Spotify Launches ‘Bandsplain’ Show, About Cult Artists and Why People Love Them

Bandsplain Spotify
Courtesy of Spotify

Like most art forms, recent music history is filled with artists whose music lots of people just don’t get — whether it’s the Grateful Dead or Tyler, the Creator, whether it’s Insane Clown Posse or Dave Matthews.

Well, today Spotify is launching an audio show on that very subject: the awesomely titled “Bandsplain.” The Spotify Original show is hosted by Yasi Salek, who talks to music experts and journalists about cult bands and iconic artists and attempts to get to the bottom of why people love them, using a curated playlist to help people comprehend what some may feel is incomprehensible.

The premise is explained in the show’s intro song, an original composition by Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast and Jennifer Clavin of Bleached: “What’s with this band anyway? / I don’t get it, can you please explain?”

The first episode focuses on Steely Dan, as explained by journalist Alex Pappademas, while future episodes will focus on the late MF Doom (explained by Open Mike Eagle), Phish (explained by Rob Mitchum), Goo Goo Dolls (explained by Chris Black), and others.

The company stresses that the show is not a podcast, rather that it is classified as a mixed media playlist that can be found in the “Music + Talk” hub, not under podcasts. Also, unlike traditional podcasts, it features full-length versions of songs that will count toward the artist’s streams, whereas its podcasts include brief song clips.

Other experts featured in future podcasts include Jessica Hopper (on Joni Mitchell), Meredith Graves (on Kool Keith) and Bob Mehr (on The Replacements — and he should know, as the author of a much-praised biography of the group). Preview the audio here, and check out the final video trailer (with art by Faye Orlove, who has done artwork for Mitski, Japanese Breakfast, Vagabon, Shania Twain and runs the Los Angeles-based Junior High space / magazine), which will live on social media, below.