Greg Cochrane’s Podcasts For The People #5: serial killers, a missing plane and, um, the Mercury Prize

There’s 750,000 podcasts out there – let’s help each other find the best. Each week podcast fanatic, Greg Cochrane will be delving deep into the world of podcasts to curate your week's listening.

This is the fifth Podcasts For The People column, which means, if you’re keeping up, there have already been a total of 50 new podcast recommendations by me and you. NME readers have good taste in podcasts. Hopefully you’ve discovered something new.

Let’s dive straight into this fortnight’s picks. Between now and the next column do give a call out for your favourite podcast, I’m @GregCochrane or @NME using #PodcastsForThePeople on Twitter.

What Greg’s been listening to

12 x 1 The Mercury Prize Podcast

The Mercury Music Prize


The low-down: Catchy name, no? You’ve not got long to get genned up before this year’s awards (Thursday 19 September), but aside from listening to the 12 shortlisted albums, this is the best place to start. A dozen episodes – each one a separate thorough walk-through of each of the LPs in contention to win this year’s Mercury Prize. Ultimately, even if you couldn’t care less, there’s the chance to listen to in-depth interviews with everyone from Little Simz to Foals, IDLES to The 1975 about their most recent releases. Slowthai is going to win though, right? *Sprints to bookies*

Where to hear it: BBC Sounds app

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The Next Episode

Lily Allen
Lily Allen appeared on The Next Episode for their recent #MeToo in Music report

The low-down: The Next Episode are an autonomous team of BBC podcasters with a mission to make podcasts that investigate issues young audiences are interested in. Already they’ve covered some important ground. They were the team interviewing Lily Allen for their #MeToo in Music report last week. Find the first episode on that topic where they spoke to Self Esteem and Aluna Francis, too. It’s a striking wake-up call. It’s not just music – it’s politics, fashion, anything that’s relevant. So, if you like your investigative news podcasts breaking new ground The Next Episode is one step ahead of many others.

Where to hear it:
BBC Sounds – other major podcast platforms


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Switched On Pop

Why does Lizzo’s ‘Cuz I Love You’ have so many bangers? Let ‘Switched On Pop’ explain!

The low-down: The music podcast equivalent of those TV programmes that go into the hospital operating theatre and film the surgeons conducting open heart surgery. For some people, the detail is too
much. For others, it’s compelling. There are few better at deconstructing the songwriting process than SOP. Musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding pull subjects apart and piece them back together. So if you’re interested in examining why Lizzo’s ‘Cuz I Love You’ contains so many bangers – we’re talking detail, chord progressions matched with a song’s message, that kinda thing – then cop a listen.

Where to hear it: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify

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Unheard: The Fred And Rose West Tapes

‘Unheard: The Fred & Rose West Tapes feature unheard interviews with Howard Sounes, news reporter at the time of the murders

The low-down: This recently released podcast revisits one of the most disturbing and grizzly set of murders in modern British history – Fred and Rose West, the couple who killed at least a dozen women and girls including their own daughter. They famously hid their victims’ remains under their house at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucestershire. Howard Sounes was a news reporter who investigated the crimes 25 years ago – this series delves back into the story via his recovered tapes, along with his own recollections and some fresh interviews. It’s only just started, but it’s already gripping stuff and as well as a #1 hit.

Where to hear it: Apple podcasts – and all other major podcast apps

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Passenger List

‘Passenger List’ concerns a missing flight between London and New York

The low-down: After some light relief from all that murder? Ok then, here’s a new podcast about a plane gone missing carrying 256 people presumed dead. Passenger List is a new fictional mystery thriller inspired, in part, by the true story of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014. In it, transatlantic flight 702 goes missing between London and New York. College student Kaitlin Le, played by Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), had a twin brother on board, and isn’t buying into the official reason for the vanished plane. She embarks on a journey to uncover the truth, and some uncomfortable theories begin to emerge. Fifteen minutes of episode one and you’ll be hooked.

Where to hear it: Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Apple and other major podcast apps

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What you’ve been listening to

Shock Waves

Recommended by: Howard Gorman, @HowardGorman on Twitter

The low-down: Long-running podcast covering horror, with expert hosts Rob Galluzzo, Elric Kane, and Rebekah McKendry. Sometimes they’re joined by guests. Basically your one-stop-shop for all things terrifying in film.

Howard writes: “Covers every corner of the horror industry. Perfect hosts and fantastic guests every time.”

Where to hear it: Libsyn, Podbay and other major podcast platforms

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Frank Turner’s Tales From No Man’s Land

Recommended by: Alan, @Alan0669 on Twitter

The low-down: Not without some controversy, each song on Frank Turner’s latest album is inspired by a different woman from history that he believes should have more notoriety. This series breaks each track down.

Alan says: “Frank Turner series telling the stories behind the songs on his No Man’s Land album.”

Where to hear it: Acast, Apple Podcasts and more

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The Two Shot Podcast

Recommended by: Regan Tetlow, @ReganTetlow on Twitter

The low-down: You’ll recognise Craig Parkinson from his roles in Line of Duty and Misfits, but he also proves an addebt, charming and sensitive interviewer in his own podcast series about acting. He also quite often has a music guest on too, like Nile Rodgers and Gaz Coombes from the freshly reformed Supergrass.

Regan writes: “Way more than entertainment. Honest. Insightful. Down to earth. From the heart. Moving. Hilarious. Powerful. Empowering. Uplifting. Heartbreaking.”

Where to hear it: Podbean – plus the other big podcast apps

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Recommended by: BrothersBell, @BrothersBell on Twitter

The low-down: An improvised comedy podcast about a planet turned to rubble, and what happens next. Or, in their words: “The world as we knew it is gone. It is time for us to rebuild, to dare to dream of a new world – the future.”

BrothersBell write: “Because it’s funny and weird. It’s also a bit about the apocalypse which seems relevant.”

Where to hear it: Spotify, Anchor and other apps

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Mystery On The Rocks

Recommended by: @MysteryOnTheRox on Twitter

The low-down: Enter this fictional crime-solving bar with hosts Masud Milas, Chris Stokes and Sooz Kempner. There’s singing, drinking and plenty of murky mystery chat. They aim to solve a bunch of true life cases, or at the very least get quite tipsy.

Mystery On The Rox say:Might we suggest ours? It’s a discussion of real life unsolved mysteries over cocktails made from scratch by our resident barman”

Where to hear it: Available on Acast or Apple Podcasts

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