Podcasts. To be honest, my only knowledge of podcasts was when they were a menu option on my old iPod mini and I wondered what the hell they were. I’m pretty sure I concluded I didn’t give a shit, continued playing Greenday’s American Idiot album on repeat, and forgot all about them.
Then I moved to
Melbourne the hipster capital of the world.
AND ALL ANYONE TALKS ABOUT IS PODCASTS. Well. And voting for the Greens. And coffee. And buying things from op shops. And AFL. But mostly podcasts.
After months of wondering what the fuck the fuss was all about, I started to think maybe I should be listening to them. Maybe this was the solution to my ornate ability to be so out of touch with music that I’m still listening to Kesha’s only two hits every time I put my headphones in.
And I walk A LOT, which means I listen to Kesha A LOT. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve OF COURSE got Ronan Keating’s When You Say Nothing At All in a safe seat (lol can you tell I’ve been getting right into the Australian election) in my recently played, but to be honest, that’s probably the last time I cared about music. I’ve said at least one hundred times ‘I don’t even know what the kids are listening to these days’, and I legit don’t. Taylor Swift got too cool for me, and the soul of my music-listening ears died at that moment. And never recovered.
SO. I thought I’d give podcasts a try. Though, to be honest, I was worried they’d bore me and my mind would wander towards dreaming of carbs and burgers and cheese and I’d miss what was being said, so I was apprehensive.
I got on with it, and look at me now. I’m hooked. I’m a proper little Melbournian. I’ll toddle along in my Zara puffer jacket, in my active wear, full to my oesophagus of avocado, clutching a coffee (in an eco-friendly Keep Cup I shit you not), on my way to KX Pilates, LISTENING TO A PODCAST.
Let’s get a woohoo for Emma. This is the most alternative thing I’ve succeeded at since my mesh wristband phase circa 2004.
I’m wondering if they’ve taken off in the UK in my absence, but given that 87% of England is as awkward – if not more – than me, I assume they haven’t quite reached the mass market yet.
It did take a little perseverance, but these are the 5 that pretty much got me hooked. Granted, I did hear about a couple of them while listening to a couple of other podcasts (the names of which I can’t remember), but these are the ones I’ve subscribed to and that stuck. Ready? Hipster initiation begins now.
OH HOW GENERIC. Look, I said I’d got into podcasts. I didn’t say this list was going to be ground breaking-ly unique and game changing. But I’m sorry, Megan Tan, you’ve changed my effing life (she’s the host of the show). The tag line is ‘A podcast about what no-one teaches you: manoeuvring your twenties, captured in real time’, and that’s pretty much what it is. But in a good way. Like, my blog is about being in your twenties, but it’s more totally bloody standard. The part of your twenties that’s going on Tinder and deciding you’re the hottest thing on the market, and being sick on the street outside the club, and skipping Uni in favour of eating Chinese in your pyjamas and spending all your money on moving to London to piss the leftover 80p of your wages up the wall after paying 98.4% of your income on rent. That part. Millennial isn’t that part. It’s the other part. The part when you get spat out of Uni age 22 (ish) and suddenly you’re not on a plan anymore. There’s no feeder school, no next step. It’s that part. And Megan Tan tells it so beautifully perfectly. I won’t say much more because I don’t want to ruin it for you if you download it. But it’s so good, and you’ll fall a little bit in love with her. She’s empowering, motivating, and basically she’s the one that makes it all okay.
This one’s cool for those days when you just want to not think about stuff that’s going on. Like the day 51% of my beloved homeland United Kingdom voted to leave the EU and everybody started hating on each other on Facebook and people started taking my jokes offensively (which is a day I’ve feared my whole life). Flash Forward sets the scene of a scenario that could happen in the future, takes you there for a few minutes, and then unpicks what life would be like if that happened. One of my faves was a life with no pets, where breeding animals or keeping them as pets was illegal, and a life without lies, where a 100% accurate lie detector test was developed and a bleeping sound went off every time someone told the tiniest lie – like “it’s great to see you!”. Easy listening and makes you think about something other than your own life.
Okay I do love Bowraville, but I did fall victim to that zoning out and forgetting to pay attention thing that I was worried about. And with this one, when that happens, you miss shit out and have to go back. Good for when you’re keen to focus, but if your mind is likely to drift, save it. It unpicks the mystery of three aboriginal children who were murdered in suspiciously similar circumstances, on the same street in New South Wales. Gripping, and a welcome non-mainstream alternative to Serial, so you can get stuck in without feeling like a total sell out for being late to the party.
4. Modern Love
I’ve only listened to a couple of these, but I do really like them. They’re not love stories, they’re stories about love. Often heartbreak, often mystery, often grief and sadness. Some heavier than others, they’re sort of like a teeny tiny audiobook. But it’ll make you feel better about falling in almost love with that guy you met twice and stalking him via WhatsApp and Tinder’s ‘last active’ features for the most of 2012. Cmon, we all did it.
This one is for when I’m definitely not keen for having to listen hard. It’s just a radio chat show by the editors of Women’s Health Australia magazine – which I read avidly like my little chia seed/almond butter/amaranth/puffed quinoa/raw vegan bible. But the episodes are nice and casual, short and feature different topics, so if you do zone out, you don’t miss key info (like you would with Bowraville). Now I like this show because I’m one of those wankers people hate. The ones who annoyingly turn down cake because it’s fatty, and the ones who read the back of a packet and turn their nose up at the macros or ingredients. But I’m aware of it and I mock it just as much as you do. So i’m sorry. But this show might only appeal to wankers like me, so if you don’t love it I’m sorry. But maybe give it a try if you too love activewear and going dairy free for no reason.