10 Best Podcasts of 2018 (So Far)
If you sit by your PC all day or have to endure a morning commute to work, you’ll know just how much of a godsend an engrossing podcast can be. But with so much on offer, it can hard to know which podcast to listen to next. So with that in mind, here’s our favourite 10 podcasts of 2018 so far. We will keep updating the list if something gets us binging, so head back in a month or two and you’ll probably find something new!
Slow Burn: A Podcast About Watergate
If, like us, you’re interested in politics but are too old to remember Watergate and have never taken the time to delve into it, Slow Burn couldn’t be any more perfect. One of our favourite podcasts of the year so far, Slow Burn draw the parallels between Nixon’s administration pre- and post- Watergate scandal with the era of Trump. Hosted by Slate staff writer Leon Neyfakh, the podcast is stacked with details and first-hand accounts, and gives you a real sense of what it felt like to live through a defining historical moment. It also makes you wonder, are we living in one now?
In the Dark
Genre: True Crime
We unashamedly love a true crime podcast and one of the best around returned this year for a second series. In the Dark really is a classic of the genre. The first series follow the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, a case which took 27 years to resolve, despite the killer being well known to the police. This time around, Madeleine Baran and her team take a look at the case of Curtis Flowers, a black man from a small town in Mississippi who, rather incredible, has been tried six times by the same white prosecutor for the 1996 murder of four employees of a furniture store he once worked at. Nothing gets you going like a sense of injustice…
The Totally Football Show
If you need to catch up with the big stories from the weekend’s results or build up to the upcoming fixtures without the usual clichés, The Totally Football Show is one stop shop. Hosted by James ‘90s Football Italia’ Richardson, it’s essentially the Guardian’s old Football Weekly podcast until the gang jumped ship. It may have begun in 2017, but it’s so good, we’re shoving it our 2018 list!
The follow-up to 2016’s Making Oprah, WBEZ Chicago’s rather aptly named Making Obama dives into the rise of Barack Obama, focusing on his early political career in Chicago before he ran for presidency. As well as looking at archive media, host Jenn White also gets plenty of one-on-one time with the man himself.
We all have films we regularly view before bed or on a lazy Sunday. No matter how many new movies get put on Netflix, we always go back to the same old. And if you’re one of these people, The Rewatchables is the podcast for you. Each episode focuses on a different film – from classics like Jurassic Park and Forest Gump, to newer movies like Ocean’s Eleven and Social Network – and delves deeper into the themes and backgrounds of the film. The sheer chemistry between its rotating cast of panellists is worth listening to The Rewatchables alone.
One day, we’re all going to be living in space. That’s the premise behind Gimlet’s new cast The Habitat. In anticipation of that eventuality, this podcast tells the tale of six strangers who were challenged by NASA to live on an isolated Mars-like environment in Hawaii for one year, with Gimlet recording their experiences. Some of the science in the podcast is apparently questionable – not that us average Joes would notice – but The Habitat really is a compelling listen with the drama of hook-ups and annoying habits playing out beautifully.
Death in Ice Valley
Genre: True Crime
One for anyone who’s into their Nordic Noir, Death in Ice Valley is a new podcast from the BBC World Service and NRK, one of Norway’s biggest broadcasters. It opens the mysterious cold case of the ‘Isdal Woman’, an unidentified woman who was found in the 70s in bizarre circumstances in the icy Norwegian fjords. Blending personal stories and new age carbon dating, Death in Ice Valley really does a job in blending the bleak scenes of Bergen with the intrigue of the case.
One for lovers of music, as well as true crime, Jake Brennan’s Disgraceland tells various stories about famous musicians getting away with murder and behaving very badly. Episodes include the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Jerry Lee Lewis’ fifth wife, and whether there’s more than meets the eye to Sid Vicious’ fatal overdose. It’s an absolute must-listen for any music buff!
Unfiltered with James O’Brien
If you’re after good old fashioned interviews with interesting characters with timely stories, Joe.co.uk’s Unfiltered podcast is probably the UK’s best at the moment. Hosted by LBC host James O’Brien, Unfiltered features a different guests ever week from all walks of time. Recent interviewees range from the likes of Gary Lineker and Mark Hamill, to Akala and Armando Iannucci.
Insightful, daring and gripping, the New York Times’ Caliphate is probably the most essential podcast released in 2018. Hosted by foreign correspondent and terrorism expert Rukmini Callimach, Caliphate offers a fascinating exposé of ISIS, analysing how they. It’s a disturbing listen but incredibly addictive.
If you’re just after some true crime podcast recommendations, here’s 10 to listen to when you’ve finished Serial.