In order to make your commuting and/or procrastination more pleasant, these are the seven podcasts which any music fan should be listening to.
Desert Island Discs
We kick off with the longest running and therefore probably safest choice on this list. Desert Island Discs began as a BBC radio programme in 1942 and is still going strong 3000 episodes later. It’s still broadcast on BBC Radio 4, but also available in podcast form online, with archives stretching back to the first episode. It’s one of those “so simple I wish I’d thought of it!” premises – each week the host (currently Kirsty Young) interviews a ‘castaway’ about the eight albums they’d take with them to a desert island. Recent guests have ranged from Tom Hanks to Bill Gates to Keith Richards. Listen here.
And now to the youngest entrant on the list, but one that still demands your attention. The show’s host Hrishikesh Hirway brings in artists from all genres of music and gets them to break down one of their songs, layer by layer, in order to examine how all the different parts come together. The show is unique in that Hirway uses actual stems from the song which allows you to listen to various different elements of the song in isolation. The show has already featured a variety of different song types, ranging from TV themes (Game of Thrones) to art pop (Grimes) to indie rock (The National) to whatever it is that Björk makes. Listen here.
All Songs Considered
The cream of the intellectual music crop. Hosted by music aficionado’s Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, All Songs Considered is, amongst so many other things, a music discovery show which sees the host’s curating an eclectic and diverse spread of music from the last week. They’ve also added a +1 podcast which features in-depth and detailed interviews with musicians, like Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead. Listen here.
WTF with Marc Maron
Although it isn’t strictly speaking a ‘music podcast’, WTF with Marc Maron easily deserves a spot on this list and in your earholes. It is easily one of the most popular interview podcasts and with good reason; the standup comedian always facilitates personal and natural conversations, leading to bizarre tangents and, often, honest and unexpected admissions. Over the hundreds of episodes, numerous musicians have appeared on the show, but highlights have included Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), St Vincent, Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and Father John Misty. Listen here.
Turned Out A Punk
Hosted by Damian Abraham, lead singer of Canadian hardcore punk band Fucked Up, each episode of the podcast features Abraham interviewing “an interesting person from the far reaching worlds of entertainment to find out how their life was changed by punk”. Because of this, each episode unfolds completely differently, with a love of punk being the only common factor. Recent guests have included Zach Blair (Rise Against, Gwar, Hagfish), Suroosh Alvi (Co-founder of Vice) and Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters, Lieutenant, Brotherhood). Listen here.
The Alligator Hour
The Alligator Hour is Josh Homme’s (Queens on the Stone Age) podcast for Apple’s Beats 1. Do you really need any more reason than that to tune in?! After collaborating with bands and artists like Arctic Monkeys, Iggy Pop, Eagles of Death Metal, Nine Inch Nails and Them Crooked Vultures, Homme has to be one of the hardest working people in modern rock, and it’s great to get his thoughts on it. His incredibly dry sense of humour and in-depth knowledge, along with frequent special guests like Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Savages and Iggy Pop makes for an essential and always entertaining listen. Listen via Apple Music.
KEXP Song of the Day
If you’re purely into music discovery, then KEXP’s Song of the Day is the way to go. The daily podcast features “exclusive in studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings” from indie artists, always guaranteed to give you hipster cred! Listen here.