On the Song Exploder podcast, host Hrishikesh Hirway talks to musicians who take apart their songs and, piece by piece, tell the stories of how they were made. Listen below.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down released the album A Man Alive in March 2016. In this episode, Thao Nguyen breaks down that album’s standout song “Astonished Man.” Nguyen talks about working with Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, who produced the album, and she speaks candidly about her relationship with her estranged father, the subject of the song. The track was also partially inspired by Nguyen reading Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Gilead, excerpts of which are read in the episode by Phoebe Judge, host of Criminal.

EPISODE 69: THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN

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Song Exploder: Thao Nguyen Breaks Down Her ‘Astonished Man’