This Christmastime, it’s likely you’re driving somewhere. Whether it’s a few hours north/south/west/east to get to Nan’s place on the 25th, or a bazillion hours for a couple of weeks, using that precious summertime holiday leave. Whatever the case, a top-notch playlist won’t cut it sometimes, and that’s where podcasts come in.
Whether your schtick is chatty, funny folks that feel like mates yabbering on about whatever, or in-depth reporting where you actually learn something new, we’ve got you covered. We reckon you’ll get a kick out of ALL of these 10/10 poddys, so listen up, yeah?
Of course we’re putting OUR podcast at the top of the list – we’d be idiots not to! But stay with us here – if you love true crime to a possibly unhinged level, and also wish you had people to chat to about it who didn’t say “hmmm yeah, I don’t really know who Ted Bundy is sorry”, then we are HERE FOR YOU. Join Mel, our Senior Style & Features Editor, and PTV’s Head of Editorial Josie as they discuss one Australian unsolved case or ghosty mystery per episode. There’s 20 to binge and they’re literally never an hour.
You might think you know about ISIS, but after listening to this brilliant podcast from The New York Times, you’ll wonder how you’ve made it to 2018 with such a limited understanding. Caliphate follows NYT terrorism reporter Rukmini Callimachi as she interviews ex-ISIS members, through to her literally walking into war zones to track down vital information for her reporting. It’s an intense listen but has a Serial–style “must sit in car to finish episode” vibe to it. It’s also just damn good podcasting.
3. THE DOLLOP
Two guys who meet bi-weekly (except when they… don’t – like All Aussie Mystery Hour, everything about the structure of this podcast is loose) where Dave reads a story to his mate Gareth, giving Gareth exactly 0 context beforehand. Sound fun? It is – very much so, and you’ll definitely wish you could be sitting having a beer with these two instead of staring at expanses of straight highway. PTV writer Ben says “start with episode 8, the dolphin sex one”.
4. KEEP IT!
More chatty podcast recs, incoming! Keep It is like sitting down with your funniest mates after work, listening to them take over the conversation except it’s OK, because they’re hilarious and worthy of the limelight. Host Ira Madison III has a rotating list of guest speakers who are usually a) comedians and b) his mates, and they all sit down to talk pop culture and politics. It is a little timely – some episodes will be too passe for you news-wise. But if you’re not up to date on, say, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj’s beef, or what the hell is going on with the US Republicans and Democrats – get on this.
Do you love history? Then ABC Radio National has your back – The History Listen is like having a really good high school history teacher telling you about an actually interesting part of Aussie history. The two-part episode series on Rottnest Island will have you never looking at that holiday spot the same way again.
6. NO CHILL
YES YES, we put TWO of our podcasts in here. But honestly, we make some damn good ones sooo… sorry not sorry. No Chill sees PTV’s Lucinda Price team up with her long-time mate, writer Madison Griffiths to chat all things mental health and the internet. We live in a digital age where we social media everything – how is that going for us and our brains, you know? It’s a slick production that sees the ladies chat to everyone from Osher Gunsberg to Aussie meme-queen Carolyn Duchene, who is responsible for like 80% of the stuff you laugh at on Instagram. With 7 episodes, it’s perfect for a shorter road trip.
Let’s move on from true crime podcasts shall we, to DISEASE BASED ONES. Yep, This Podcast Will Kill You is all about various diseases you can get, from rabies to influenza. The hosts are passionate about this stuff, and each week one will deep dive on the history of a disease, as well as how it works in the human body. It’s fascinating and hilarious stuff (they make a “quarantini” each week, which is basically a cocktail based on some element to do with the disease and it’s history) but also super factual – you’ll learn a LOT. Sometimes, things you wish you didn’t know.
If messed up musos is your thing, you’ll love Disgraceland. The host can be a liiiiittle dramatic, which can sometimes get annoying. But the content is slick – each episode focuses on a notorious character from the music world, from Keith Moon to Rick James to Jerry Lee Lewis. Definitely read the episode bios before bingeing – some episodes get really dark, like the cannibalistic murder committed by hip hop artist Big Lurch, so it’s worth knowing what’s about to come out of your speakers.
9. REPLY ALL
Reply All markets itself as “a podcast about the internet”, but really it’s just great, great storytelling. Each episode has a different topic – our picks to begin with? #132, Negative Mount Pleasant, and #29, The Takeover will see an entire hour of your drive go by in a flash.
10. WHO? WEEKLY
If you’re obsessed with celebs you should be lining loads of these eps up. Basically a deep dive into trashy celebrity culture with absolutely no shame whatsoever, you’ll likely learn stuff about celebrities you didn’t even know existed.Image: Zoolander