What Does This Sound Like? : All Songs Considered All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton go down a rabbit hole, connecting a chain of songs that sound like other songs. Listen to the end of the chain and tell us what you think it sounds like.
NPR logo What Does This Sound Like?

What Does This Sound Like?


I won't lie to you. I listen to a lot of music. And when you listen to a lot of music, it's impossible to miss the countless similarities in all the little bits and pieces of songs from all kinds of artists. I'm not talking about entire riffs or melodies or beats that get borrowed, stolen or inadvertently lifted and repurposed. I'm talking about the two or three-second clips that pop up in songs. Little harmonies, a few notes that run together just so. These are the bits that send you frantically searching for what on earth it reminds you of.

On the most recent episode of All Songs Considered Bob and I went down a rabbit hole, connecting a chain of songs that started with a Dirty Projectors cut, and included both "Helter Skelter" and "Close to the Edge" by Yes, before arriving at a new song by Maps & Atlases called "Old And Gray." Check it out:


Sound Familiar?

Old & Gray

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/150880079/150801371" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Song: Old & Gray
  • from Beware and Be Grateful

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This, of course, immediately reminded me of yet another song. Listen to the opening line, the little part that sounds like it's played maybe on a muted guitar. Sound familiar? I don't want to say what I thought of just yet. I want to know what you think first.

Tell us what, if anything, that opening bit to "Old And Gray" reminds you of in the comments section. We'll pick it back up on next week's All Songs Considered.