Switched on Pop

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Beyoncé's Country

Renaissance Act II truthers, your time has come: There’s new music from Beyoncé, and boy, is it country. Her two new singles dropped two weeks ago, and in the time since, they’ve both climbed up the chart and taken the internet by storm. There’s the barnstorming stomp and holler ditty “TEXAS HOLD 'EM,” which just notched the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and the dark horse “16 CARRIAGES,” a autobiographical work song detailing Beyoncé’s roots in Houston, Texas. Charlie and Nate unpack both of these two songs, highlighting their structures, inspirations, and collaborators, from Raphael Saddiq to Rhiannon Giddens. Then, producer Reanna Cruz speaks to music journalist Taylor Crumpton, whose article for Time, “Beyoncé Has Always Been Country” lays out the cultural implications of this sonic pivot for one of the biggest artists of all time. 
Songs Discussed

Beyoncé - Texas Hold 'Em, 16 Carriages, Break My Soul, Formation, Daddy Lessons

Dink Roberts - Georgia Buck

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Hit 'Em Up Style

Elvis Presley - Mystery Train

Unidentified African American Chain Gang - Waterboy, Run

James Carter and the Prisoners - Po Lazarus

Robert Randolph and the Family Band - Find a Way

Vince Gill ft Justus West- High Lonesome Sound

More
Read Taylor Crumpton's article Beyoncé Has Always Been Country
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Description by Switched on Pop
A podcast all about the making and meaning of popular music. Musicologist Nate Sloan & songwriter Charlie Harding pull back the curtain on how pop hits work magic on our ears & our culture. From Vulture and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
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