Dana Margolin (Porridge Radio) Talks with Joseph Mount (Metronomy) on the Talkhouse Podcast

Kierkegaard, eczema, and songwriting, oh my.

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of musicians from the UK who recently collaborated for the first time, Dana Margolin and Joseph Mount.

Mount has been the driving force behind Metronomy since 1999, and he’s found success not only with a series of winning electro-pop records, but also by remixing tracks for big names like Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz, and Lady Gaga. If you’re unfamiliar with Metronomy, a good place to start is 2008’s Nights Out, which is a sort of concept album about, as you might guess, a night out. But Metronomy’s catalog is intriguingly all over the map; the band’s latest is called Small World, and it features a much gentler side of Mount’s songwriting personality overall. It also features a stunning duet with the other side of today’s conversation, Dana Margolin of Porridge Radio.

Like Metronomy, Porridge Radio really started out as a solo project but grew into more of a band situation—though each is still the brainchild of one person. Margolin started recorded under the Porridge Radio name back in 2015, but it was her second proper studio album, 2020’s Every Bad, that really made the world stand up and take notice. It’s a powerful, intense record that stands alongside current heatseekers like Dry Cleaning and Wet Leg, but that has a stamina all its own. Margolin is just about to release the follow up to Every Bad, an equally bracing and incredible set of songs called Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky, once again on the Secretly Canadian label.

In this conversation, Mount and Margolin talk about their collaboration, about the time that Mount almost but didn’t quite catch Margolin performing, and about the importance of lyrics—you’ll hear how eczema factors into a new song. They also get to Kierkegaard, Michael Stipe, and Margolin’s desire to—but inability—to write a “nice little love song.” Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast and thanks to Dana Margolin and Joseph Mount for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcast platform and all social media channels. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Photo Credit: left, Matilda Hill Jenkins; right, Gregoire Alexandre; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

Porridge Radio originated from Dana Margolin’s bedroom, where she first started making music. Living in the seaside town of Brighton, she recorded songs and played them at open mic nights to rooms of old men staring quietly, as she screamed in their faces. Their second album (and Secretly Canadian debut) Every Bad glistens with grand, sweeping ambition. 80s-esque synths shine against Margolin’s urgent vocals – with all the rawness of early Karen O, and influences as disparate as Charli XCX and The Cranberries. Oscillating between desperation, resignation, and, crucially, hope, Porridge Radio’s unmistakable take on pop music is like a jewelry box twinkle just out of kilter.

(Photo Credit: El Hardwick)