I bloody love a podcast, I probably listen to them more than I do music. It’s a brilliant companion to any task that that involved using your eyes and hands. I like to listen to podcasts while I cook, clean, drive, walk, commute etc. It seems that making this list of favourites is a biennial activity for me so I would like to say that my previous lists, especially this one, still apply as podcasts favourites.
Another thing that’s changed since the last time that I wrote one of these lists is that I actually work on a podcast myself now! It’s called Heads, Shoulders, Knees & POD and talks to dance artists about their work and creations in contemporary dance. We also started a series called Show Notes where we give audiences insights into what they can expect from specific dance productions in an attempt to increase the accessibility toward dance. I love the team I work with and while I don’t speak on the record I love moderating the conversations, editing the episodes and creating our social media and website content. Please do check us out if that sounds like something up your street!
So anyways, here’s my list of my current podcast faves…
Dissect is a serialised music podcast that examines a single album per season, one song per episode. They break down the songs, explaining the elements that come together on the track and what it could symbolise and represent. It kinda felt like going back to the sort of textual analysis of English in school but in a really fun way. The season that blew me away was their analysis of Beyoncé’s Lemonade and listening to it brought me to a whole other level of appreciation for that album plus it was so fun to think more deeply about music that I love to listen to.
In Table Manners Jessie Ware and her mum Lennie host a podcast about food and family, direct from their own dinner table as they cook for their guest. As a foodie I’m so interested in hearing people’s food-related chat, hearing about what they’re making and about people’s lives and family through a culinary lens. Plus they get some banging guests on the podcast – recently I loved the epsiodes with Dan Levy, Dolly Parton and Shea Coulée. Table Manners is just such a comfort podcast for me and it always makes me feel happier.
How to Fail
This is a podcast that feels like therapy in all the best ways. Elizabeth Day interviews brilliant humans about the things that didn’t work out in their lives and what they’ve learned from it. It’s always so entertaining and Elizabeth Day is such a kind and respectful interviewer, there’s always good vibes. It’s important to remind ourselves that everyone feels regret and failure at times in their lives, even when from the outside they seem to have it all going on so I think there’s definitely something that everyone can relate to and the episodes inspire you to embrace failure as part of life.
Eleven: The Official Theatre Podcast
Another great interviewer but this time on my favourite topic: theatre. Based in London but with guests from all over the world, Will chats with the best of the best in the theatre industry to talk to them about their lives, careers and productions and it’s always a good time. If you’re a theatre fan then you definitely want to be listening to these episodes with greats like Renée Elise Goldsberry, Peppermint, Alan Menken, Shoshana Bean and Stephen Schwartz to name a few.
Ear Hustle is a podcast that documents the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration. Rather than talking about the justice system or people’s specific legal cases, the podcast just focuses on what it’s like to be a human who lives in (or after) prison. It’s super interesting to hear about and I think it’s an important reminder that the massive number of incarcerated people are in fact people with lives, thoughts, feelings, troubles, fun, friendship and stories.
What are your favourite podcasts? Let me know!