Bhi Bhiman doesn’t shy away from difficult topics in his music. And with his new album, he’s putting a twist on a familiar medium to encourage the discussions his subject matter deserves.

The singer-songwriter chose to release his latest body of work, Peace of Mind, not as a traditional album, but through a podcast of the same name on the Critical Frequency podcasting network. He’ll present the music through the nine episodes that dissect his musical choices while also walking through the album’s inspirations with a commendable roster of guests. Snippets and stems of the song will filter through conversations with author Dave Eggers; Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s voting project; commentator, author and producer Reza Aslan; and others as they unpack the political, cultural and sociological themes that shape Bhiman’s work.

The music itself is “Pink Floyd meets Curtis Mayfield” as Bhiman describes it, a heady breed of protest psych-rock that follows the DIY spirit of Tame Impala and the War on Drugs. “They’re a huge influence, not only in their music, but how they create and how they do it by themselves, and it’s largely how I did this album,” he explains.

Below, Bhiman tells Billboard about the inspirations for the project, how it’s changed his listening habits and what other musicians can learn from his experiment. New episodes of Peace of Mind hit every Friday on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts and other streaming platforms.

I love that you’re doing something new with an album format while tapping into a whole new potential for podcasts. Where did you get the initial idea to do this?

The initial idea came from my wife [Katie Ross], who’s also my manager. She’s a huge podcast fan and actually involved in the podcast business already with a lot of true crime podcasts. I was a slower adopter. She believed in the idea before Ibelieved in the idea. I didn’t have the full vision of it. The album was done a year ago. I wrote the album before; it’s not like I made the podcast and am writing songs just to fit the thing. I wrote the songs first and foremost, and they all had to do with a political theme. It’s something I’ve always written about. I’ve always had politics or social commentary in my music. This is super natural to me and right in my wheelhouse. Each song has these different themes — immigration, voter suppression, Russia, etc. Because of the popularity and the strength of political podcasts and society and culture podcasts, it kind of fits in there somewhere. It’s fun to experiment. It’s fun to see where it’s going.

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