Over and Over – How repetition gets a hook stuck in your head

Baby Shark family

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, even seeing the words Baby Shark is enough to get your brain singing “doo doo doo-doo do-doo” on a short, maddening loop. For me, though, it got me thinking about how repetitive hooks mess with your brain, and how that power can be used for good (or evil, depending on how you feel about Baby Shark).

Repetition is a MASSIVE subject, so I’ve focused on repetitive lyrics, and what they do to us. After I’d recorded this episode, I realised that Vox has already done a terrific video on this phenomenon. Thankfully I had gone down a very different path, but you should watch all of the Vox Earworm videos because they’re great. I actually referenced one in the episode! Watch their video on triplet flow, and see what I dream about Key Change becoming one day (<3 you Estelle Caswell).

Songs in this episode:
– Pinkfong - Baby Shark
– Eiffel 65 - Blue (Da Ba Dee)
– The Kingsmen - Louie Louie
– Lil Pump - Gucci Gang
– Migos - Versace
– Dolly Parton - Jolene
– Britney Spears - Womanizer
– The National - Afraid of Everyone
– Rihanna - Work (feat Drake)
– Hot Chip - Over and Over
– Carly Rae Jepsen - Store

Check out the full playlist and add your picks on Apple Music and Spotify. For episode sneak peaks and heated Beyoncé debates, join the Key Change Facebook group.

Podcast art by Anthea LeBrocq (@fulltimeangel on Instagram; antheaaaa@gmail.com for enquiries and commissions)

My monstrous tweet is here.

The Untouched Power of Undead Strings

Toxic

Not quite real, not quite fake, but more powerful than both. Undead strings are pure power; like a litch in music form. Sharp and merciless, undead strings were once sounds made by musical instruments, but they underwent strange torment to become unstoppable!

Featuring:

— Britney Spears - Toxic

— The Veronicas - Untouched

For episode sneak peaks and heated Beyoncé debates, join the Key Change Facebook group.

Podcast art by Anthea LeBrocq (@fulltimeangel on Instagram; antheaaaa@gmail.com for enquiries and commissions)

Check out (and add to!) this episode’s playlist!

Apple Music

Spotify

Taylor Swift Can't Say "Off"

Swift declined to comment regarding her&nbsp;“off”-phobia

Swift declined to comment regarding her “off”-phobia

Sorry for the clickbait title — OBVIOUSLY Taylor Swift can and does say the word “off”. But she doesn't say it in the chorus of her 2014 hit, " Shake It Off”, and I had to know why.

Featuring:

— Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

— Hall & Oates - You Make My Dreams

— N*Sync - It's Gonna Be Me

For episode sneak peaks and heated Beyoncé debates, join the Key Change Facebook group.

Podcast art by Anthea LeBrocq (@fulltimeangel on Instagram; antheaaaa@gmail.com for enquiries and commissions)

Check out (and add to!) this episode’s playlist!

Apple Music

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How does a Hype Lift help Carly Rae Jepsen cut to the feeling?

carly-rae-jespen-cut-to-the-feeling.jpg

It's not ALL about the chorus (only mostly). A huge part of why Cut To The Feeling is such a banger is the way it sets you up before the chorus, building hype so the chorus goes off like fireworks.

Most of what we're talking about here is the pre-chorus, but songs like Cut To The Feeling do something very specific; something I'm calling the Hype Lift.

So what exactly is a hype lift, and how did Metallica and David Bowie do that makes this shimmery, sugary pop song explode into colour? Well I guess you'll have to listen to find out!

As always, you can find playlists for this episode on Apple Music and Spotify. These seasonal varieties feature some of the least-agonising carols that bring up bells, and come with a Bublé-free guarantee.*

If you’re a keen bean where music is concerned, why not join the Key Change Facebook group? Add to a conversation, or start one! There’s no entry requirements or gatekeeping; just be enthusiastic, respectful, and a good listener, and you’ll be welcome.

Why does Christmas sound like bells?

Ronettes — Sleigh Ride.jpg

Nothing summons misty-eyed nostalgic visions of sugarplum fairies and snow-dappled fir trees like the soft jingling of sleigh bells. Every tune with even a passing connection to Christmas busts out the tinkling percussion to get you in the seasonal spirit, but why are bells the indisputable sound of Christmas? How did our brains get rewired to associate sleigh bells with holly-decked halls?

In this brief, festive episode, I won’t really answer that question (not satisfactorily, anyway — I don’t have the research team to make this happen), but let’s ponder it together in this bite-sized treat that you can call on when the Christmas Day conversation turns to politics. Astound Aunty Doris with your moderately-researched ideas rather than have to listen to talk about “those people” for the millionth time. You’re a retiree, Doris; no one’s taking your job.


As always, you can find playlists for this episode on Apple Music and Spotify. These seasonal varieties feature some of the least-agonising carols that bring up bells, and come with a Bublé-free guarantee.*

If you’re a keen bean where music is concerned, why not join the Key Change Facebook group? Add to a conversation, or start one! There’s no entry requirements or gatekeeping; just be enthusiastic, respectful, and a good listener, and you’ll be welcome.

*if you like Bublé, more power to you — I, for one, have spent enough time with his Christmas album during my time in retail to sustain me for this life.

Your Best American Girl's Big Dynamic Energy

Mitski in studio

Brace yourself — it's gonna get loud! We go inside the quietLOUDquiet shifts that make music so viscerally thrilling, and ask why I want to keep listening to Your Best American Girl long after my eardrums are left in tatters.

Featuring:

Mitski — Your Best American Girl

Carl Orff — Carmina Burana: O Fortuna

The Pixies — Gigantic

Nirvana — Smells Like Teen Spirit

Miley Cyrus — Wrecking Ball

Mogwai — Mogwai Fear Satan (live)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs — Maps

Visit gingerbfg.com/keychange for complete show notes, links to playlists, and transcripts. For episode sneak peaks and heated Beyoncé debates, join the Key Change Facebook group.

Podcast art by Anthea LeBrocq (@fulltimeangel on Instagram; antheaaaa@gmail.com for enquiries and commissions)

Check out (and add to!) this episode’s playlist!

Apple Music

Spotify 

"Since U Been Gone" and the Wind Machine Chorus

Kelly Clarkson (portrait).JPEG

“Since U Been Gone” is an iconic tune, not least for its gargantuan chorus. But how did British heavy metal influence the sound of Kelly Clarkson's breakout hit? Let's talk Iron Maiden, Swedish super-producers, and Alicia Keys' sequel to 'Empire State of Mind'.

Featuring:

Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone

Iron Maiden - Run to the Hills

The Veronicas - 4ever

Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind

Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind Pt II

Fountains of Wayne - Stacy's Mom

Visit gingerbfg.com/keychange for complete show notes, links to playlists, and transcripts. For episode sneak peaks and heated Beyoncé debates, join the Key Change Facebook group.

Podcast art by Anthea LeBrocq (@fulltimeangel on Instagram; antheaaaa@gmail.com for enquiries and commissions)

Check out (and add to!) this episode’s playlist!

Apple Music
Spotify