What Song Has Been Played Most on Your Phone?

We had a tough time settling on the exact wording for this theme.

Personally, I think that has a lot to do with the fact that, as babies of the late ’80s, the members of our podcast team have listened to music via many different means. When compared to tape decks, Walkmans (Walkmen?), CD drives, and record players, there’s something about the idea of phones as primary sources of media that’s still a little strange.

On the other hand, one convenience offered at this audio technology juncture is the ease with which we can learn about our listening habits.

From rhapsodies we use to wind down to commuter karaoke favorites, the latest episode of our podcast addresses tracks that fit the theme, “The Most Played Song on My Phone.” For this discussion, Carter and I were delighted to be joined by singer, songwriter, and music consultant, Dominique Marie.

The episode features heavy-hitters from the catalogues of Metallica, Fleetwood Mac, and Elliot Moss.

Check out Dominique’s brand new EP, Rediscovery, and listen to Episode 57 of Themes and Variation in its entirety right here:

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Episode 57 Highlights

1. Carter shares his thoughts on creating a track that builds over time.

Carter: “Restraint really is what it is. Like, ‘I have a great idea, so I’m not gonna repeat it over and over and over and over.’ The envelope opens up on one of the synths a little bit. It’s subtle stuff like that that makes your ears perk up throughout the course of the song that, that’s it. It’s not overloading the listener with, ‘Here’s all my best stuff right now.’”

2. Dominique shares an inspiring sentiment.

Dominique: “I can’t even believe I’m gonna admit this. Obviously, as a songwriter and artist, you go through the waves of so much self-doubt, and then you get this glimpse of confidence and this high and you’re like, ‘Yes, I got this.’ And then boom, dip, back into the ditch. But one thing that I truly, truly believe, to my core, is that there is a song within me that I believe will be like this, maybe not as big, but there is something that I have in my, I don’t know… ether of life that will translate to many people and influence many people. And I’m not sure if I’ve written it yet. Maybe I still have some growing to do. It’s just a small belief. Like one song, I don’t even care if I’m the one singing it. I could write it when I’m 70, you know?”

3. I consider some of the qualities I like about downtempo music.

Mahea: “I do think a lot of stuff like this has a little bit of a hip-hop feel to it too, so I don’t know if some of it is that it’s just not square, you know? Your ear takes a while to get used to the push and pull of a song like this for some reason. I feel like pop meets expectations intentionally, whereas a lot of this stuff is intentionally defying them. Or maybe not intentionally. I don’t even know.”

Join the Conversation

One of our favorite things about our podcast is the fact that the conversation around each theme is so much bigger than the episode itself. We’d love to hear which songs you would have chosen for this episode! Share them with us on Twitter or, if you’re a Soundfly subscriber, in the #podcast channel on Discord.

Plus, with every new episode of Themes and Variation, we launch a new Spotify playlist that includes the songs mentioned in this episode and more. Here’s this episode’s Spotify playlist!

We’ll see you in a couple weeks with a new theme, new guests, and some new songs to break down. If you have any comments, questions, or theme suggestions, drops us a (bass) line at [email protected]!

RJD2: From Samples to Songs

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