Podcasts! They're a bit like songs. People make noises, you listen to the noises and… Well, that's about it for the similarities really. Nonetheless, if you've got your headphones on and for some inexplicable reason you don't want to listen to music, then a podcast might be just the ticket. We don't want to get too
adventurous though, so let's stick to podcasts about
music at least. We've rounded up the best of best for your listening pleasure.
1. U Talkin' U2 To Me?
Ostensibly a podcast about U2 by superfans Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott, U Talkin' U2 To Me?
takes that simple concept to very strange places. That ridiculous tongue-twister of a title sets the irreverent tone for proceedings. The two hosts, who have remarkably similar voices, both refer to each other as "Scott", ensuring confusion, and often take two hours to cover fifteen minutes of U2 related content. It's an absurd, hilarious take on the podcast format and when the Scotts do manage to occasionally talk about U2 for a few minutes, their love for the band really shines through.
2. Song Exploder
Running since 2014, Song Exploder
blows up popular tracks and neatly pieces them back together with assistance from the artists themselves. The episodes are short and succinct, but they manage to cover a lot of ground and give a real insight into the creative process. It's fascinating to hear songs broken down into their individual components and get some insight from artists like Björk, Iggy Pop, Grimes, MGMT, Courtney Barnett, CHVRCHES and many more. In particular, Song Exploder
really highlights how it's the little details that make the best songwriters stand out.
3. All Songs Considered
NPR's All Songs Considered
is, as the name implies, an exploration of music from all genres and backgrounds, covering everyone from independent artists to industry legends. Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton have been in the game long enough and they've become expert curators, bringing only the best to their listeners. In addition to regular episodes covering new releases, All Songs Considered
often features interviews with artists or invites guest hosts to cover a special one-off topic.
4. Desert Island Discs
Dating all the way back to its first radio broadcast in 1942 (!), BBC's Desert Island Discs
has found a new lease of life thanks to the emergence of the podcast. The idea is novel - Each week a guest takes us through the eight records they would like to have with them, were they stranded on a desert island. Between songs is an interview, weaving a music-inspired narrative of the person's life from childhood to the present. Then, at the end, guests may choose one book and one luxury item that they would also bring. This unique interview approach has attracted more big names than you can count over the decades, with Bill Gates, Tom Hanks, Chris Hadfield and Bruce Springsteen just a few of the notable guests from the past couple of years.
Listen to an episode with Ed Sheeran HERE
5. The Great Albums
Pretty self-explanatory this one - it's a podcast dedicated to discussion of albums widely considered some of the greatest of all time. Hosts Bill Lambusta and Brian Erickson follow a relatively straightforward format where they pick an iconic album and work their way through it with a fine tooth comb. For each episode they'll recruit a special guest to contribute to the discussion and keep things fresh. From time-to-time The Great Albums
will treat to us "Bonus Song Thursday", which generally relates to the album discussed in the prior episode.
Listen to an episode on The Strokes HERE
6. Watching the Throne
A very niche choice this one, Watching the Throne
is a podcast concerned with the lyrical dissection of one our generation's finest wordsmiths - Kanye West
. Painstakingly working their way through Ye's formidable discography, song-by-song, hosts Chris and Travis manage to unearth new details for even the most die-hard Yeezy fans. Side episodes are concerned with all things in the world of Kanye, and mini-series My StorYe features guests discussing their love for the great man. If, like me, you've listened to every Kanye song a million billion times, this podcast will give you a fresh perspective on things.