By Emma Klein ’17
If you’ve seen the movie High Fidelity, you know that Rob Gordon and his friends like talking in “top fives.” Me too. So here’s a list of podcasts that I’m loving right now. BONUS: they’re all created and hosted by women!
Let me preface this by saying I am obsessed with Lea Thau. She is the original creator of the Moth Podcast, which you’ve probably heard of, but Strangers is a gem and my personal favorite podcast of all time. Lea’s delicate voice and the ease in which she makes herself vulnerable to her audience make her an ideal storyteller. The premise of strangers is that Lea finds good stories about people she doesn’t know, in the process, they become “strangers no more” as she learns about their lives. She’s interviewed everyone from a father with a son in prison, to a young woman with a beautiful sense of humor battling cancer. I started listening to Strangers through the “Love Hurts” series of the podcast, in which Lea explores the reasons behind her single-ness by interviewing with men she’s dated as well as love professionals.
For fans of: The Moth
Whether or not you listen to podcasts, you’ve probably heard of Serial at one point or another. Criminal is a nice balance of true-crime, storytelling, and investigation. Although different from Serial, it’s a nice substitute if you’re looking for something creepy and fascinating. Each episode of Criminal focuses on a different case, and the episodes usually run somewhere between 10-20 minutes. Stories range from harrowing tales of modern day crime to historical cases going hundreds of years back.
For fans of: Serial, This American Life
- Not by Accident
I confess, I came upon this podcast thanks to Strangers, but I’m so glad I found it. Not By Accident is a documentary podcast series about the process of becoming a single mother, completely intentionally, with the help of artificial insemination. The creator, Australian Sophie Harper, was working in Denmark at the age of 37 when she decided that she wanted to start a family on her own. The podcast follows her from her decision to get pregnant, through her pregnancy, to the birth of her daughter Astrid and their life together.
For fans of: documentary stories, Strangers, The Longest Shortest Time
- Sooo Many White Guys
You might know Phoebe Robinson as a badass stand up comic, author of You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain, or creator and co-host of the podcast 2 Dope Queens with Jessica Williams (just to name a few things she’s done). Her newest podcast is produced by WNYC Studios and Broad City’s Ilana Glazer, and features interviews with various creatives (but no white guys!). She’s hosted guests like Roxane Gay, Janet Mock, and Constance Wu. Her interviews are full of energy and she’s one of my favorite comics right now. It’s also just wonderful to see a podcast dedicated to featuring voices of people who aren’t white men.
For fans of: 2 Dope Queens, Broad City
- The Heart
This is a podcast about intimacy and matters of…the heart! The Heart, formerly known as Audio Smut, is the project of Kaitlin Prest and Mitra Kaboli. You’ll find all sorts of stories on this show, often in the form of themed series. They have featured stories about ghosts (of the heart), diaries, and a woman’s struggle to get justice for a childhood assault. In my opinion, it’s one of the best-produced podcasts out there, definitely worth a listen. This show is also a Radiotopia program, along with Strangers and Criminal.
For fans of: Love+Radio