Recommendations from Newstalk Drive's 'IT Crowd'

Jon Hozier Byrne provides his top picks for podcasts and games

Every Thursday on Newstalk Drive, Jess Kelly and Jon Hozier Byrne join Chris and Sarah to talk tech and all things from the online world. Here's Jon's top picks for this week. 

Podcast recommendation: Hrishikesh Hirway's 'Song Exploder'

"I'm a bit of a black sheep as a musical luddite from a ridiculously musical family, so this podcast is as perfect for me as it would be for the most erudite musical aficionado. Hirway examines a different song each episode, breaking it down into it's component parts, stripping it back instrument by instrument, and examining each of the hundreds of tiny decisions that goes into making any recorded song. He interviews the songwriters and engineers, and deconstructs the creative process behind popular music, everything from how Brian Wilson angled the microphone away from himself during the vocal hook in 'Good Vibrations', to why MGMT purposefully included an annoying sounding bleep-track in 'Time to Pretend'. Highly recommended.

Game of the week: Reigns by Devolver Games

For the other nerdy recommendation, I would like to talk about Reigns by Devolver Games. I've been in a relationship for six years now, so I missed the whole 'Tinder' thing, but Reigns takes the 'swipe-left-swipe-right' mechanic of Tinder, and uses it as a simple, yet surprisingly deep narrative experience. Through its minimalistic, geometric art style, it tells the story of your very own kingdom, as you make royal decisions by swiping left and right. Make the wrong decision, and you could end up with your head on a pike, assassinated by the church, or destroyed by a neighboring nation, after which you take control of the next person to take to the throne, trying frantically to steady the ship. The simple mechanics belie a surprisingly dark, intricate narrative tale told over generations, and all this is available on your iPhone or Android for 3 euro.