I'm a huge fan of the Song Exploder podcast, which brings musicians to talk about the process that went into writing and recording their hit songs. Even if you're not a fan of a particular artist or song, each episode is still a digestible and insightful look into different creative processes (and they're usually less than 30 minutes long, too).
One of the more recent episodes features Dan Wilson of the band Semisonic discussing their hit "Closing Time," which helped rocket him to fame as a co-writer for songs by such as artists as Taylor Swift, Adele, John Legend, the Dixie Chicks, and others.
But that song holds a special place in his heart for another reason: the birth of his daughter.
I had heard part of this story previously on the Art of Process podcast with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo — how the song was not, in fact, about a bar, but was actually about a child being born. But for the Song Exploder segment, Wilson goes even more in-depth into the delightfully literal inspiration for the song; his deliberate attention towards double entendre in lyric-writing to let the listener to draw their own conclusions; and the various ways the song intertwined with the complicated first year of his daughter's life.
Maybe the story behind the song just hit me different this time, as I'm both coming out of the recording studio with my own band, and looking ahead to starting to my own family. But it's an inspiring, tear-jerker of an episode.
Semisonic — "Closing Time" on Song Exploder
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