Earworms: What the industry’s been listening to this week

Leadership, learning and LSD

This week’s edition of Earworms features a number of notable new launches in the world of music podcasts, such as an exploration of the history of girl bands and Will Smith dissecting the landmark impact of 1988 in the world of hip-hop, as well as the latest show from the makers of Serial.

We’ve also got another series of excellent recommendations from key industry figures, including documentaries, branding masterclasses and insightful discussions on the intricacies of leadership.

What’s in the industry’s ears?

Chris Lander - Head of comedy and entertainment podcasts, Global 

One of the podcasts that I’ve really enjoyed over the last 12 months is Acid Dreams: The Great LSD Plot which is made by BBC Wales. I thought it was beautifully made and the sound design was incredible. The narration was so beautiful and it was the perfect person to tell this really interesting story that I wasn’t aware of, but in a world that I’m quite interested in.

James Bishop - Founder, OneFinePlay

I’m listening to The Colin & Samir Show. For anyone focused on personal brand or making content for their business, this is a must listen; It brings timely insights about what’s going on in the creator economy through the lens of creative entrepreneurs.

Marion Atieno Osieyo - Host, Black Earth Podcast

One thing I love about podcasting is the ability to build micro-communities who are really engaged with your topics. One podcast that I think does this well is The Climate Conscious Podcast, a climate and sustainability podcast in the Caribbean. I love how they have organically leveraged podcasting as a medium and used it to offer other suitable content in the form of events, conferences, books and courses for their listeners. They inspire me to think creatively about the social impact and commercial potential of podcasting.

Jon Hill - Creative director and partner, Tortoise Media

A niche but fascinating series of interviews with RDIs (Royal Designers for Industry) ranging from Paul Smith to Thomas Heatherwick, RDInsightswill be of interest to non-designers too as it shines a light on great designers and their processes, inspiration and career paths. It's a gentle listen and all the better for it in this hectic world!

James Chandler - CMO, IAB UK

I listened to the Leadingepisode with Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart on Theresa May. She is my local MP in Maidenhead and I didn’t have that high of a view of her, or think she was that good, but that episode was such a brilliant podcast because you got to really understand her - so I came out of it thinking actually, Theresa May is alright. 

Freshly Dropped

The Kids Of Rutherford County

Serial Productions has launched a new true crime podcast, in partnership with ProPublica and WPLN Nashville Public Radio, investigating a Tennessee county which illegally put children in jail for more than a decade. The Kids of Rutherford Country launched its first two episodes on Thursday this week, and the remaining two will be released in the following two weeks.

Ghost Story 

Wondery has made a new addition to its award-winning true crime podcast portfolio with the launch of Ghost Story, a seven-part series hosted by Al-Jazeera journalist Tristan Redman who sets out to explore the house in which his wife’s great-grandmother was murdered. The podcast launched its first two episodes on Monday this week and will continue to release weekly. 

Secretly Society 

Music podcast Secretly Societyis back for its second season this week, featuring interviews with a number of artists including the label founders of Dead Oceans and Numero Group as well as the debut interviews of Kiven Morby, Cherry Glazerr, Oneida, and Jamila Woods. The second season launched its first two episodes on Monday this week and will continue to release weekly. 

Where It’s At: A Short History of Girlbands

Mollie King, pop singer and member of girl group The Saturdays, is the host of a new BBC podcast series which looks at all types of girl bands, from 90s icons to groups that are shaping the new generation of girl bands today. The podcast titled Where It’s At: A Short History of Girlbands released a teaser episode on 25 October this week and will officially release its first four episodes on 6 November. 

Class of ‘88

New from Wondery and Audible, this hip-hop history podcast takes a look back at the genre-defining year that saw hip-hop become a global sensation. Hosted by Will Smith, the podcast features artists including Chuck D, Rakim, Queen Latifah and more. All episodes were released on Audible and Amazon Music on Thursday.