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The Best Magazine Podcasts!

  • 3 min read

I love a good podcast. Throughout this last 15 months of lockdowns and social isolation, I really, really loved them. There’s often a lovely DIY, home-spun feel to a podcast. Generally conversational and largely un-scripted, it feels like your friends are chatting away in your kitchen while you get on with dinner. 

One day when I was strolling around The Idler website, I came across their podcast, ‘Drinks With The Idler,’ and I started to wonder how many other indie mags had joined the podcasting revolution and I was pleased to find there are quite a few!

Podcasts are such a brilliant platform for indie magazines to engage their readers and for their readers to feel like a part of their community. Reading the mag doesn’t have to be just a solitary experience but you can hear the people behind it, and it’s rather comforting to know that there are others out there who love the same things you do.

Pompom Quarterly’s ‘Pomcast’ is a joyous example of the magazine podcast medium. Two ‘knitty and witty’ hosts, Lydia and Sophie, chat away, interview the ‘feature knitter’ and go through some of the knits from the latest issue. It sort of springs the mag to life and adds another cosy-knit layer to the issue, that is tailored just to you (alright, that’s enough knit metaphors).

So, here’s a list of some great magazine podcasts (in no particular order). Please do add your recommendations underneath!

1. THE CRIT //DISEGNO
Available on the Disegno website and through most podcast platforms
FREE

A relaxed and fun fortnightly podcast from Disegno, the Quarterly Journal of Design. The Crit takes the best design stories from around the world, pulls them apart, and looks at what’s really going on underneath. Disegno also co-produces WORDS ON WOOD which is all about issues around forestry and architecture and design.

2. A DRINK WITH THE IDLER // THE IDLER
Available on the Idler website and YouTube channel
£5 or free for Idler subscribers

A Drink With The Idlerwas a great feature of lockdown. Editor and founder, Tom Hodgkinson hosts an hour-long Zoom meeting with some fascinating guests, many of them featured in the magazine. There are episodes with Stewart Lee, Merlin Sheldrake (author of Entangled Life), Frank Skinner, Ruby Wax and Michael Palin, to name a few. The best thing is that a lot of these episodes are available on YouTube so you can watch them too!

3. TRUTH & MOVIES // LITTLE WHITE LIES
Available on the LWLies website or most podcast platforms
FREE

A well-established monthly podcast that has just has a bit of a revamp! Each episode is about an hour in which they review movies, big and small, discuss industry news and reassess old movies with the Truth & Movies film club! Previous episodes include a discussion of David Lynch at 75, the rise of the ‘Netflick’ and ‘comfort blanket movies’.

4. MONOCLE RADIO
Available on M24 radio and most podcast platforms
FREE

Monocle has gone one better and has its own 24 hour radio station! Most sections of the mag are covered in their audio offerings, and you can also listen to stand-alone podcast episodes, like Monocle on Culture, Monocle on Design, The Foreign Desk and The Briefing. Slick, well-produced and stylish, just like you’d expect!

5. KONFEKT KORNER // KONFEKT
Available on M24 radio and most podcast platforms
FREE

Monocle’s new sister publication has its own podcast on Monocle radio. Hosted by editor, Sophie Grove, with Marcela Palek, (who both have lovely soothing voices!), they start off with general chat and a ‘show and tell,’ about what what they’ve been reading, doing or seeing recently, and then move on to more structured features. In the latest episode for example, they have female farmers going off grid in Ibiza, seasonal vegetables and food rituals in Italy, album cover design, and what it means to inherit a pair of shoes. A magazine in audio format!

6. THE ART OF… // TATE ETC.
Available on the Tate website and most podcast platforms
FREE

The Art of… tells the human stories behind the art in Tate’s collection with each episode taking a universal experience like healing, comedy, love or creativity. One of my favourite episodes discusses the romantic idea of the ‘tortured artist,’ It starts off with the life of Van Gogh and then talks to curators, artists and health professionals about the toxicity and outdated nature of this idea and how creativity can help mental well-being.

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