It’s been a good week for fans of The 1975 and podcasts since Matty Healy recently shared a bunch of conversations he’s recorded with his musical heroes. The line-up is stellar: including Kim Gordon, Brian Eno, Conor Oberst and Bobby Gillespie. Start with Stevie Nicks – turns out The 1975 are an important band to the Fleetwood Mac star (you can hear Matty’s jaw hitting the floor when she reveals her fandom).
During lockdown, new podcasts are arriving thick and fast with around 30 per cent more than previous months uploaded to Apple during April. In a bid to help you find the best, here are five new recommendations from me, and five from you, NME’s readers. Thanks for your tips, keep them coming.
What Greg’s been listening to
Grounded with Louis Theroux
The low-down: Having been an engrossing guest on numerous other people’s podcasts, the journalist and broadcaster finally gets in on the act. And when you have as much laidback charisma as Louis, a simple ‘in conversation’ approach will suffice. It all kicked off with an epic meeting of minds: a video call with Jon Ronson to discuss conspiracy theories, cancel culture and their artistic parallels. Boy George is a different type of chat: being in lockdown on his own in central London, some reflections on his childhood and Louis’ lingering concern about a historical tweet from George. As with everything else he’s done, Louis’s astute questioning brings out the most interesting angles from his guests.
Where to hear it: BBC Sounds – and other podcast places
Start with this: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/p089sfrz
Shower Sessions with St. Vincent
The low-down: Annie Clark isn’t new to this type of thing – her Mixtape Delivery Service radio show on Beats 1 was frequently a joy. Here, in a series also available to watch on YouTube, she’s spreading the word on the best new music again – this time from the bathroom (at least a set that’s been produced to look like a bathroom). Why? Well, the shower was probably the first place many of the biggest stars started singing. Clark dons a bath robe and head towel to present interviews and live performances from emerging musicians – artists like Donna Missal, Duckwrth and Kassi Ashton.
Where to hear it: Major podcast apps – plus the official site
Start with this: https://www.showersessionspodcast.com/
Danger 5: Stereo Adventures
The low-down: In case your brain has reached full capacity for serious podcasts, here’s a scripted comedy that somehow mashes up The Avengers, Scooby-Doo, Airplane and James Bond. Based on the cult Australian TV show, it follows a squad of international secret spies – all hapless to varying degrees – taking on a selection of ridiculous missions. That the first episode squeezes the Loch Ness Monster, communists and a battle with a bunch of pirates in the middle of the sea into the same story – retro sound effects are great – tells you everything you need to know about just how surreal it can get.
Where to hear it: Audible
Start with this: https://buff.ly/2xFDUhi
The low-down: At the more intellectually chewy end of music podcasts comes this new one from Holly Herndon and Mat Dryhurst. Blossoms’ Pubcast it ain’t. Interdependence is a show about lessons and new futures – where music and technology converge: socially, culturally and economically. Some of the key questions around the sustainability of all this – particularly independent culture – have been hanging around for years, but the pointed challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis have brought them ever closer to the surface. You’re guaranteed to learn something.
Where to hear it: Apple Podcasts and on their Patreon page
Start with this: https://www.patreon.com/interdependence
Son of a Hitman
The low-down: Woody Harrelson’s father was a convicted murderer; a hitman. It is something the actor has discussed on occasions in the past. This new podcast, hosted by journalist Jason Cavanagh, profiles Charles V. Harrelson. Early on, listeners meet Woody’s brother, Brett, who is keen to learn more about his father’s life – no matter how grisly the details. The truth surrounding Charles is blurred, though, muddled by conspiracy theories, confusion and mistruths. Who was Charles? And was he guilty of the crimes he was punished for? Perhaps like the Harrelson family, listeners may have differing opinions.
Where to hear it: Spotify
Start with this:
What you’ve been listening to
22 Grand Pod
Recommended by: @22GrandPod on Twitter
The low-down: Harry Hainstock and Tom Atkin from The Paddingtons revisit a heady era for British guitar music – 2001-2008 – via new interviews with the bands who were there.
They tweet: “Guests so far have included Dominic Masters from The Others and Ross Millard from The Futureheads, with more to come.”
Where to hear it: Apple Podcasts
Have a Word
Recommended by: Donna Hughes, @Dippydolphin79 on Twitter
The low-down: This comedy pairing have leaned into the crisis by making a podcast every single day during the lockdown – one of those jokes that became a promise – presented by Adam Rowe and Dan Nightingale.
Donna writes: “Down to earth, hilarious and takes your mind off the rest of this crazy madness.”
Where to hear it: Apple, Spotify, Podbean and other places
Start with this:
So I Start A Revolution From My Bed
Recommended by: Sarah Belsom, @Fraggle92
The low-down: Enlightening podcast from Jason Reed during this time of quarantine – he’s been housebound much of his life because of illness so is an expert on managing mental health and making your ideas flourish within four walls.
Sarah writes: “It’s topical and easy to listen to. Pure escapism.”
Where to hear it: Acast
Recommended by: Matt, @M4tet
The low-down: A show dedicated entirely to Oasis – they go deep into the band’s history, as well as speaking to people who witnessed the Gallagher’s story first hand.
Matt tweets: “The Oasis Podcast has had some phenomenal output the past 30 days.”
Where to hear it: Audioboom, Apple and other podcast apps
Start with this: https://audioboom.com/posts/7566260-oasis-biggest-mistakes
Recommended by: Jamie, @rhu777
The low-down: Another one to add to the list of supplementary ‘re-watch’ podcasts – this one, hosted by co-stars Michael Imperioli and Steven Schirripa, sees them revisit episode-by-episode arguably the greatest TV series of all time.
Jamie says: “Original gangsters. Lol.”
Where to hear it: Spotify, YouTube and other podcast places
Start with this: