by Samyuktha Varma
I’ve started to make a playlist again, after ages, and it’s made me feel so good! My private playlist always turns out to be a cross between a self-care playlist and the soundtrack of my life. Especially because of Robyn — who is my favourite, and a constant recurring presence. I can’t really put into words how I feel about her, so this week’s Delete Monday is a tour of some podcast episodes about Robyn. I realise this is very specific, very sugary, and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but all of these podcasts are from some of the best shows about music.
First up, Switched on Pop did an episode breaking down the iconic Call Your Girlfriend, with Ann and Gina from Call Your Girlfriend. I’ve recently been reading the book inspired by the show and it’s been great to be able to understand how to deconstruct the brilliance of the structure of a great pop song. Song Exploder also does a wonderful episode of a single song, the hit from Robyn’s last album, Honey, where she talks about trying to get at the feeling of sweetness, and self-love at the song’s centre and the process it took to get there. Annie Mac, the influential British radio presenter, interviews Robyn on her show Changes with Annie Macmanus, and it feels like a soft, intimate conversation about what influenced her childhood and adulthood.
And finally, there’s the Pop Pantheon episode where host DJ Louie talks to Jia Tolentino, also a lover of Robyn, about the significance of her music in the pop music universe. The show is a self-confessed overanalysis of pop star careers, that attempts to find out where they belong on the big pink pyramid of pop music. They talk about her career, her decisions to make music independently, her influence on culture even though she never had a big chart hit in the US, and her specific mastery of making music that’s about heartbreak, and vulnerability, and the kind of longing and sadness that produces euphoria. I feel like this is the one for the giddy fans who just know how important Robyn is and want desperately to be reminded of their lives, especially the hot mess dancing, through Robyn songs.