Swan Exploder

If you’ve never heard the podcast Song Exploder, then you are missing out, because it’s the perfect concept for a podcast. Hrishikesh Hirway interviews musical artists and gets them to break down a song into its component parts and talk about how it all came together. Here at 99pi, we all love Song Exploder, so in a meeting a few months back we asked ourselves: “What if we tried to do that with one of our own songs?”

As you might know, we have our own composer here at 99pi named Swan Real who works with the producers to score our episodes with original music that she writes and records right here in Oakland. She has created over 300 amazing original songs for 99pi to date! So this week, we are bringing you a tribute to one of our favorite shows, and to our favorite composer, Swan.

The Kikkerland Make Your Own Music Box Kit

Naturally, we unanimously agreed to call this episode Swan Exploder! It’s the story of a song that Swan wrote for 99pi alum Avery Trufelman. It’s called The Loom and it’s the first song in Avery’s spinoff series Articles of Interest. To tell the story of that song, we start out this episode at the beginning of Avery and Swan’s relationship … and while you’re listening to that story, be sure to check out this other new release:

Big news, beautiful audio nerds! 99pi just dropped an album: you can find Swan Real & Their 99% Orchestra’s Vinyl 7″ and Mp3 download in our store hereSwan painstakingly selected and arranged a series of classic tracks for this excellent collection.

Side A:
1. Roamin’ Mars Satellite (280 Half Measures)
2. Alvar Aalto (265 The Pool & the Stream)
3. Beaux Arts (200 Miss Manhattan)
4. The Loom (Articles of Interest #1)

Side B:
5. One Man News Outlet (327 A Year in the Dark)
6. Public Body (200 Miss Manhattan)
7. Move Entire Cities (293 Managed Retreat)

Composed & Produced by Swan Real
Mastered by Piper Payne
Album Art by Courtney Riddle

Editor’s Note: The vinyl album and 99pi episode refers to Swan by an old name that she does not use anymore. This page has been updated to use her current and correct name and pronouns.

Get your copy of Swan Real & Their 99% Orchestra today!



Producer Emmett FitzGerald spoke with Sean Real and Avery Trufelman.

  1. Loot Shakedf

    I usually listen to podcasts at 2,5x speed. Too many podcasts, not enough time. But once in a blue moon something catches my ear and I pause, set the app back to 1x, and listen to it again. The Loom got to me this way. You might be surprised to find out that it works great at 2.5x as well, but it’s the kind of piece of art that deserves the respect of “as conceived by the artist”. Thank you Sean for making the world that much more beautiful.

  2. Richard Strimbeck

    Remind me very much of the short-lived Swedish group DetektivbyrÃ¥n (the detective burreau). 2 albums on Spotify. I call their music “soundtrack to a dream”. Y’oughtta give it a try!

  3. Ling

    I absolutely love the music in 99pi!! I listened to song exploder and absolutely loved it too. so glad for this episode and learning the backstory of the composer and this song😭 such a great episode

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