My 25 Favorite New Podcasts of 2023

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Attempting to remain on high of all the most recent podcasts can really feel such as you’re ingesting from a hearth hose. Until it’s your full-time job to hear, you in all probability utterly missed one thing nice. Fortunately for you, it is my full-time job to take heed to podcasts; I’ve logged hours sampling practically each launch I might get my arms on. I’m again to report that it was an excellent yr in podcasts. This listing might have included greater than 100 exhibits. However I’ve narrowed this listing all the way down to the 25 greatest exhibits that got here out in 2023, which ought to offer you sufficient to binge till Lifehacker makes this listing once more in 2024. Completely happy listening.

Louder Than a Riot

It was hip hop’s fiftieth birthday this yr, and we celebrated a style of music that has allowed  artists to specific frustration with oppression and feeling unheard. However for Black girls, queer folks, and others on the margins, that oppression has been coming from inside the home. The second season of Louder Than A Riot, hosted by NPR Music’s Sidney Madden and Rodney Carmichael, examines how hip-hop marginalizes the individuals who constructed it, and the way misogynoir — the particular racist misogyny towards Black girls — is baked into its very tradition. Louder Than A Riot’s harsh and exquisite storytelling touches upon harassment, queerphobia, and assault. Interviews with Rico Nasty, Saucy Santana, and Megan Thee Stallion give a pulse to this collection that makes it a complete mic drop. 

The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks

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Credit score: Podcast brand

Jar Jar Binks from 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace could have been named “probably the most annoying film character of all time” by Complicated, however behind the character was an actual particular person: Ahmed Finest, a Bronx-born actor who bought his begin within the theatrical manufacturing of STOMP. On The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks, Dylan Marron examines how a web based harassment marketing campaign towards Binks impacted Finest, and on a deeper stage, how the phrases we use on-line can have actual influence on the people behind the display. Don’t fear when you have no concept who Jar Jar is. Dylan makes Redemption really feel pleasant and essential to followers and newbies alike.  

You Didn’t See Nothin

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Credit score: Podcast brand

For You Didn’t See Nothin, Yohance Lacour brings us to a 1997 hate crime that befell on the South Aspect of Chicago and altered his life perpetually. The present begins with the day of the assault when Yohance was in his early 20s, writing performs, promoting weed, and dwelling together with his dad when the horrible media protection of the assault drove him to take issues in his personal arms, working with a neighborhood neighborhood newspaper to research the crime. After a 10-year stint in jail, Yohance is again in Chicago, bringing a brand new perspective with archival audio and new interviews with these concerned. Yohance tells this story in an animated, poetic means that makes you are feeling such as you’re inside a pop-up e-book. The story is a mixture of true-crime investigation, private memoir, and daring narration. 

Search Engine

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Credit score: Podcast brand

These of you who’ve been lacking PJ Vogt after his departure from the favored podcast Reply All can take a breath of reduction—PJ’s new present Search Engine delivers all the issues they love about Reply All—web mysteries, boots-on-the-ground reporting, and PJ’s humorousness and well-known chuckle. He’s looking for solutions to issues you’ll be able to’t simply lookup on the web. Like how unhappy monkeys are on the zoo, whether or not or not we ought to be ingesting airplane espresso, and why folks don’t eat one another. Search Engine is inquisitive and expertly produced, and can reply questions on people you didn’t even know you had. 

Free From Want

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Credit score: Podcast brand

There isn’t a ton of content material about asexuality on the market, and what’s there may be usually incorrect. That all the time bothered Aline Laurent-Mayard, who spent their teenage years feeling alienated from friends due to their very own lack of curiosity in intercourse. Free From Want, which received Tribeca’s Narrative Nonfiction Audio Storytelling Award, is a chic reflection on Aline’s understanding of their asexuality and changing into a single mum or dad. In a storytelling fashion that looks like a personal whisper, Aline opens up about rising up in Paris, The Metropolis of Love, within the ’90s, feeling free from want. They speak to specialists, sociologists, and buddies about our tradition’s obsession with coupling in probably the most conventional sense. Free From Want will get asexuality proper in a means that’s pushed by private expertise, making it triumphant, swish, and intimate. 


"Foretold" podcast logo

Credit score: Podcast brand

At 17, Paulina Stevens’ playing cards had been dealt for her. Rising up in an insular Romani American household, she had left faculty, married, began rising her household, and joined her in-laws within the household fortune-telling enterprise. Foretold is what occurs when Paulina dangers every little thing to step away and chart her personal path. Reported by Religion Pinho, who was approached by Paulina years in the past as a rookie reporter, Foretold corrects Romani stereotypes with empathy whereas truthfully reporting on the cultural issues that drove Paulina away. It’ll have you ever on the sting of your seat, rooting Paulina on and questioning how she’ll break away with out shedding her kids. Enter by the neon “Psychic Readings” signal and emerge perpetually modified.

Let’s Make a Horror

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Credit score: Podcast brand

On the Let’s Make… collection, Ryan Beil, Maddy Kelly, and Mark Chavez spend total seasons writing screenplays for a movie, interviewing different administrators, writers, and specialists within the style alongside the way in which. Season one was all about writing a sci-fi screenplay, season two was all about writing a rom-com screenplay, and the latest season, Let’s Make a Horror, is all about writing a horror screenplay. Identical to the earlier seasons, they’re speaking to film- and spook-makers to determine what goes into an excellent horror movie, however this time, they’re truly going to movie it. One other twist: They don’t know something about horror, and a few of them (Maddy) don’t even prefer it. They kick issues off by speaking to the director of The Blair Witch Venture, Eduardo Sánchez and making an attempt to pinpoint what makes them scared. (Some issues on the listing…horses, “being alone in a area and somebody comes working,” kidnappings, and being buried alive.)


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Credit score: Podcast brand

Hosted by Erick Galindo, season one in all WILD was a time capsule of the sorts of moments captured throughout a world pandemic that left quite a lot of us rising up once more whereas caught at dwelling for greater than a yr. Season two introduced on Megan Tan for a fictional love story impressed by the wildest factor Erick as soon as did for love. This present begins out in Los Angeles and has a powerful sense of place because it takes you on a street journey with a girl who stole Erick’s coronary heart. He’s narrating the story to Megan the entire time, and it feels such as you’re at a diner, listening to the story shared over brunch with buddies. You’ll should hear to search out out if Cupid’s arrow hits—the reply can have your thoughts blurring the strains between truth and fiction, and can go away you feeling optimistic about love. 


"Classy" Podcast logo

Credit score: Podcast brand

Jonathan Menjivar was a blue-collar Latino child who grew up in a working-class household, and located himself as an grownup in public radio, alongside folks with a lot totally different backgrounds. (Like, ahem, Terry Gross.) Elegant is a podcast that lets us hear him grapple with the dissonance of dwelling in a world of oysters and cashmere, whereas remembering a previous of meals stamps and factories. He’s asking himself, “Am I a class-hole?” Episodes characteristic intimate seems to be into Jonathan’s life and background, and explorations into finances purchasing and the way the navy preys on poor folks. Each single episode of Elegant looks like one of the best of the collection. It’s considerate, probing, and private, forcing us to contemplate how class shapes our views of the world and the way we belong in it.

Weight for It

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Credit score: Podcast brand

Ronald Younger Jr. is fats, and on his podcast Weight for It, which was chosen in Tribeca’s 2023 Official Audio Storytelling Collection, he’s speaking about it. Weight for It is an element narrative storytelling, half private memoir—and it will get extraordinarily private. Each episode is a deep exploration into his personal desirability, his disgrace, and his relationships. He even brings his mic into the physician’s workplace, so we will hear the utterly insane means docs usually deal with fats folks.

Keys to the Kingdom

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Credit score: Podcast brand

I used to be so excited to take heed to Keys to the Kingdom that I used to be nervous to press play. On it, audio energy couple Matt Gourley and Amanda Lund take us backstage at our favourite theme parks to listen to from surviving characters, performers, and followers, getting the juicy particulars about what it’s actually like, sans pixie mud—maybe what locations just like the Disney headquarters doesn’t need us to know. (Actually, this looks as if a fairly gutsy transfer. I believe many individuals are afraid to spoil the magic of Disney—they’ve been warned to not, with menace of lawsuits.) Matt and Amanda interview ex solid members (Disney lingo for anybody who works there) Deep Skirt, White Glove 1, White Glove 2, and Scott Aukerman in regards to the unusual issues they’ve needed to do to please friends and keep sane. (If a dad is getting handsy, princesses are instructed to carry their arm up and say, “let me pose you want a prince!” which implies, get your soiled arms off me your loved ones is watching. This additionally works if a child is barfing in your costume or lined in ice cream.) Episode one covers princesses, episode two is devoted to the solid members within the fuzzy costumes. Matt and Amanda are pleasant, humorous, and they don’t seem to be holding again.


"Beef" Podcast logo

Credit score: Podcast brand

It was really easy to get hooked on Bridget Todd’s collection in regards to the rivalry between names like Adidas and Puma, Penthouse and Playboy, and Expensive Abby and Ann Landers. Beef looks like a gossipy model of Enterprise Wars—it’s filled with tales about how these legends went to battle solely to study that having somewhat pleasant competitors is what usually drives us to success. Bridget Todd (There Are No Ladies on the Web) reels us in with storytelling and interviews that map out the historical past of how legends pushed one another to greatness, and all of the petty stuff that occurred on the way in which.

The Coldest Case in Laramie

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Credit score: Podcast brand

From the individuals who introduced us Serial (Serial Productions and The New York Occasions) comes The Coldest Case in Laramie, a narrative about an unsolved homicide that befell 40 years in the past in Laramie, Wyoming. It’s hosted by Kim Barker, a journalist who was in highschool when the homicide occurred. This isn’t a lot a whodunnit—there are many conflicting variations and unresolved conclusions—however extra of a narrative in regards to the inherent nature of true crime and journalism, how tales are reported, and the way we determine to inform them. There’s a prolonged section of interrogation that may freeze you in your seat. Once I completed it, I went again to episode one once more and re-listened, as a result of the twist made me reevaluate every little thing I simply heard. 

The Retrievals

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The Retrievals is a curler coaster of a narrative that may strap you in and have you ever engrossed from the very starting. It takes us to 2020 to a fertility clinic at Yale, the place a nurse was secretly changing vials of a pain-reducing opioid with saline resolution, inflicting the ladies to undergo painful procedures with none reduction. And nobody believed them. Poignant, difficult, and thought-provoking, it expertly tells not only a jaw-dropping story, however shares the voices of the ladies impacted—the very voices that had been quieted within the first place. The Retrievals’ wonderful reporting and manufacturing makes this pressing story that must be instructed one that’s so gripping you will not thoughts listening, despite the fact that there are elements which can be troublesome to listen to.


"Eerie" Podcast logo

Credit score: Podcast brand

By no means Advised is a present that passes totally different writers the mic to share unusual, stunning, secret, or shameful tales they’ve by no means heard earlier than. By no means Advised’s spinoff present Eerie is an eight-episode anthology collection of unique horror tales, offered by a special author each time. Listening to it’s like pulling out a random e-book in a spooky, web-covered (probably hidden) bookshelf—you don’t know what you’re going to get. (The primary one was a few researcher alone within the Arctic … however what occurred to her crew?) The Eerie crew is making an attempt actually onerous to scare you. (And I believe they may.)

Homicide on Intercourse Island

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Credit score: Podcast brand

Jo Firestone had a while on her arms (due to the author’s strike) so she wrote a e-book known as Homicide on Intercourse Island, which you’ll order now—and it’s also possible to hear her learn it to you on her podcast, additionally known as Homicide on Intercourse Island. A actuality TV present’s contestant goes lacking, which evokes detective (and obsessive fan of the present) Luella van Horn to go undercover on the present to search out him, however she has her personal secret to cover. It’s not simply filled with hilarious particulars—the plot is well-crafted. I’d say it is an ideal bedtime story, however you’ll in all probability be laughing too onerous to go to sleep. If you happen to love comedy and audiobooks, this one’s for you.

Hooked on Freddie

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In 1987 within the British seaside city of Amble, a bottlenose dolphin named Freddie turned a fixture within the harbor, and a neighborhood movie star. This bothered Alan Cooper, an animal rights activist dedicated to liberating captive dolphins, who had been beefing with Peter Bloom, the proprietor of the close by Flamingo Land dolphinarium. The podcast Hooked On Freddie is a few explicit incident, when Cooper was swimming with Freddie, and Bloom instructed police that Cooper was “wanking Freddie off,” launching tabloid rumors, a trial, and a whole unraveling of Cooper’s fame (regardless of the very fact he was discovered not responsible). The story is reported by Becky Milligan, a reporter who was there and remembers every little thing. That is in all probability the one dolphin intercourse scandal you’ve ever heard, and it’s positively one of the best.

Say Extra with Dr? Sheila

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Credit score: Podcast brand

That “?” after Dr isn’t a typo—on Say Extra with Dr? Sheila, Sheila isn’t a health care provider: She’s a questionably certified {couples} therapist performed by Amy Poehler. (“For authorized causes, ‘Dr?’ should be stated within the type of a query.”) And Say Extra with Dr? Sheila is an improvised comedy present the place Dr? Sheila enables you to be a fly on the wall in her {couples} remedy classes. Suppose The place Ought to We Start? with zero experience. Dr? Sheila strives to enhance the relationships between her shoppers, however solely makes them worse. (In episode one, she performs a spherical of OJ-inspired “if you happen to did it” about dishonest, which will get “Beth” and “Ryan” revealing detailed accounts of the dishonest that they positively did do.) Big names like Fred Armisen, Kate Berlant, Rachel Dratch, John Early, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Jason Mantzoukas, Maya Rudolph, and Paul Scheer play the {couples}.


"Grapevine" Podcast logo

Credit score: Podcast brand

Southlake was an exquisite present a few controversy in a Texas city that sparked a nationwide campaign towards crucial race concept when a video surfaced in 2018 exhibiting Southlake highschool college students chanting the n-word. It was a sort-of prequel to NBC’s newest. Grapevine takes place in a neighboring Texas city, the place a mom of a trans scholar accused a trainer of grooming her daughter. Mike Hixenbaugh and Antonia Hylton go to the varsity to look into this mom’s allegations to discover a story of a transgender baby who simply desires to be herself, a mother (her personal) hellbent on placing God first, the trainer who kicked this complete factor off by permitting her college students to take dwelling copies of a e-book known as The Prince and the Dressmaker, and it’s all one way or the other tied to a reduction telephone firm? Like Southlake, it’s a high-stakes private story that uncovers one thing greater—this time, a fringe non secular motion set on making America nice once more in accordance with their model of biblical values.

Expensive Alana,

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Credit score: Podcast brand

Alana Chen was a high-achieving, pleasant, good and athletic 14-year-old who had an uncommon obsession with the Catholic religion—she actually needed to develop into a nun. At 14, she confessed to a trusted priest that she was interested in girls. That priest satisfied her to not inform her household, and for seven years, Alana secretly sought pastoral counsel and conversion remedy. When she was 24, Alana died by suicide, and her household was left with so many questions. So was Simon Kent Fung, the host of Expensive Alana, who reached out to Alana’s household instantly when he heard her story, which deeply resonated with him. He, too, sought out conversion remedy for practically a decade in his efforts to develop into a priest. He groups up with the Chens, who’ve two dozen of Alana’s private journals, to study in regards to the issues that went on behind closed doorways and the forces that drove a woman who wanted actual assist to the sting. 

The Puzzler

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Credit score: Podcast brand

A brand new each day podcast has come to city, and it has such an excellent premise I can’t imagine the sort of present isn’t already all over. The Puzzler is a brief (and each day!) trivia quiz (it’s additionally a e-book) hosted by A.J. Jacobs. With enjoyable friends similar to Roy Wooden Jr., Michael Ian Black, Mo Rocca, and Chuck Bryant, it’s actually one thing you’ll be able to look ahead to when your alarm begins blaring within the morning. It’s a fast hit of mind caffeine and an absolute delight. 

ODB: A Son Distinctive

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Credit score: Podcast brand

The primary episode of ODB: A Son Distinctive had my jaw on the ground. The podcast tells the story of Outdated Soiled Bastard (aka Russell Tyrone Jones aka Ason Distinctive) the big footprint he made in hip hop, his excessive highs and tragic lows. Host photographer Khalik Allah has a particular tie to ODB—it’s a narrative about Wu Tang lifting a automotive off somewhat woman. It’s an excellent opener to a vigorous collection a few sophisticated one who wasn’t taken critically sufficient, however was excessive, a jokester, a person who cherished infants and as soon as jumped off a constructing to get a kiss, and lived and breathed the 5 % Nation. This present is filled with nice tales, there isn’t a sagginess—I used to be skipping again to relisten. You get quite a lot of hip hop historical past and the story of Wu Tang, too. ODB is worthy of this considerate remedy that has each devastating and joyful moments.

Ghost Story

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Credit score: Podcast brand

Tristan Redman is a critical journalist who doesn’t imagine in ghosts … aside from the one who could have been dwelling in his childhood bed room when he was an adolescent. Quick ahead a decade or so: Tristan is married and discovers that his spouse Kate’s great-grandmother Naomi Dancy occurs to have lived (and was murdered) subsequent door in 1937. For his podcast Ghost Story, Tristan has began gathering tales from different individuals who have lived in his outdated bed room who report seeing the ghost of a faceless girl. Naomi was stabbed within the eyes, allegedly by her brother, which might make this a grisly true crime story. However Tristan believes the faceless girl is Naomi, and that she has a message: It wasn’t her brother who killed her, however her husband. And so the true crime story turns right into a ghost story, or perhaps it’s the opposite means round. Episodes two and three start to take a darker flip. 

The Heist

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Credit score: Podcast brand

The award-winning podcast The Heist is devoted to exposing systemic injustices usually hidden from the US public’s eyes. (Season two, “The Wealth Vortex,” received the 2023 Excellence in Monetary Journalism Award for greatest audio reporting and was nominated for an Ambie.) It’s again with a single, very private story that focuses on America’s Black farmers and ranchers, and the way what the U.S. authorities stole from them. (And proceed to steal.) Host April Simpson stories and shares private conversations with Nate Bradford, a farmer impacted by this heist. You are feeling such as you’re sitting in her pocket as she travels to his dwelling and listen to actual speak in regards to the hardships of being a Black farmer in America. It’s enraging and eye-opening. The Heist completely combines meticulous reporting with deeply private narrative, to blow open authorities secrets and techniques with a human side that makes us really feel the ache.

The Girlfriends

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Credit score: Podcast brand

In 1995, Carole Fisher was searching for love, so her pal Mindy launched to Bob Bierenbaum, a Jewish plastic surgeon who flew planes and spoke a number of languages. (Mindy dated him and was passing him alongside.) He was “good on paper,” a indisputable fact that allowed Carole to dismiss a number of purple flags—like telling her that his ex-wife Gail was lacking and presumed useless. Carol and Mindy begin speaking about him and together with a bunch of different girlfriends, begin this type of armchair detective membership the place they try to trace down what occurred to Gail. It was a joke. However the dots begin to join. The Girlfriends is true crime at its greatest, a refrain of girls’s voices joined collectively to uncover a fact the system couldn’t. 

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