We’ve all been there: you’ve got a song stuck in your head but you cannot for the life of you remember what it is or who it’s by. The most recent Reply All podcast takes that to the extreme as they try and help a guy in his frustrated pursuit of a track that seemingly no-one remembers. In certain circles it’s being talked about as one of the great all-time podcast episodes.
Now, onto the picks. There’s a lot of great stuff out there. As ever, five selections from me, and five from NME readers. Tweet us with your recommendations using #PodcastsForThePeople. Meanwhile, this should keep you going for the next fortnight.
What Greg’s been listening to
Daughters of Reykjavík: The Podcast
— Daughters of Reykjavík (@RVKDTR) March 6, 2020
The low-down: Making a podcast has become a popular way for artists to promote whatever they’re selling; usually a new album. They can be mediocre, but Daughters of Reykjavík’s show definitely is not. For the uninitiated DOR are an all-female nine-strong Icelandic hip-hop collective whose legendary live shows land somewhere between The Spice Girls and Brockhampton. Each instalment is themed around a different track on their forthcoming LP. Episode one uses the theme of their song ‘Sweets’ to spark a discussion about female sexuality, body image, make-up, pornography and social media. The band are joined by guests too, including London duo IDER and Of Monsters And Men’s Nanna Bryndís.
Where to hear it: Apple Podcasts
The low-down: Music history is littered with massive feuds. Do musicians fall out more than other creatives? It certainly feels like it – from the likes of The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones right through to modern fallouts like Taylor Swift and Kanye West. This means hosts Steven Hyden and Jordan Runtaugh aren’t lacking in material. However, they go a bit deeper than simply picking sides; Rivals wonders why we’re so obsessed by these dramas and examines how they’re all unique. So far they’ve released episodes exploring relationships between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, Elton John and Billy Joel and Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. It’s pacy, tightly researched and will satisfy your inner gossip.
Where to hear it: iHeartRadio website, Google, Apple
The Last Bohemians
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Another brilliant photo by @lozzakellyphoto. Gee Vaucher is as radical as they come: she is a founding member of 1970s British anarcho-punks Crass and lives in an 'open house' in Essex where anyone can drop by at any time for a chat about how to fix the world. So that's what we did! Listen to Gee's episode, produced by @maelizzzle 💫
The low-down: The debut series of The Last Bohemians earned a spot on NME’s best new podcasts of 2019 list. It’s back with a fresh run – eight weekly releases in total – where journalist Kate Hutchinson meets a collection of senior female firebrand creatives. The results are often astonishing. Like Gee Vaucher, the visual artist and one-time member of anarcho-punk project Crass discussing her unconventional lifestyle, who gives listeners a tour of her Essex commune. Still to come this series, some fantastic names including: PP Arnold, Vivienne Dick, Margaret Busby, Sue Tilley, Maxine Sanders and, in what’s sure to be an entertaining listen, legendary fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.
Where to hear it: Apple, Spotify, TuneIn
My Death Row Pen Pal
Would you write to an inmate on death row? 🤔
Posted by BBC Sounds on Friday, February 28, 2020
The low-down: If the sign of an addictive podcast is one which constantly throws up questions then My Death Row Pen Pal is onto a winner. Rebekah is a 29-year-old community worker from Manchester who, out of curiosity, wrote to an inmate on Death Row in Texas. They struck up a bond, and Charles, a the convicted murderer, invites her to visit. There are familiar narratives that go with this kind of thing – is it a morbid fascination of some type? – but this podcast largely debunks those thoughts as Rebekah navigates the situation by sharing conversations with her husband, friends and experts. It’s a touching exploration into human compassion, and a reminder that we jump to conclusions all too often.
Where to hear it: BBC Sounds
Start with this: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p085473f
The low-down: An inspired idea from Anthems hooked around this year’s International Women’s Day. Every day in March they’re sharing a new podcast, each recorded by a different exceptional woman. In their words, the project is: “31 original manifestos, speeches, stories, poems and rallying cries that celebrate and contemplate what it means to be a woman.” The format? They take a word, and build around it. Already there have been punchy, impactful episodes themed around community, development and uncertainty. Check out award-winning author Laura Dockrill’s piece on “sur-thrival” and Zing Tsjeng’s statement on “forgiveness” – thoughtful, compassionate and powerfully articulate.
Where to hear it: Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts
Start with this: https://open.spotify.com/show/3WvaFOFAUccia2ULq9fzQG
What you’ve been listening to
Do You Love Us?
Recommended by: No Manifesto, @4realjedi on Twitter
The low-down: The fancast treatment works for some bands more than others, but fortunately with Manic Street Preachers there’s a lot to talk about – history, politics and an endless supply of explosive Nicky Wire interviews. And, of course, that impressive discography.
No Manifesto writes: “…because this podcast allows you to better understand Manics’ music and more.”
Where to hear it: Apple Podcasts
13 Minutes To The Moon
Recommended by: Gareth Crook, @graphicquarter on Twitter
The low-down: Apollo 13 should have been the third time humans landed on the moon, but after an explosion it almost ended in disaster. This is the story of that mission, and it’s every bit as gripping as series one, which pieced together the first ever moon landing, Apollo 11.
Gareth comments: “First episode is brilliant!”
Where to hear it: BBC Sounds
Start with this: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct0pc5
Bad Dads Film Review
Recommended by: Analog, @Analog on Twitter
The low-down: Life transforms with parenthood. These film buffs became fathers seven years ago and soon found themselves watching as much CBeebies as Tarantino. They comically try to keep up with movieland in this relatable weekly show.
Analog says: “These guys are reviewing movies and kids TV. The concept is great and these guys are so funny!”
Where to hear it: Buzzsprout, TuneIn and other podcast places
Recommended by: Futura Free on Twitter, @futurafree_band
The low-down: A podcast dedicated to revisiting every Blink 182 song one by one doesn’t sound that appetising in theory, but hosts Josiah Hughes and Sam Sutherland make this an addictive listen. And just when you think ‘am I really going to listen to two people talking about ‘I Miss You’ for almost three hours?’ you get to the end and realise: ‘I just did, and it was great.’
Futura Free tweet: “Blink 155 is ruining my life and I’m so happy about it.”
Where to hear it: Stitcher
Start with this: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/blink155/e/67332619?autoplay=true
The Tablo Podcast
Listen to some of Epik High's early music if you haven't already! 🪐✨
What is your favorite #EpikHigh song?
— The Tablo Podcast (@thetablopodcast) March 7, 2020
Recommended by: @Aimeejz1234 on Twitter
The low-down: Tablo is a rapper, writer and “K-pop Asian dad” – part of the group Epik High – this is his regular podcast. What’s it about? Anything and everything in Tablo’s universe.
Aimee writes: “The first podcast I have really continuously listened to. Tablo is smart, funny and really has a passion for Marvel. Many times I’ve laughed until I’ve had tears.”
Where to hear it: Spotify
Start with this: https://open.spotify.com/show/5qwKkz84WTu3hCcmOwcxEF