Songwriting has always been a central part of Isaac Himmelman’s relationship with his father, Peter. “Growing up, I’d frequently have these conversations about songs with my dad,” says Isaac. “I’d play him Kanye West on the drive to school. He’d introduce me to Loretta Lynn on the drive home.”
The Good Songs podcast, now in its second season, was born out of a desire not only to reignite the songwriting conversations of Isaac’s childhood, but to share these conversations with listeners. Each episode is focused on a specific song. One week Isaac brings a favorite, the next week Peter brings a favorite of his. In the Season Two debut episode, the pair explore the elevated use of cliché in Jenny Lewis’s indie masterpiece “Rise Up With Fists!!” from her 2006 album, Rabbit Fur Coat. “The use of the cliché ‘There, but for the grace of God go I,” explains Peter, “makes the listener reflect on this very powerful and truthful sentiment in a way that they might not normally.”
Isaac believes that he brings a deep love and lifelong fascination with songwriting to the podcast, but that it’s Peter, a singer-songwriter with more than 20 critically acclaimed albums, who brings an understanding of craft that can only be achieved from decades of experience.
“There are only a handful of people alive today who know the mechanics of songwriting as well as my father,” Isaac says. “I often take it for granted that we would have these kinds of conversations over breakfast.”
Good Songs is independently produced in New York by Isaac and radio-producer Brooke Shuman. The episodes air bi-weekly on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.
Hear now: linktr.ee/goodsongs