Pop Shop Podcast: Rachel Platten on New ‘No Filter’ Album ‘Waves,’ Drinking Tequila in the Studio & Her Love of Onesies
Welcome to the new episode of the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all things pop on Billboard’s weekly charts. In addition, you can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop.
Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard co-director of charts Keith Caulfield and Billboard editorial director Jason Lipshutz every week on the Pop Shop Podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes (click here to listen to the previous Tuesday’s edition of the show on Billboard.com).
On the latest show, singer-songwriter Rachel Platten joins us for a fun conversation about her new album, Waves, which was released on Oct. 27. (Listen to the interview, below.)
Platten’s latest LP is her second full-length studio effort for Columbia Records, and follows her debut set Wildfire, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart in early 2016. The album was led by the inescapable hit single “Fight Song,” which hit No. 1 on the Adult Pop Songs and Adult Contemporary airplay charts, and reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. For good measure, she followed it up with another No. 1 on the Adult Pop Songs chart, “Stand By You.”
Now, Platten is back with Waves, and its first single, “Broken Glass.”
“I’m so proud of this (album),” Platten tells Billboard. “I’ve never been more proud of anything I’ve made. I love these songs.”
Platten says the new album — on which she co-wrote every song — is simply her. “It’s just me, honestly. It’s just all of me, and it really is me without any filter. And it’s kind of showing all of my sides, where maybe the last record was me at my most vulnerable in a kind of a broken way? Because I had not yet understood anything other than the drive to get to what I thought was the top of a mountain. But now I’ve since realized there’s no top, you just circle it. You get where you think you wanted to go, and you look down, and you’re like, ‘I have so much farther I want to go still.'”
While there are “honest, really raw songs” on the album like “Grace,” Platten says there are also “songs where I drank tequila all night in the studio and made everyone wear onesies, and it was party time.”
Wait, so why was wearing onesies integral to making the album? Again, it was all about how it helped her maintain the “no filter” vibe to the set and freed her from judging her music too harshly.
“Well, first of all, I love onesies. I just don’t really like getting dressed…,” Platten jokes. Though, she adds more seriously, “A lot of making this record was me feeling like a little kid, and not feeling like there was any rules in what it had to sound like… And I think if I’m going to go to a deep place about the onesies, it makes you feel like a little kid, too. You know? You feel like you’re just playing. And you’re silly, and you look down at yourself and you can’t take yourself seriously, and so the adult part of you that criticizes and that judges before art is made, is gone.”
In addition to the chat with Platten, the Pop Shop team discusses Kelly Clarkson’s new album, Meaning of Life, and how it starts a new chapter for the diva. The guys also dive into big chart news about Niall Horan debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with Flicker, how Camila Cabello hops into the top 10 on the Hot 100 with “Havana,” and the incredible multi-format success of Portugal. The Man’s smash hit “Feel It Still.”
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