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Sleater-Kinney has long been a safe space for band members Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker. What started as a group born out of the feminist punk riot grrrl scene in Olympia, Washington in the early 90s, has grown into a life-affirming artistic endeavor. In late 2022, tragedy struck when Carrie’s mother and stepfather were killed in a car accident overseas. In the months after, Carrie found a respite from her immense grief by playing the guitar for hours on end, and writing new music.

Sleater-Kinney’s latest album, Little Rope, is in part a meditation on Carrie’s grief, but it’s also proven to be a triumph for the band. Corin Tucker, who handles the bulk of the singing on the new album, has been racking up rave reviews, including one from the New Yorker who noted that Corin’s performance is the most dynamic and flexible of her career.

On today’s episode, Bruce Headlam talks to Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker about their intimate recording relationship, and how their sometimes opposing approaches to creative work complement one another. They also talk about the matriarchal nature of the early Olympia music scene, and why they wanted their new album to sometimes sound gross and obnoxious.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is co-founder of Pushkin Industries and host of the hit podcast Revisionist History. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…