The 9 Best Podcasts Of 2018 That We Can't Stop Talking About

(Photo by James Kim)

By James Kim with Arwen Nicks & Misha Euceph

I'm overwhelmed by the number of podcasts there are to choose from, just like we all are. Even as I'm typing this, I saw that Chris O'Dowd is starring in a new fiction podcast called Baby, It's Cold Outside. This is the first I've heard of it, and the show already has multiple episodes out.

It's hard to keep up with all the podcasts out there — but our podcast team has your back. We've got a list of shows that we've been listening to all year that we couldn't stop talking about. Now go load these up in your queue and get ready to get into some audio storytelling bliss.

THE HABITAT (GIMLET)

The Habitat by Gimlet (Gimlet)

Remember that time you got really stoned and were watching the Puck season of Real World and you thought, "Man, it sure would be cool if this was on Mars." Well, your wish has been granted. Welcome to, The Habitat. — Arwen

THE SHADOWS (CBC)

The Shadows by CBC (CBC)

No one knows how to make me emotional like Kaitlin Prest and her team. The Shadows is beautifully intimate and uses audio as an art form. This is the first fiction show by Prest, and even though the story is about a puppeteer falling in and out of love, the podcast feels just as personal and honest as her previous works. — James

EVERYTHING IS ALIVE (RADIOTOPIA)

Everything is Alive by Radiotopia (Radiotopia)

Are you a nihilist that imbues inanimate objects with personality in an effort to not think about how every day we are inching closer to the inevitable darkness? Me too. I think you will love this show. — Arwen

BODIES (KCRW)

Bodies by KCRW (KCRW)

So many people here could not stop talking about this show when it first debuted this summer. I still think about the moment when host Allison Behringer turns on the mic and records herself breaking down in front of her doctor at the hospital, or the story about KalaLea and her debilitating and painful periods. These stories and raw and vulnerable — but most importantly, they're universal. — Misha & James

CALIPHATE (NEW YORK TIMES)

You know those stories you hear about war and conflict where you really want to understand what is happening, but in actuality it just makes you feel like you will never find the time to catch up with the complications of the world? This is not that. This is compelling and approachable reporting on the Islamic State that provides both context and definitions. — Arwen

THE BIG LOOP (PAUL BAE)

The Big Loop by Paul Bae (Paul Bae)

The reason I love this show is because it's hard to explain — it's bizarre, surreal, scary, and heartfelt. Paul Bae's fiction podcast will have you looking over your shoulder one minute and crying on your shoulder the next. I highly recommend listening to the entire series, but a good starting point is the season two opener, "Surfacing." — James







IN THE DARK (APM REPORTS)

In the Dark by APM Reports (APM Reports)

This show is a master class in storytelling. The second season is about Curtis Flowers, a man who has been tried six times for the same crime over the course of 21 years. The podcast is riveting and it possibly has one of the best uses of the song "Sweet Child O' Mine." — James

99% INVISIBLE (ARTICLES OF INTEREST) (RADIOTOPIA)

99% Invisible's Article of Interest by Radiotopia (Radiotopia/99% Invisible )

Back in my emo days, I used to shop in the women's section for jeans. I have large hips, so the elasticity of the jeans really complemented my figure. But the one problem I had: the pockets were so small that I could never fit my phone or wallet in them. Thankfully, Avery Trufelman supplied me with the answer for WHY WOMEN'S JEAN POCKETS ARE SO TINY in her amazing series. — James

HEAVYWEIGHT (GIMLET)

Heavyweight by Gimlet (Gimlet)

Just stop what you're doing and listen to this show. I'm serious. Stop reading this right now. Open up your podcast app. And binge every single episode of Heavyweight NOW. — All of us


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