Whether you’re feeling bereft of inspiration, beleaguered by bad news or just plain bored, an effective remedy is a refreshed list of juicy podcasts to sink your teeth into for January. So voilà – select from the below series a new obsession for your new year – from the arty to the adventurous, from compelling true crime to real-life stories…
1. Artists Among Us
A hot choice among the artistically-literate, Artists Among Us is the first podcast ever launched by the Whitney Museum of American Art. The five-part series is hosted by the legendary artist and photographer Carrie Mae Weems and explores David Hammons’s public sculpture, Day’s End, which has been permanently installed at Hudson River Park’s Gansevoort Peninsula. In the series, Weems explores Hammons’s career, but also pays tribute to Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1975 sculpture of the same name.
2. Stay Away from Matthew MaGill
A genre all of its own, true crime podcasts have become something of a phenomenon. This new series from Pineapple Street Studios features all the trappings of the perfect story: true crime, a mysterious box of belongings, a double life, and partying in Florida in the 1980s! Hosted by reporter Eric Mennel, the series is made more captivating for his personal connection to MaGill’s story—and what he discovers about his own family along the way.
3. Decoder Ring
In this fascinating, off-the-wall series, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit, at the outset of each episode. She then examines this curious subject’s history; and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters. Topics include and are not limited to (in fact – topics are not limited at all…): the invention of the Segway, selling out, tasteless jokes, hydration, Jane Fonda, tattoos, and “Karen”s.
4. Modern Love – New York Times
Love and relationships
Based on the long-running weekly New York Times column of the same name, Modern Love delicately presents the incredible complications of love, reflecting real stories told by real people. A great choice for those who want to sink into listening to deep, real conversations. Hosted by Daniel Jones and Miya Lee.
5. Maintenance Phase
Hosts of this important and fascinating series on health are author Aubrey Gordon, who wrote What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat, and journalist Michael Hobbes. It’s something of a comfort to listen to such well-researched and intelligent perspectives on science, medicine and public health, brilliantly dialogued by Gordon and Hobbes.
6. The Lazarus Heist
Political crime, espionage, history
Exciting and clever, The Lazarus Heist offers an insight into the 2014 Sony Pictures hack, often described as one of the more pressing and interesting geopolitical stories of our time. The show is led by Jean Lee, a Pulitzer-nominated foreign correspondent who has operated out of North Korea, and Geoff White, a veteran freelance investigative journalist and cybercrime expert. Suited to history buffs, spy lovers and news junkies.
7. Dysfunctional Family Storytime
If you’re in search of a laugh and some reassurance after a particularly family-saturated Christmas, Dysfunctional Family Storytime is just the tonic. Curated by editor Jorge Just, the Gimlet Media series offers a collection of stories about regular families that struggle to co-habitate, cooperate or even coexist. An uplifting take on human struggles, listen to know you’re not alone!
8. Eyewitness Beauty
Eyewitness Beauty is a fun and stylish beauty podcast that reflects the energy of 2010s fashion and beauty blogs, and is a welcome breather of intelligent beauty discourse in a world full of vapid vloggers. Episodes are presented by Into the Gloss/Glossier alums Nick Axelrod-Welk and Annie Kreighbaum, both owners of exquisite taste and great charisma.
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