteri of Texas chats with Simon and Brian about the band's new album Hi. During the conversation, the singer and guitarist shares insights into her longtime writing partnership with Johnny McElhone, the writing of their many hits, collaborating with Wu-Tang Clan, and how her creativity is enlivened by having synesthesia.
The sensational St. Vincent joins Simon and Brian for a conversation about her fascinating new album Daddy's Home. During the chat, Annie talks about her approach to songwriting, collaborating with the likes of David Byrne and Jack Antonoff, her relationship with the guitar, and the place of music theory in her work.
The multi-talented Moby discusses his latest album Reprise, his love for bedroom studios, and why you'll never find him on holiday. The DJ, producer and songwriter also shares insights into his working routines, the writing of major albums like Play, and strategies for overcoming writer's block.
For this very special 200th episode, Simon and Brian revel in the boundless creativity of musician Jon Batiste. The Late Show bandleader joins Sodajerker from his piano to explain the writing process behind his life-affirming record We Are, how he understands music in terms of frequencies, and what he feels is his superpower as an artist.
Birdy joins Simon and Brian for a chat about her most personal album to date, Young Heart, the art of co-writing, and the influence of Joni Mitchell. Birdy also describes how she challenged herself by going to write in LA and Nashville, and how this helped her to develop her confidence and work through writer's block.
Singer-songwriter David Gray chats about his beautiful new album Skellig, the social and political leanings that underpin his music, and classic songs from his monumental hit White Ladder. David also remembers the time he spent in Liverpool as a young man and explains how his current lifestyle challenges his creativity.
Paul Smith and Duncan Lloyd of Maxïmo Park discuss their latest album Nature Always Wins and how they recorded the album remotely during lockdown. The pair provide an in-depth account of their creative process and how they strive to avoid clichés when writing about topics like childhood, parenting, ageing, and the social politics of tragedy.
Singer-songwriter and producer Róisín Murphy breaks down the creative processes behind her album Róisín Machine and explains how she develops tracks, lyrics and remixes across a range of electronic music styles. Róisín also talks about collaborators like Richard Barratt (DJ Parrot/Crooked Man) and Eddie Stevens, and her hits for Moloko created with Mark Brydon.
One of our all-time favourite guests, singer-songwriter and producer Mike Viola returns to the podcast to discuss his fantastic new album Godmuffin. During the conversation, Mike explains how he makes time for creativity, how the past informs his present, and how he is coping with the loss of his friend Adam Schlesinger. Mike's first appearance on the show was in episode 20.
Distinguished songwriter and composer Nitin Sawhney shares insights into the writing of his latest album Immigrants, and its relationship to his acclaimed breakthrough Beyond Skin. During the chat, Nitin also talks about the poetry and mathematics of Indian classical music, collaborating with Paul McCartney, and how he has continued working during lockdown.
Enduring singer-songwriter Don McLean discusses the writing of songs from throughout his extraordinary career including 'American Pie', 'Vincent', 'Wonderful Baby', 'The Legend of Andrew McCrew', 'Prime Time', 'Sea Man' and 'When July Comes'. In the conversation, Don teases out the importance of artists like Fred Astaire, Bob Dylan and The Beatles, and explains why he wants to write songs that are useful to people.
The New Bohemians singer-songwriter joins Simon and Brian for a chat about the band's excellent album Hunter and the Dog Star, her approach to lyrics and melody, and the music that inspired her. During the conversation, Edie also reflects on her time away from music, her work with Steve Martin, and a potential collaboration with her husband Paul Simon.
Legendary R&B writer and Muscle Shoals figurehead Dan Penn discusses his recent album Living On Mercy and timeless classics like 'The Dark End of the Street', 'Do Right Woman, Do Right Man' and 'I'm Your Puppet'. During the conversation, Dan talks about his time at FAME Studios, his collaborations with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, and why he's not trying to tell his own story through his songs.
In this special episode, legendary singer, songwriter and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi joins Simon and Brian to discuss his recent album 2020, and his incredible hits through the years. During the conversation, Jon talks about writing topical songs, collaborating with people like Desmond Child and Dave Stewart, and why he keeps coming back to a guitar named Bob. If you enjoy this episode, be sure to check out the JBJ Soul Foundation which is dedicated to long-lasting solutions to hunger and homelessness.
Singer-songwriter and producer Steven Wilson joins Sodajerker to discuss his terrific album The Future Bites, why he hates songwriting, and what it was like collaborating with Elton John. Steven also describes his work remixing classic albums and explains how he finds it important to divorce himself from his love for other artists in his own songwriting.
The incredible Gregory Porter drops in to chat about his Grammy-nominated album All Rise, why he prefers to be in motion when writing songs, and how inspiration is a flower that opens up at midnight. Gregory also discusses his relationship with Nat King Cole's music and explains why super sexy guys have to be careful about what lyrics they sing.
Jessica and Camilla of The Staves join us to talk about their stunning new record Good Woman. The pair explain their different mindsets in the writing process, how they created the sonic textures on the record, and how they completed the album after a momentous personal loss. Jess also remembers her time spent in Liverpool, and tells the story of how their father once sang Christmas carols with Paul McCartney.
In a rare interview, singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne shares insights into his latest album Monovision and reflects on why it?s important to maintain playfulness in the songwriting process. Ray also revisits classic songs like 'Trouble', compares the songwriting process to catching fireflies, and explains why he?ll never forget performing with Elvis Costello.
Obaro Ejimiwe aka Ghostpoet talks about his writing process on the album I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep and building songs from long improvisations in the studio. During the course of the chat, Obaro also reflects on his lack of affiliation with particular genres, the political nature of his words, and his relationship with social media.
In this episode, the tremendous Jeff Tweedy of Wilco provides a masterclass on creativity and songwriting as he discusses his outstanding new book How To Write One Song, and his excellent recent solo album Love Is The King. If you enjoy hearing the world's best break down practical and useful strategies that you can apply to your own work, look no further.
EELS frontman Mark Oliver Everett (aka 'E') drops in to talk about about the writing of the band's new album Earth To Dora and his creative process. During the chat, Mark highlights the power of resilience, how he collaborates with his bandmates, and his love for John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band.
The formidable Lucinda Williams chats with Simon and Brian about the writing of her latest album Good Souls Better Angels. Talking through her expansive catalogue, the veteran artist uncovers a range of themes that have informed her songwriting and her outlook on the music industries including politics, domestic abuse, depression, experiences with record labels and reviews on social media.
Songwriter, comedian and actor Tim Minchin talks about the writing of his debut studio album Apart Together. During this in-depth chat about the creative process, Tim also reveals how he approaches writing songs for musicals like Matilda and Groundhog Day, and why his comedy influences are The Beatles, The Kinks, and Queen.
Decorated singer-songwriter Gary Barlow joins Simon and Brian to chat about his new album Music Played By Humans, his ongoing passion for writing and recording, and his work with Take That. In this wide-ranging conversation, Frodsham's favourite son talks through his glittering catalogue of hits, explains what it was like waiting for cues from Ken Dodd, and reveals how he once got Prince talking about his favourite studio gear.
The great Midge Ure drops in to discuss the 40th anniversary reissue of Ultravox's seminal album Vienna. The legendary songwriter talks about his writing process throughout his extraordinary career from his work with Rich Kids, Visage and Phil Lynott, to the collaborative miracle that was Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'
For this episode, Simon and Brian are joined by singer-songwriter Andrew Roachford to chat about the writing of his new record Twice In A Lifetime. The veteran musician talks about working with Beverley Knight, why he likes singing in his living room, and what it was like to see Alan Partridge miming his classic hit 'Cuddly Toy'.
Singer-songwriter Katie Melua talks with Simon and Brian about the writing of her absorbing new record Album No. 8. During the conversation, Katie also reflects on her collaborations with the likes of Mike Batt, Guy Chambers, Don Black and Sam Dixon, and explains why she has been on a mission to research lyric writing.
Matt Berninger of The National joins us to talk about the writing of his excellent solo album Serpentine Prison. During the conversation, Matt describes his partnership with the album's producer Booker T. Jones, and explains why he's striving to resist cultures of fear, and structure his life around positive forms of creativity.
Singer-songwriter Dan Croll talks about his staggeringly good third album Grand Plan which covers his first year living as an artist in LA. Dan also remembers the time he had a one-on-one masterclass with Paul McCartney while studying at LIPA and takes a moment to reflect on the tragic loss of the band Her's, which he captures beautifully in his song 'Together'.
Taylor Goldsmith talks about his songwriting process across the impressive Dawes catalogue, collaborating with the likes of Elvis Costello on The New Basement Tapes project, and why it's important not to go into the studio with a hundred songs. Taylor also reflects on his work with talented friends like Brandon Flowers, Mike Viola, and his wife Mandy Moore.
To celebrate National Album Day, the great Billy Ocean discusses his new album One World, and his classic hits including 'Love Really Hurts Without You', 'Caribbean Queen', 'When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going' and 'Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car'. Billy also explains his approach to melody and vocal performance, and remembers his time collaborating with super-producer Mutt Lange.
World-renowned producer, songwriter and musician Paul Epworth speaks about his debut solo record, the expansive space concept album Voyager. Paul also talks in depth about his creative process, his studio The Church, and co-writing global hits with Adele such as 'Rolling in the Deep' and 'Skyfall'.
Vince Clarke and Andy Bell of Erasure talk about their excellent new album The Neon and how their songwriting process has evolved. In addition to discussing classic hits from their back catalogue like 'Blue Savannah', 'Sometimes' and 'A Little Respect', the pair explain how Andy prepares to find melodies on a track and how Vince makes best use of the analogue and digital domains.
With two recent Emmy nominations under his belt, the multi-talented Labrinth joins us to discuss his work on the critically-acclaimed HBO series Euphoria and his hits from the past decade. During the conversation, Lab talks about his approach to music theory and arranging, co-writing with artists like Sia, and his passion for retro synthesisers.
The legendary Burt Bacharach and his brilliant co-writer Daniel Tashian drop in for a conversation about their stunning new EP, Blue Umbrella, and life as songwriters in the middle of a pandemic. The pair explain how they've continued their collaboration remotely between Los Angeles and Nashville, and how they've drawn on Burt's vast experience as an arranger to bring the songs to life.
Grammy-winning hitmaker Nile Rodgers and legendary manager Merck Mercuriadis join Simon and Brian onstage at the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall during the 2019 Meltdown festival. The pair share insights into the art and business of songwriting through their work together on the Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, and Nile takes up his guitar to demonstrate how he wrote classic hits for artists like Sister Sledge, Diana Ross and David Bowie. Nile was also the guest for episode 123 of this podcast.
Songwriter and producer Dave Stewart drops in to discuss the new Stewart/Lindsey album Amitié, his many classic hits with Annie Lennox in Eurythmics, and his storied career in music. Dave also reflects on his collaborations with Aretha Franklin, Shakespeares Sister, and the importance of distraction in the writing process.