Sound & Vision

Sound & Vision

www.kexp.org/podcasts/sound-vision
The Sound & Vision podcast from KEXP features interviews, panels, reporting and commentary that digs into the stories behind the music, with in-depth discussion of the most important issues facing music and arts communities. New episodes are published on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with bonus features throughout the week. Sound & Vision is hosted by Emily Fox and John Richards.


Khruangbin’s Musical Fusion Aims to Unite
Jul 2 • 11 min
Khruangbin’s unique brand of psychedelic funk draws influences from their hometown of Houston, Texas, as well as from around the globe, starting with their appreciation of Thai funk tapes from the 60s. This has helped the band gain popularity with…
Living Authentically: Reflecting on Jackie Shane’s Legacy
Jun 30 • 10 min
Jackie Shane, a Black transgender soul singer, gained prominence in the 1960s with her captivating stage presence and voice. Then, in 1971, she quit her career and faded from the public eye and into a reclusive life at home. New York Times writer Reggie…
Gordi on Exploring Queer Identity on Her New Album
Jun 26 • 19 min
Australia’s Gordi is out with a new album, ‘Our Two Skins.’ It addresses her queer identity, something she didn’t come to terms with until recently. Gordi was supposed to tour the album on a bill with Of Monsters and Men but the tour was cancelled due to…
Dua Saleh on Queer Black Love and Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Jun 25 • 18 min
Dua Saleh is a non-binary multidisciplinary artist from Minneapolis who released a single this month, “body cast,” in response to the murders of Black people at the hands of police. From their experience fleeing war and genocide in Sudan to the realities…
Seattle’s CHOP Fuses Protest With Art
Jun 23 • 8 min
CHOP, or the Capitol Hill Occupied or Organized Protest, formerly known as CHAZ, has been in the headlines lately. On June 8th, Seattle Police officers boarded up the East Precinct on Capitol Hill after more than a week of sustained protests by residents…
I Self Devine on Collective Trauma and Community Organizing
Jun 19 • 10 min
I Self Devine is a musician and community organizer from Minneapolis. In 2018 he released a collaborative album called ‘Dismembered & Unarmed,’ meant to accompany the book, ‘My Grandmother’s Hands,’ by therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem. The…
Nikkita Oliver on Letting the Vision Lead the Movement
Jun 18 • 18 min
Most people in Seattle know Nikkita Oliver from her historic mayoral run in 2017. She lost the primary election by less than 2,000 votes. But Oliver is also a musician, a poet, an attorney, and the co-director of an incredible organization called Creative…
Toki Wright on Minneapolis, Racism and Music
Jun 16 • 34 min
Toki Wright is a musician, MC, producer, writer, radio DJ and community organizer from Minneapolis. He recently moved to Boston and is now chair of Berklee’s Professional Music Department. He’s been making music that addresses systemic racism, oppression…
The Grammys Scrap Term “Urban”
Jun 11 • 9 min
The Grammy Awards, as well as Republic Records, have announced they will no longer use the term “urban” in their award categories and music departments. Writer Jeremy Helligar discusses this welcome shift in language as a first step. He wrote a column in…
Celebrating Black Lives Through Music and Protest
Jun 9 • 27 min
Today’s podcast is co-hosted by musician, community organizer and KEXP DJ, Gabriel Teodros. It celebrates the music of Black artists, some of whom are on the frontlines of the protests against police brutality, calling for long overdue systemic change. We…
Larry Mizell, Jr. on the Music of Resistance
Jun 5 • 18 min
Following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Seattle has seen night after night of protests and KEXP DJs have responded by playing music by Black artists—music with a message. One of those DJs is Larry Mizell, Jr., host of Friday night’s…
Joy Division’s Legacy
May 28 • 15 min
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Joy Division frontman, Ian Curtis. In just two years, Joy Division recorded three albums worth of material and performed 120 shows. Curtis tragically died by suicide at the age of 23, the night before…
Seattle Musicians Remember Filmmaker Lynn Shelton
May 26 • 5 min
Seattle Filmmaker, Lynn Shelton died May 16th at the age of 54 from a previously undiagnosed blood disorder. Her breakout movie, ‘Humpday’ won an award at Sundance Film Festival. She also directed for TV on the shows ‘Mad Men,’ ‘New Girl’ and ‘Fresh Off…
Moses Sumney and Jonah Mutono on Inhabiting the Space Between
May 21 • 24 min
Moses Sumney is out with the second part of his album, ‘græ.’ Sumney, a Ghanaian American, was born in Southern California but spent portions of his childhood in Ghana. He spent the early half of his career in Los Angeles before moving to quiet solitude…
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s New Album Addresses Vietnamese Heritage and the Trauma of War
May 19 • 24 min
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down released their fifth full length album, ‘Temple,’ on May 15th. Frontwoman Thao Nguyen talks about how her latest album is about coming out to her Vietnamese family and processing her family’s story of war. “It’s about the…
Allen Stone on ‘Building Balance’ and COVID-19
May 14 • 14 min
Allen Stone is a soul singer and an actual son of a preacher. He started his music career in Seattle, but now with a wife and child in tow, he’s re-located to eastern Washington. His latest record, ‘Building Balance,’ was written in his family cabin in…
From Nirvana to Dina Martina: Memories of Seattle’s Re-bar
May 12 • 33 min
Seattle’s 30-year-old Re-bar venue announced on May 9th that it will permanently close its location on Howell street in Seattle. The plans are to reopen in the fall of 2021 at a new space in South Seattle, where it’s more affordable. Re-bar owner, Dane…
Parisalexa on Body Positivity, the Music Biz and Being Genuine
May 8 • 14 min
Seattle’s Parisalexa is out with her first full-length album, ‘2 REAL.’ She’s in her early 20s and is already cowriting songs for other artists in LA and has appeared in NBC’s songwriter show, ‘Songland.’ Parisalexa reflects on the lessons she’s learned…
Rufus Wainwright on Postponing His New Album
May 7 • 13 min
Rufus Wainwright was scheduled to release a new album on April 24th, but because of COVID-19, that album release has been moved to July. Part of the reason for the delay is that physical copies of the album couldn’t be pushed out in time. “All the hard…
Preventing Copyright Cases in Music
May 5 • 23 min
The Library of Congress is launching a tool this summer that will make its massive audio collection of free to use and reuse works available to DJs, hip hop artists, and others to sample in their music for free. The project is called “Citizen DJ.” It’s…
Damien Jurado on the Mystery of Songwriting
May 1 • 19 min
Damien Jurado released his 19th (!) album today, titled ‘What’s New, Tomboy?’ Jurado talks about his songwriting process. He describes songwriting as reading stories from a teleprompter– they just show up in front of him without him fully knowing what…
Ben Gibbard, Deep Sea Diver and Seattle Opera Tenor on Getting Creative During COVID
Apr 30 • 46 min
Seattle-based band, Deep Sea Diver has been getting creative with their weekly live stream performances on Instagram Live. Each week they give fans a “stem”—a drum beat or guitar riff to play with and create a song out of. The best songs get featured in…
Laura Marling on Her New Album, ‘Song For Our Daughter’
Apr 28 • 18 min
Laura Marling has been releasing albums since she was 18. Now at the age of 30, she has released her seventh studio album, ‘Song For Our Daughter.’ Despite the title of the record, Marling admits she isn’t a mother herself. “The title, ‘Song for our…
Lido Pimienta on How Racism, Beauty Pageants and National Identity Influenced Her New Album
Apr 23 • 15 min
Lido Pimienta is a Toronto-based, Colombian-born musician who won Canada’s biggest music prize, the Polaris Prize, in 2017. Her latest album, ‘Miss Colombia,’ combines cumbia, reggaeton and latin folk with orchestral production and electronic beats. In…
Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien on His First Solo Album
Apr 21 • 28 min
Radiohead guitarist, Ed O’Brien talks about his first solo album, EARTH. It was inspired by global travel, music festivals, spirituality, and the words of Walt Whitman and Carl Sagan. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/sound/
A Cosmic Journey with Shabazz Palaces
Apr 17 • 9 min
Ishmael Butler of the Seattle hip hop duo, Shabazz Palaces takes us on a cosmic journey through his new record, ‘The Don of Diamond Dreams.’ Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/sound/
Waxahatchee on the Clarity and Challenges of Sobriety
Apr 16 • 24 min
Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee discusses how her struggle with addiction and codependency influenced her latest record, ‘Saint Cloud.’ Crutchfield has been sober for two years now, and although sobriety presented new challenges to her songwriting…
Thundercat on Mourning, Loss and Humor
Apr 14 • 6 min
Thundercat’s latest album, ‘It Is What It Is,’ touches on the loss of rapper and producer Mac Miller who died from a drug overdose in 2018. The album also showcases Thundercat’s profound sense of humor, an underrated feature throughout much of his music.…
Northwest Classics: The Postal Service
Apr 9 • 16 min
As part of our Northwest Classics series, KEXP DJ Marco Collins talks with music journalist Charles R. Cross about the legacy of The Postal Service and how the group’s method of producing music remotely is relevant during COVID-19. We also hear Ben…
Music Venues at Risk of Permanent Closure Amid COVID-19
Apr 7 • 34 min
Many Seattle-area venues say they can only muster 8-9 weeks of being closed amid coronavirus until they have to shut down permanently. Washington State’s governor has extended shelter in place orders until at least May 4, which will put local venues at…
M. Ward on Migration Stories
Apr 3 • 9 min
M. Ward has just released a new album called ‘Migration Stories.’ He talks about his family’s personal story of migration and the other migration stories he’s been told or read about along the way that inspired the new record. Support the show:…
Taking Music and Art Online Amid COVID-19
Mar 31 • 35 min
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, musicians have cancelled their tours and venues have closed indefinitely. This episode explores how musicians and artists are taking their craft online to reach their audience. We report on how Twitch, a platform most…
Musicians & Their Day Jobs
Mar 24 • 24 min
We explore the stories of three musicians who work day jobs to supplement their work as artists. First is Lesli Wood, who fronts the band Skates! As a lawyer by day, she used to have to hide her tattoos and neon hair in court in order to be taken…
Bikini Kill on Riot Grrrl Movement, Remembering Richard Swift
Mar 17 • 22 min
Bikini Kill talks about their role in the feminist punk rock, Riot Grrrl movement in the 90s and how some of their songs are still relevant today. Yuuki Matthews of The Shins talks about the side project he’s released called Teardrops. He created the…
COVID-19 Is Impacting Venues and Musicians
Mar 13 • 37 min
On March 11, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced a prohibition on events of more than 250 people and added criteria for events smaller than 250. The owners of Seattle music venues The Royal Room and The Crocodile discuss how this will impact…
Women’s Day: Soccer Mommy, Phantogram, Best Coast, Paid Family Leave and Music
Mar 10 • 39 min
In celebration of International Women’s Day, this episode is dedicated to some badass women making music. Rachel Stevens reports on how Washington State’s new paid family leave law is impacting musicians in the gig economy. Soccer Mommy takes us through…
LGBTQ Music and the South, Jamila Woods on the Artists Who Inspired Her Album
Mar 3 • 54 min
The southeast region of the US is home to the highest percentage of LGBTQ people in the country. KEXP’s Bee Egan spoke with three LGBTQ musicians from the south to find out how southern culture and their sexuality impacted their upbringing and ultimately…
Northwest Classics: Heart and Soundgarden
Feb 25 • 27 min
Sound & Vision’s series, “Northwest Classics,” dives into the stories behind iconic records from the Pacific Northwest. In today’s edition, KEXP DJ Marco Collins and music journalist and author, Charles R Cross discuss Heart’s album, ‘Dreamboat Annie’ and…
Cancer and Music
Feb 18 • 49 min
Phil Elverum (Mount Eerie, the Microphones) wrote two albums following the death of his wife, Geneviève Castrée. Castrée was a musician, illustrator and cartoonist who was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer four months after giving birth to her…
Climate Change and Music
Feb 11 • 31 min
On February 7th, KEXP celebrated “Clash for Climate” as part of International Clash Day, a holiday KEXP invented in 2013. The Clash stood for many important issues, including environmental justice, which is why KEXP chose to focus on climate change for…
Josiah Johnson, Poliça, Guayaba and Non-compete Clauses
Feb 4 • 55 min
Former Head and the Heart member, Josiah Johnson talks about his new single, “World’s Not Gonna End” and his struggle with addiction that led him to leave the band, get on a path to sobriety and start a solo career. Channy Leaneagh of Poliça talks about…
Michael Kiwanuka on race, music, and ‘Big Little Lies,’ Gender & controversy at the GRAMMYs and CMT
Jan 28 • 56 min
Michael Kiwanuka talks about race and music, and how having his song selected as the intro music for HBO’s Big Little Lies pushed his career forward. Musician, activist and new GRAMMY voter, Madame Gandhi talks about the latest controversies surrounding…
Nissim Black on faith and hip-hop, how The Sonics helped invent grunge and punk in the ‘60s
Jan 21 • 54 min
Nissim Black (formerly D. Black) talks about growing up in Seattle amidst crime and drugs. He describes how his music and his life have changed since converting to Judaism and moving to Jerusalem. This week’s edition of “Northwest Classics” profiles the…
FKA twigs, Jimi Hendrix’s legacy, songs from Iran
Jan 14 • 58 min
FKA twigs talks about dance, feminism and the impact of her recent health complications. We launch our “Northwest Classics” series, where we’ll discuss iconic albums that came out of the Pacific Northwest. We start off by talking about the life and legacy…
KEXP’s favorite songs of 2019
Dec 31, 2019 • 28 min
KEXP DJs share their favorite songs of 2019. We also hear interviews with some of the station’s favorite bands of the year, including a conversation with Fontaines DC about using music and poetry to document gentrification in Dublin and a discussion with…
Jewish composers behind top Christmas songs, best non-traditional Christmas tunes and Christmas covers
Dec 24, 2019 • 35 min
We hear how Jewish composers wrote many of the most popular Christmas songs, including “White Christmas,” “Let It Snow,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and more. KEXP’s Brian Foss shares his favorite non-traditional Christmas songs and KEXP’s Owen…
Angel Olsen, ‘Switched on Pop’ and cover songs
Dec 17, 2019 • 49 min
Angel Olsen discusses her latest album, ‘All Mirrors,’ how her rising fame has tested her closest relationships and the strength of learning to be on her own. Producer John Congleton breaks down the production of Angel Olsen’s song, “All Mirrors.” The…
The dark side of K-Pop, SYML on overnight pop stardom, Madame Gandhi on the power of femininity
Dec 10, 2019 • 56 min
The coauthor of Bloomberg’s story, “K-Pop’s Dark Side: Assault, Prostitution, Suicide and Spycams” talks about how the K-Pop music industry functions and how it’s been riddled with controversies this year. We learn how a suburban dad became an indie pop…
“We breathe in melancholy and we breathe out joy” ­­– Highlights from Iceland Airwaves 2019
Dec 3, 2019 • 32 min
John Richards talks about his favorite performances at Iceland Airwaves and the financial struggles musicians are facing in that country. Icelandic musicians discuss how the harsh weather impacts their creativity, why there seems to be such a high…
Brittany Howard, Thunderpussy, Mary Lambert and Hollis Wong-Wear on channeling their experiences through music
Nov 26, 2019 • 42 min
Brittany Howard says her song “Goat Head” is about society’s reaction to her parents’ interracial marriage in Alabama. She also talks about the “gay R&B song” she wrote about musician Georgia Anne Muldrow. Thunderpussy talks about female empowerment and…
Death and Music
Nov 19, 2019 • 57 min
We share stories of loss and how music can help us heal and process our grief. We’ll hear stories from listeners, musicians and John and Amy Richards. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/sound/
Iceland’s DIY music scene
Nov 12, 2019 • 42 min
KEXP’s Dusty Henry talks about Iceland’s DIY music scene and how it’s more about doing it together than doing it yourself. A panel discusses Iceland’s music culture, music’s impact on Iceland’s economy, and how Iceland helps financially support musicians.…
“No Music for ICE,” why only 2% of music producers are women, industry fallout of Lil Peep’s death
Nov 5, 2019 • 50 min
Sudan Archives shares why she fuses violin with electronic beats on her latest album. Minnesota rapper Dessa describes spending two years working with neuroscientists to train her brain to get over her ex. We’ll explore why only 2% of music producers are…
The mysterious disappearance of musician Jim Sullivan, Rudy Willingham talks samples
Oct 29, 2019 • 36 min
Jim Sullivan was a struggling LA singer/songwriter in the 60s and 70s. In 1975 he left for Nashville to see if he could catch a break there. But on the way, he disappeared in the New Mexico desert and was never seen again. Matt Sullivan of Light in the…
Vagabon, Kim Gordon and Jónsi
Oct 22, 2019 • 35 min
Vagabon will talk about her latest album and the meaning behind her song, “Every Woman.” Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon will fill us in on how materialism, LA culture and her “trashy aesthetic” influenced her first solo record, ‘No Home Record.’ Jónsi & Alex…
Behind the music of Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Oct 15, 2019 • 38 min
In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Indigenous musicians will talk about joining traditional cultures with hip hop, jazz, funk and dance music. Calina Lawrence of the Suquamish Tribe will talk about using the Lushootseed language in a hip hop song of…
Kurt Cobain’s House, Wilco’s new album, Octo Octa on nature and gender
Oct 8, 2019 • 58 min
The second installment of our “Day Job” series explores how a musician’s encounters while bartending end up being inspirations for songs. Electronic DJ and producer Octo Octa explains how nature inspires her music and discusses her gender transition. Jeff…
The New Pornographers, musicians’ day jobs, music & wrongful imprisonment
Oct 1, 2019 • 64 min
We kick off a new series called “Day Job.” The first story in this series explores how Chong The Nomad finds musical inspiration during her day job as a line cook. Carl Newman of The New Pornographers talks about how the state of America influenced the…
Australia invests in music, why musicians love Nashville, Vivian Girls and Chastity Belt talk new albums
Sep 24, 2019 • 29 min
Australia’s federal government will spend more than 3 times what the US will on artists and musicians this year. We hear how the Australian-based band, Haiku Hands is benefiting from their country’s funding model. Chastity Belt and Vivian Girls talk about…
Music Heals: Mental Health; A Tribe Called Red on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and music
Sep 17, 2019 • 57 min
SassyBlack discusses how mental health and Afrofuturism feature on her latest album. A Tribe Called Red talks about how the issue of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls comes up in their music and Abigail Echo-Hawk of the Seattle Indian Health…
Highwomen, Bon Iver and music venues at risk
Sep 10, 2019 • 58 min
Natalie Hemby of the supergroup, Highwomen says their new album pushes for more female representation and narratives in country music. Sean Carey and Jenn Wasner of Bon Iver talk about the band’s change in sound. Plus, a panel discussion about how many…
Jeff Tweedy, Noah Gundersen, Jay Som, and Black Belt Eagle Scout talk new music; From “Presidents” to Pre-Schoolers
Sep 3, 2019 • 54 min
Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Black Belt Eagle Scout and Jay Som talk new music. Noah Gundersen on how he’s getting away from the sad male singer/songwriter trope with his most personal album to date. Former frontman of The Presidents of the United States of…
ODESZA, The Head and the Heart, Imogen Heap, AURORA and iLe
Aug 27, 2019 • 47 min
ODESZA discusses their songwriting process, The Head and the Heart, iLe and Aurora discuss the themes in their new albums, Imogen Heap talks about her ideas to transform the music industry with technology. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/sound/
Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, Portishead, issues with international artists touring in the USA
Aug 20, 2019 • 59 min
Carrie Brownstein talks about Sleater-Kinney’s latest album, The Center Won’t Hold, Portishead reflects on the 25th anniversary of Dummy, and a panel discussion on why it’s so hard for international artists to tour in the USA. Support the show:…
Love, Loss and Copyright
Aug 13, 2019 • 47 min
We’ll hear how the song “Nothing Arrived” by Villagers connected with one woman and helped her process her loss after a miscarriage. Weyes Blood will talk about how love and movies influenced her latest album, Titanic Rising. The band Lemolo will talk…
How “Old Town Road” breaks the mold; Cherry Glazerr and John Van Deusen on Songwriting
Aug 6, 2019 • 39 min
Lil Nas X of the country/trap song, Old Town Road was able to break the record for longest running #1 song on the billboard charts. (It’s been there since early April.) Yet billboard has denied the song from the country chart. We’ll hear what race might…
Of Monsters and Men, Art & Immigration, LA vs. Seattle
Jul 30, 2019 • 47 min
Of Monsters and Men discuss their latest album, musicians who have lived in larger cities discuss if Seattle’s growing population and cost of living is really that bad, KEXP DJ Darek Mazzone talks about how extreme vetting is making it harder for…
Cover songs, Seattle grunge and using art to influence rap
Jul 23, 2019 • 35 min
KEXP’s Owen Murphy and Troy Nelson break down a cover song for Mariah Carey’s Fantasy. Frontman of the band Sky Cries Mary talks about rubbing elbows with the rising stars of the Seattle grunge scene in the late 80s and going on to make treehouses for the…
Streaming impacts song lengths and billboard charts, is LA or Seattle better for musicians
Jul 16, 2019 • 48 min
Nate Sloan (Vox Media’s Switched On Pop) discusses how streaming has impacted song length and formats, Chris Molanphy (Hit Parade Podcast, Slate) talks about how musicians are gaming the billboard charts in the streaming era through “bundling.” We explore…
Ben Gibbard, Amanda Knox, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Imij
Jul 9, 2019 • 61 min
The first episode of KEXP’s Sound & Vision podcast features: Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, on the role that distance running has played in his life and struggles with alcohol abuse. Exoneree Amanda Knox, on the role music played during her time…
Drag Queens & Gay Cowboys
Jul 9, 2019 • 44 min
This week’s episode is all about drag queens and gay cowboys. We’ll hear from the first openly gay country band, Lavender Country and hear how that band influenced the country music of Orville Peck today. We’ll also hear about the controversies around…
Sound & Vision Trailer
Jul 1, 2019 • 1 min
Get a preview of Sound & Vision, the new podcast from KEXP featuring interviews, panels, reporting and commentary that digs into the stories behind the music