Hrishikesh Hirway, creator, producer and host of Song Exploder, the acclaimed podcast where musicians take apart their songs and tell the story of how they were made, reveals today Thao Nguyen of the band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down will guest host the podcast for the 2019 year. Starting January 9, 2019 Nguyen will begin hosting the podcast that remains one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Stepping down from his role as host, which he has held since the podcast debuted on January 1, 2014, Hirway will assume an Executive Producer role, with Associate Producer Christian Koons moving into the Producer role.

Of the change Hirway explains, “Hosting and producing the show for the past five years has been exciting and educational. I’ve had the chance to speak with some of my favorite artists, and learned so much about music, and podcasts, and what goes into both of them. The show has evolved and grown over the years, and I’m thrilled that Song Exploder will be able to continue its evolution next year.”

Nguyen was a guest on the podcast in 2016 and previously served as guest host for an episode—this past summer, she interviewed singer/songwriter Neko Case a few months before they went on tour together. On December 13, Song Exploder will re-issue Nguyen’s episode of the podcast, where she tells the story of her song “Astonished Man.”

Additionally, Song Exploder debuts its 150th episode today featuring Lindsey Buckingham breaking down Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”—listen/share here. Hirway will end the year with a special episode with Yo-Yo Ma on December 20.

Song Exploder invites the audience to change the way they listen to music by hearing a recording deconstructed to uncover hidden details in the sounds and the creative process. The podcast has been streamed and downloaded over 50 million times. Previous podcast guests include, Arcade Fire, Solange, Björk, U2, Janelle Monáe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lorde, Gorillaz, Metallica, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Roots and more. Song Exploder is part of PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network, a collective of independently owned and produced podcasts that also includes top podcasts like 99% Invisible, Criminal, and Ear Hustle.

Hirway studied design at Yale and is also known for his own music work as a film composer and with his band The One AM Radio, and with MOORS, a collaboration with rapper/actor Keith Stanfield. Hirway recently scored the soundtrack of the Netflix original series Everything Sucks. Hirway lives in Los Angeles.

Nguyen is a San Francisco-based guitarist, singer-songwriter and leader of the band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. Her 2016 album A Man Alive received critical praise from NPR, Pitchfork, USA Today, Salon, Noisey, Stereogum, Paste, Bust, Nerdist and more. Outside of her band, Nguyen has collaborated on projects with artists including Joanna Newsom, Mirah and Merrill Garbus. Nguyen has toured the world extensively, including a U.S. tour with the nationally syndicated NPR program “Radiolab.”

“In the world of beautifully produced podcasts, ‘Song Exploder’ is the beacon.”

“Song Exploder is probably the best use of the podcast format ever.”

“Outstanding…consistently first-rate.”

“you need to listen to Song Exploder”

“a fascinating and insightful glimpse into the workings of a huge range of musicians”

“Song Exploder offers listeners a new angle on listening to the music they love, and a unique way to connect with artists’ creative processes on an intimate level that’s hard to find anywhere else.”

Hrishikesh Hirway and Thao Nguyen, by Song Exploder illustrator Carlos Lerma