Producer Sarah Koenig has yet to announce a launch date for the second season of Serial, the most-lauded podcast of 2014, but has confirmed that there will definitely be one. Unfortunately, just knowing that there will be another highly-addictive story, told week-by-week, doesn’t exactly help fill the silence of your commute or your daily dog walks. So what you listen to in the meantime?
Serial may have gotten all the hype last year, but 2014 (and, technically, this year) also saw the minting of a few other pretty great new podcasts that are well-made, interesting, and will change the way you think about the world. Here are three that we recommend until the second season of Serial, and well after that, too.
Reply All: The first podcast from Alex Blumberg‘s podcasting company, Gimlet Media, Reply All is the new iteration of a cult-favorite podcast called TL;DR. Reply All dives deeply into strange and often ignored areas of the internet, ranging from an interview with the man who invented the pop-up ad to an exploration of France’s short-lived “digital phonebook” and the strange community that sprung for it. Reply All is distributed weekly and is perfect for both internet nerds and the people who want to understand what they’re talking about.
Death, Sex and Money: With its clearly intriguing name, a person might expect Death, Sex and Money to be a crass, NSFW kind of show about, well, death, sex, and money. But that person would be incorrect. While DS&M is absolutely about “the things we think about a lot, but need to talk about more,” it’s actually a really wonderful exploration of the human experience. Lead by host Anna Sale, who is the perfect balance of nonjudgemental and charming as an interviewer, the podcast features long-ish, intimate interviews with a diverse range of individuals. It is captivating and you will absolutely find yourself binge-listening.
Invisibilia: Regular podcast and radio listeners will recognize both hosts of Invisibilia: Lulu Miller, from her days at RadioLab, where she recorded her big bike trip and explored her relationship with rocks, and Alix Spiegel, who was an original staffer at This American Life. With these podcasting pedigrees, it’s no surprise that their new show, which technically launched this money and has just a few episodes at this point, is exceptional. Miller and Spiegel approach subjects like fearlessness and thoughts with the same inquisitive, data-based methodology of their previous reporting, which gives the show the feeling of an investigative report, mixed with sound-rich storytelling.