Since Serial went viral last year, not only have podcasts become a staple of our daily commute but we have remembered the power audio. It’s not just Sarah Koenig who does it well: here’s a list of our favourite podcasts that you may not have heard of…
From podcast giant NPR, Invisibilia is the lesser-known cousin of This American Life (check that out too if you haven’t already). It tells stories about the invisible forces that control human behaviour – our ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Highlights include stories about a man heartbreakingly locked inside his paralysed body, and a new technique of teaching blind children to see without vision.
My Dad Wrote a Porno
Currently taking the podcast world by storm, My Dad Wrote a Porno comprises host Jamie Morton literally reading a story…the erotic novel that his 60-year-old father has written. Enough said.
Love + Radio
A little more surreal and otherworldly in production, Love + Radio comprises amazing, emotionally complex interviews. If you’re going to start somewhere, listen to The Living Room, which features a writer whose life becomes inextricably entangled with her neighbours…because she watches them from her living room. The dramatic tension is quite something.
The Listening Project and StoryCorps
A collaboration between Radio 4 and the British Library, The Listening Project has captured hundreds of ordinary conversations between families and friends. The full archive is breathtaking, but the podcast is a good place to start.
In a similar vein, StoryCorps is a project begun by radio producer David Isay in 2003. He opened an ‘oral history booth’ in Grand Central Station in New York and began recording the stories of strangers in the station. Since then, over 50,000 recordings have been collected – and this makes for incredible listening.
Author: Vicky Noble - this article first appeared here