The most beautiful I have ever heard

Welcome to another Sunday playlist. This week, three podcasts from Australia that I particularly like. It’s nice to seek out shows that aren’t American sometimes, I find, given how US-centric podcasting is at the moment.


Not by Accident

I’ve long been a big fan of this show, which is a first person narrative documentary about “choosing to become a single mother and then coping with being one”. It’s made by Sophie Harper with contributions from her daughter Astrid, and I am not exaggerating when I say that her sound design is among some of the most beautiful I have ever heard. Start at the beginning, with “Insemination Story”.


Free to a Good Home

The Australian comedy scene is very strong and lively (cf, the Melbourne Comedy Festival), and they have a lot of big comedy podcasts. This is my favourite: an old-fashioned “comedians talk trash about something” show, where the subject is weird classified ads. I’ve also found some other great podcasts through their guests, mostly other comedians and the occasional journalist. Start anywhere.


The Tokyo Hotel

If you like surreal comedy (and I do), this is a good example of it. It’s an absurdist sitcom set in a fictional and very strange hotel, made by ABC Comedy as a podcast-first production. Start at the beginning, with “A New Face”.


That’s all for today. If you’re enjoying being a paying subscriber, do me a favour and tell a friend who might like to become one too (podmail.substack.com/subscribe is the link to share). This whole enterprise relies on your goodwill, for which I’m very grateful. Next week I’m going to be writing about politicians making podcasts and what makes a good podcast advert, so look out for all of that.