Inspired By ‘Song Exploder,’ St. Louis-Based ‘Songs Out Loud’ Has Local Artists Talking

During the bleak COVID-19 winter, Aaron Doerr, while carefully hanging out with a friend in a cool garage, began pondering the wild idea that would lead him to “Songs Out Loud,” his recently launched podcast. Feeling cold and world weary, Doerr and his buddy spent the time sharing some of their favorite podcasts and other creative work.

One of Doerr’s top recommendations for his friend was the popular Radiotopia podcast, Song Exploder, which he himself had recently discovered. Each episode disassembles a single song in conversation with those who created it.

“My wife showed me this episode [of ‘Song Exploder’] with Hozier – he’s that singer-songwriter, ”Doerr recalled. “He had a new album out, and he broke it down on this podcast, and he started the demo … and I think, ‘Nobody ever hears that part of the songwriting. ‘


Aaron Doerr

Every second Tuesday there are new episodes of “Songs Out Loud”. The next one is scheduled for April 20th.

“And he plays his voice memo from his phone, and the next thing you hear is this little project file he recorded with his organ and then talk about listening to it in the shower. And you just get this, “Oh my god, this guy is a person and I can relate to all of this about him.” And in the background you can hear what he’s talking about. “

In January, when Doerr admitted to his friend that he wished he could work for “Song Exploder,” his friend suggested that they take steps to do so. But Doerr laughed and realized he already had it, to no avail.

“And [my friend] said, “Make your own,” and I thought, “Well, maybe I should,” said Doerr.

After much thought, the guitar instructor and audio engineer at St. Louis Public Radio began exchanging messages with some of the St. Louis music community to assess potential interest. He wasn’t expecting much – “I get crazy ideas,” he said – but when he reached out to people, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“And it was so affirming; It was really. Those ideas, you’re just wondering if they’ll catch on … all you have to do is test them and you won’t know until you try, and that’s what I learned from, ”explained Doerr.

‘Songs Out Loud’ goes deep into the stories and layers that make up a single song

Listen as Aaron Doerr, creator of the independent podcast, speaks to host Sarah Fenske. Doerr has only released six episodes in the last two months featuring local bands from Middle Class Fashion to Mathias & The Pirates. Every second Tuesday there are more conversations and melodies.

Just in the last two months, Doerr has released six episodes of “Songs Out Loud,” in which local bands from Middle Class Fashion to Mathias & The Pirates appear. Every second Tuesday there are more conversations and melodies.

On Friday in St. Louis on the Air, Doerr resigned from his usual post and ran the talk show’s soundboard to speak to host Sarah Fenske about the project.

It’s a highly produced podcast that cuts hours of one-on-one conversations with band members and, in some cases, dozens of iterations of a single song to around 25 minutes.

On the talk show, Doerr explained why it is important to do each interview individually.

“I didn’t want them to play that much [off] talking to each other, ”he said. “I felt like if I were broadcasting their own conversations about something, so to speak, it wouldn’t have quite the documentary feel that I wanted.”

Six episodes later, the stories behind the songs set the tone. Artists living in St. Louis, in some instances, share deeply personal experiences.

“These musicians have a story to tell, and especially when they’re the lyricist, they have a story to tell that we don’t really know at all,” said Doerr.

The next episode of “Songs Out Loud” with the band Foxing will be released on April 20th.

“St. Louis on the Air “tells you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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