As we begin to relax into a less locked down world with restrictions easing across the country, some may be diving headfirst into the limited social life we are now allowed to enjoy.
After a hectic weekend of catching up with all the people you missed over the past few months, many need something to wind down with solo this weekend, and nothing says me time like a solid podcast to plug into.
Luckily, the offerings are coming thick and fast, though it’s not all light humour and distraction.
During the devastation of the ongoing pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests following the tragic killing of George Floyd, tuning into a podcast can actually be a great way of helping out, smarting up and taking part in the various challenges facing the world today.
One for the adults and the kiddies, Stor14s is a brand new offering from Yahoo! and The GEANCO Foundation that’s taking families on an adventure that transports them out of their homes to exciting, new places.
The new podcast features children’s short stories narrated by a star-studded cast of leading celebrities including Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Thandie Newton (Westworld), and David Oyelowo (Selma).
The series aims to raise funds for COVID-19 relief aid for Africa, and to give families all over the world a sweet escape while they bunker down at home during the pandemic.
GEANCO is donating PPE including gloves, face masks, soap, and sanitizer to hospitals and maternity centres in Nigeria, and training maternity nurses and traditional birth attendants to prevent the spread of the virus in maternity clinics.
The full list of narrators and stories includes (all airdates Australian time):
Jack's Dream, June 19, Benedict Cumberbatch
The Emperor's Daughter, June 23, David Oyelowo
Mr Oviarty's Mysterious Bookshop, June 26, Jeff Daniels
The Diary of Primrose Goldie Gold, June 30, Megalyn Echikunwoke
The Sunshine Cake, July 7, Aldis Hodge
Aargh! There's a Monster in my School!, July 3, Russell Brand
Matty Hides in Midgeton, July 10, Chiwetel Ejiofor
The Dog that would be a Prince, July 14, Rachel Brosnahan
Flying Colours, July 17, Edi Gathegi
Polly Tumpkin's Pumpkin, July 21, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Magic Squirrels, July 24, Thandie Newton
Being Mean, July 28, Sam Adegoke
The Runaways, July 31, Zoe Saldana
Dragons Like Shiny Things, August 4, Lonnie Chavis
It kicked off on Friday, June 19, with Benedict Cumberbatch narrating the sweet story Jack’s Dream. The 14-part series will air new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.
A must-listen from the New York Times, 1619 is a brand-new series “that examines the long shadow of American slavery”.
1619 actually debuted in 2019, but is an important listen right now, after the devastating killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin sparked protests across the US and the globe.
The series is one way onlookers can engage and educate themselves of the deep-seated history of oppression of Black people in the US, and is meticulously researched and narrated by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.
Debutante: Race Resistance and Girl Power
The gorgeous and riveting gem reunites the legendary Pretty for an Aboriginal duo, actress Miranda Tapsell and playwright Nakkiah Lui for an empowering podcast about how Indigenous women in Australia took a colonial tradition and turned it on its head.
Debutante: Race Resistance and Girl Power dives into the world of debutante balls and their significance to Indigenous communities.
An Audible original, the series follows the winding and surprising path that saw the European colonial tradition reclaimed by Indigenous women as their own and does it with all the humour, flair and jaw-dropping irreverence you’d expect from the duo.
Hot off the press, Debutante debuted on June 15. It’s available on Audible and is essential listening this month.
You can listen to Debutante on Audible here.
The Zest is History
The Zest is History is a brand-new Aussie number for history nerds or anyone looking to get to know our nation’s past in an irreverent, hilarious and well-researched hour of fun.
Hosted by Melissa Mason and Josie Rozenberg-Clarke, formerly of Pedestrian’s now-defunct The All Aussie Mystery Hour, the new series more or less picks up where Mystery Hour left off.
Kicking us off with the zesty, and dare we say sexy, tale of the infamous dismissal of Gough Whitlam, the podcast expertly treads the line between light humour and serious research and the result is a fun and easy listen that may just teach you a thing or two.
Another one from the New York Times, this one a more recent offering, Rabbit Hole is a deep dive into the often confusing world of YouTube, and unpacks the way algorithms shape the power and influence of groups from the far left and right online and even dips its toes into the shadows of the QAnon internet movement.
Engaging and accessible, even for those who are hardly tech-literate, Rabbit Hole is, as the name would suggest, a deep dive you won’t be able to fully emerge from for a while.
It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders
True crime lovers fear not you’ve not been forgotten. The LA Times is keeping fans of Dirty John happy with a brand-new true crime investigation, this time into the infamous Betty Broderick Murders.
It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders takes us back to 1989 when the American mum of four shot her ex-husband Daniel T. Broderick III, and his new wife Linda Broderick nee Kolkena, dead in their San Diego Mansion after a bitter divorce.
A tale of a spurned wife and mother, crippling jealousy and high society, the story has long fascinated the world, and now host Pat Morrison introduces the intriguing tale to a 21st-century audience.
Trust us, once you plug in you’ll be hooked.