Over the last 12 months my podcast listening habits have ramped up significantly. I’m obsessed. Seriously, I’m at the point where I think I might have to join some sort of 12 step programme.
I know it can be hard to discover new podcasts (I’ve wrote all about it in a previous post); so here, for you, is my Top Podcasts of 2018.
Some of these podcasts have come from self discovery, stumbling across them by accident, direct advertising, recommendations from buddies or through podcast networks that I’m involved with.
From true crime to nature – there’s a right old mix here, so I am sure that you’ll find your new favourite too.
Happy 2019 podcast listening!
(music / crime / storytelling)
If love true crime and you love music, you’re going to adore Disgraceland!
Each episode profiles a different music industry low life, bad boy/lass or unfortunate soul with tales of murder, suicide, drug binges, religious cults, cannibalism and more stuff that will simply disgust you to your core and make you think twice about you f***ed up musical heroes.
Now two seasons in, the podcast has already profiled the likes of Sam Cooke, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Lennon and Sid and Nancy.
With episode titles like “The Rolling Stones: Sleeping With the First Lady and Trafficking Heroin” – what are you waiting for?
Additionally, Jake Brennan, the host of Disgraceland, gives me proper storytelling envy – with all the feels; that combined with the top-notch production and convention – makes Disgraceland a standard all podcasters should aim for.
I ❤ Disgraceland
Series 3 starts in February 2019. Rocka Rolla
Listen and Binge now: Disgracelandpod.com
I Secretly Recorded My Boyfriend
(comedy / British / real life)
If a podcast has you laughing out loud in the first few minutes, then I reckon you’re onto a winner. Let’s put it this way, my house has very thin walls and I’m quite concerned about the veracity of some of the belly laughs that I emit from my gob when I listen ISRMB.
It’s the Ronseal of podcasts (non-British reader, check that reference here), podcast host Jo – is secretly recording her boyfriend – note the present tense – at the point of publishing this blog and 18 episodes in, he still has no idea!
Each episode Jo is joined by her buddies Katy and Sparky as they dissect and more often than not, relate to Jo’s hilarious relationship with her boyfriend and some of the incredible stuff that comes out of his mouth. It’s also very naughty; expect watersports, tidemarks, under carriages, donkey wallopers, nobbers and beef jerky.
I just adore the honesty of this podcast; there’s bits of Jo, Sparky’s and Katy’s relationships that we can all identify in our own – gawd I’m glad I’m single!
Listen and binge now: https://spoti.fi/2RMEUYR
The Bright Sessions
(sci-fi / fiction / scripted)
If you would have told me twelve months ago that a scripted, sci-fi podcast would be in my top podcasts of 2018, I would have told you that you were a bit bonkers. But, The Bright Sessions got me HOOKED. I binged all four seasons in an ungodly amount of time.
The show, right at the start at Season 1, begins in the office of a therapist called Dr Bright. Each episode we’re a fly on the wall, listening in on a session with one of her extraordinary patients.
The podcast explores love, friendship, mental health struggles, substance abuse, family affairs and erm..super powers.
During the first season especially, I was simply there for the characters of Caleb and Adam. I remember being stood in the middle of the freezer aisle in Aldi during one episode, stuck to my spot following what was happening!
The podcast has been so successful in rousing the imagination of thousands of listeners, that spin offs are currently in production, including more podcasts, books and a TV show.
Listen and binge now: TheBrightSessions.com
The Butterfly Effect
(documentary / society & culture)
It’s about Porn.
I can tell, you’re hooked already.
Well, the porn industry specifically and the knock on effect of an idea to make porn free and easy to stream online.
The testament of a good podcast for me, is if it make me react vocally! I reckon I should develop this into some sort of podcast rating system, a barometer of sorts, starting from a low ‘humph’ to a loud ‘F***’.
The Butterfly Effect got LOTS of ‘Whatttts’ and ‘OMG’s’ out of me – because it’s freaking fascinating; with incredible stories, interesting connections, insight, sadness, humour.
Also, I think I’ve been living under a rock for the past decade or so, this is my first introduction to the delightful Jon Ronson.
Listen & binge:JonRonson.com/butterfly
They Walk Among Us
(true crime / Britain / storytelling)
‘I love true crime’ always feels like a weird thing to say, but I do love true crime (TC) – as do millions of other people around the world (I’m not the only sick F*** – yey!) and as a result there are thousands of true crime podcasts, in fact it’s one of the most popular categories of podcast out there.
To dissect and understand the psyche of why true crime is such a popular podcast genre – is another blog post entirely.
But, nevertheless, amongst the thousands of TC podcasts, some good, many bad (but in TC land even the crumby ones get thousands of subscribers) the jewel in the crown is They Walk Among Us – dedicated to UK true crime.
There’s no conversation here, no jokes, no glamorisation – just straight forward stories of heinous crimes. The monotone narration fits the genre perfectly. The format is consistent, and the artwork gorgeous.
It’s great to hear a well-made British podcast in this genre.
Listen & binge: TheyWalkAmongUsPodcast.com
Footnote: If you enjoy any of these podcasts and they become your favourite – then please support your podcast makers by leaving them a rating or a review on itunes and spreading the word on social media – thanks lovelies!