We count down the 30 best new podcasts of 2018 [So Far]
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It’s been a big few years in podcasting and there’s so far been no slow down in 2018. To celebrate this year’s first quarter of fresh releases, we’ve hunted for the 30 best podcasts of 2018, so far.
30. Why’d You Push That Button? (Season 2)
Why’d You Push That Button? dives into the absolute minefield that is internet culture and looks at the endless decisions that the internet forces us to make every day. Since the release of season 2 of Why’d You Push That Button? on 6 March, hosts Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany have investigated the proliferation of memes and the risks associated with their use and whether technology encourages ghosting.
Why’d You Push That Button? comes in at number 30 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
Debuting on 7 February 2018, Mafia is a podcast dedicated to America’s underworld – the lives of mafia bosses and those that worked to bring them down. So far, Mafia has explored the lives of Sam Giancana, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, John Gotti and Donnie Brasco and promises to deliver upcoming episodes on, “Bugsy Siegel and Dutch Schultz. Mafia is comprehensive and presents the stories in a way that lets the extraordinary lives of the mob bosses do all of the work.
Mafia comes in at number 29 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
28. Pounded in the Butt by My Own Podcast With Chuck Tingle
Pounded in the Butt by My Own Podcast is an acquired taste. Premiering on 14 March 2018, Pounded in the Butt by My Own Podcast is a collection of celebrity guest performers presenting dramatic readings of short stories authored by Dr Chuck Tingle. Essentially, its erotic fiction tethered to the theme of proving that love is real for all. The first three episodes tell tales of the love between a man and his own butt, a man and a handsome plane and a man and a dinosaur lawyer. If you’re into outrageous creativity, this pod is for you.
Pounded in the Butt by My Own Podcast comes in at number 28 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
27. Conversations With People Who Hate Me (Season 2)
Conversations With People Who Hate Me has a simple yet bold premise: remove contentious and, at times, heated and inflammatory online conversations offline. In season two, the first episode of which was released on 12 February 2018, host, Dylan Marron, does an impressive job of mediating a conversation between two people on different sides of such a conversation. Titled ‘bigot scum’ the first episode of the season was fascinating and productive. Conversations With People Who Hate Me is a lesson in how to adult.
Conversations With People Who Hate Me comes in at number 27 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
26. Empty Frames
Empty Frames presents the story of one of the greatest art heist mysteries in modern history. Presenters Tim Pilleri and Lance Reenstierna uncover the theories behind who stole 13 pieces of artwork that had a combined estimated value of $500 million, from the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum in Boston in March, 1990. With the first episode released on 6 February 2018, Empty Frames is an intriguing mash-up of the true crime and society and culture genres that is worth a listen. While the first episode is presented as though listeners have some assumed knowledge of the theft, don’t let this dissuade you – the second episode lays the groundwork for what is shaping up to be a thoroughly researched and fascinating pod.
Empty Frames comes in at number 26 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
25. Armchair Expert
If being a fly on the wall to conversations between famous people; namely, Dax Shepard (Without a Paddle (2004), Punk’d (2003), CHiPs (2017) and Parenthood (2010-2015) and his friends is something you’d be into, Armchair Expert will be right up your alley. Since being released on 14 February 2018, a star studded line-up of guests have been interviewed for the pod (including Kristen Bell, Ashton Kutcher, Joy Bryant, Jimmy Kimmel and Pete Wentz). The interviews are lengthy (an hour plus) but worth it for the revealing chat.
Armchair Expert comes in at number 25 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
24. Female Criminals
Female Criminals is the newest podcast to be released from the Parcast network. Since the first episode dropped on 17 March 2018, Female Criminals has covered the lives of Griselda Blanco and Juana Barraza. Female Criminals has adopted the approach taken by other podcasts released by the Parcast network (think, Cults, Serial Killers and Conspiracy Theories) and releases each episode in two parts. If you’re a true crime fan and are fascinated by female criminals in particular, give this pod a crack.
Female Criminals comes in at number 24 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
23. On Drugs (Season 2)
On Drugs is a podcast about drugs. Now in its second season (the first episode of which was released on 9 February 2018), On Drugs dedicates each episode to exploring a different drug or an issue that has arisen due to the prevalence of a drug. Host, Geoff Turner, tackles psychedelics, cannabis, caffeine, and Mormans and addiction. It’s a diverse and informative podcast that provides important historical and cultural context to drugs and their use.
On Drugs comes in at number 23 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
Ever wondered what it’s like to write and publish a children’s book? Listen to Wondery’s new podcast Launch to find out. In Launch screenwriter John August takes listeners along for the ride as he seeks to have his first novel, ‘Arlo Finch and the Valley of Fire’ published. Listeners learn what it really takes to turn a thought bubble for a book, into a reality.
Launch comes in at number 22 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
21. Science Vs (Season 4)
Season 4 of Science Vs landed in podcast feeds on 22 March and episode 1 kicked off the new season by addressing one of the most significant health crises the US has faced in decades: the opioid epidemic. Reliably as ever, Science Vs goes beyond the news of this epidemic and looks at why things got this bad and what role science played in that. In fulfilling its undertaking to look at topical fads and trends and to separate fact from fiction, in this season Science Vs will reportedly also cover topics as diverse as sex addiction, UFO’s and serial killers.
Science Vs comes in at number 21 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
20. Invisibilia (Season 4)
The long awaited season 4 of Invisibilia dropped on 9 March and the first few episodes demonstrate that the show is as incisive as ever. The trailer to season 4 promised that this season would be all about life’s grey areas and after the release of the first few episodes, Invisibilia has delivered on that. So far, Invisibilia has explored how people go about rediscovering themselves after heart retching loss and how a reality show can meaningfully influence reality. Yet again, this pod proves to be thought provoking and inspiring.
Invisibilia comes in at number 20 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
Unladylike is a feminist podcast packed with well researched subject matter that lacks unconstructive ranting. The chemistry between hosts, Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin sizzles (they’ve got history as the previous hosts of the popular pod, Stuff Mum Never Told You) as they seek to answer a question posed at the top of each episode about issues relating to women. Since the first episode was released on 23 January 2018, the pair have tackled questions like: ‘How to Pay for an Abortion’; ‘How to Break the Bronze Ceiling’ and, ‘How to Clap Back’? It’s a humorous pod that tackles contemporary issues from important perspectives and is worth a try.
Unladylike comes in at number 19 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
18. Keep It
Crooked Media’s newest offering; Keep It is a pop culture pod to be LOL’d along with. First released on 10 January 2018, Keep It gives listeners an equal part dose of celebrity and political news. Each week, host, Ira Madison III is joined by comedians, activists, actors, journalists, politicians for a lively chat about current events that people are actually talking about.
Keep It comes in at number 18 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
17. Someone Knows Something Season 4: Greavette (Season 4)
The fourth season of Someone Knows Something dropped on 6 February 2018 and it was well worth the wait. This season, David Ridgen investigates the heart wrenching unsolved murder of Wayne Greavette who was killed after opening a letter bomb addressed to him, in 1996. In episode one, listeners are introduced to the Greavette family who, with the help of Ridgen, have come together to try to solve this tragic mystery.
Someone Knows Something Season 4: Greavette comes in at number 17 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
16. Change Agent
From The New York Times, Change Agent is a brand new short-run podcast that tries to fix problems by looking at them from a surprisingly different angle and through the lens of a seemingly unrelated story. Host, Charles Duhigg, author of ‘The Power of Habit’ plants the seed of the problem and then a journalist tells an intriguing story from an unexpected angle. Then, Duhigg returns to the problem and seeks to solve it by implementing a strategy for change that is sometimes a little out-of-the-box. It’s a self-help podcast that doesn’t force it down your through.
Change Agent comes in at number 16 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
15. Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo
Connie Walker and her team have returned for season 2 of Missing & Murdered with the tragic tale of Cleo Nictone Semaganis. Cleo, a young Cree girl was apprehended by Saskatchewan child welfare officers in the 1970s and, her family believes, was raped and murdered while she was attempting to hitchhike from her foster family in the United States back to Canada. With only a single photo of Cleo as proof of her existence, Missing & Murders: Finding Cleo seeks to discover what really happened to Cleo and ascertain where her remains are located. With episode one released on 14 March 2018, now is the perfect time to start listening.
Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo comes in at number 15 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
14. A Very Fatal Murder
If you are a true crime podcast addict and love taking the piss, you’ll appreciate this pod. Released on 5 February 2017 by Onion Public Radio, A Very Fatal Murder lampoons the true crime genre and the podcasting medium. Its success lies in its attention to detail and brevity; the whole season can be knocked over in about an hour and a half. Even the fake adds interspersed throughout the episodes play into the parody. Take a break from the tragically serious and recline in the outlandish.
A Very Fatal Murder comes in at number 14 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
13. Edge of Fame
A brand new podcast produced by WBUR and the Washington Post, Edge of Fame tells stories of some of the most creative people of our time. Insightful and candid, this isn’t the run-of-the-mill ‘interview with a famous person’ podcast. With the seventh episode being delivered on 21 March 2018 (in which host, Geoff Edgers, seeks to discover the guys from Hanson survived fame), this pod is quickly establishing itself as a must-listen society and culture podcast.
Edge of Fame comes in at number 13 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
12. Atlanta Monster
If you haven’t listened to Atlanta Monster, get onto it! A brand new series from HowStuffWorks and Tenderfoot TV, Atlanta Monster is a multi-part series dedicated to investigating the serial murders of black children from impoverished neighbourhoods that gripped the city of Atlanta from 1979 to 1981. Of course, you need to start listening to this riveting podcast from episode one, as all ten episodes have been released, you’ve got an entire season to sink your teeth into.
Atlanta Monster comes in at number 12 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
11. Empire on Blood
In the last week of this quarter, all seven episodes of the brand new true crime podcast, Empire on Blood dropped. Empire on Blood investigates the double murder conviction of Calvin Burari, a showy, mink-wearing, crack dealer from the Bronx. Since his conviction in 1995, Burari has professed his innocence and he’s had at least one high profile lawyer (Myron Beldock) in his corner. Download and listen to journalist, Steve Fishman tell this compelling wrongful conviction tale.
Empire on Blood comes in at number 11 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
10. Worklife with Adam Grant
Worklife with Adam Grant is a pod that will make you feel better about work or will inspire you to imagine what work could be. Host, Adam Grant is an organisational psychologist who, in each episode of Worklife with Adam Grant takes listeners inside diverse and extraordinary workplaces. The workplaces that he explores earnt such a reputation by thinking outside the box, flipping trends on their heads and having unbelievable outcomes as a result. If you’re work life needs an injection of creativity and stimulation, get downloading.
Worklife with Adam Grant comes in at number 10 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
9. Buried Truths
Buried Truths is a brand new NPR podcast dedicated to uncovering untold stories of the black vote being supressed in America in the post-World War II era. In the first episode, host, Professor Hank Klibanoff looks at how the Southern White Democrats conspired to keep Southern Blacks from the ballot boxes. An opening line used by Klibanoff in the first episode of Buried Truths justifies why this podcast warrants attention: “when we understand who we were, we can better understand who we are”. There is no time more important than now to start listening to this pod.
Buried Truths comes in at number 9 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
8. Today, Explained
On 19 February 2018 Vox launched the daily podcast, Today, Explained and its importance in the daily news podcast space has already been cemented. In each 20-ish minute episode, host Sean Rameswaram, explores one major news item in an informal, creative, comprehensive way. Your daily commute is the perfect opportunity to absorb everything this pod has to offer and will ensure that you aren’t the one in the office lacking informed chat.
Today, Explained comes in at number 8 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
7. Unexplained (Season 3)
Unexplained is back with a new season and it has rewarded listeners yet again by being oh so British and oh so mysterious! Released on 20 March 2018, season 3 of Unexplained analyses the mysterious death of Jack Parsons, one of the scientists that established NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that was responsible for developing the rocket fuel that enabled humans to reach the moon. The episodes that have been releases so far indicate that season 3 is set to deliver the high standard of mystery podcasting that Unexplained is renowned for.
Unexplained comes in at number 7 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
6. Endless Thread
Refreshingly random, Endless Thread is an absorbing podcast inspired by seemingly infinite Reddit communities. Since its launch on 11 January 2018, Endless Thread has dropped episodes that cover subject matter as vast as homelessness, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the Super Bowl, opioid addiction and love. Endless Thread sparks that tiny inner thrill that comes with seeing a new episode appear in your feed and not having any idea what it will bring.
Endless Thread comes in at number 6 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
News junkies know that NPR’s Embedded has been delivering audible long form news stories since 2016. But at the beginning of 2018, they dropped a two-part series dedicated to telling the story of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election. This story has defined President Trump’s presidency thus far. In the constant reporting of it, it’s easy to feel left behind. Embedded plugs that gap. If you want to get behind the soundbites of daily news, this pod is for you.
Embedded comes in at number 5 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
4. Making Obama
Making Obama takes listeners on a deep dive into the life of former President Barack Obama in this thoroughly revealing bio pod. Through interviews with friends, colleagues, mentors and rivals Making Obama focuses on the seminal decisions and experiences that shaped his future. It’s a podcast dedicated to tracing his rise to the top, not about what he did when he got there. With episode six being released on 15 March 2018, now is the time to jump on-board.
Making Obama comes in at number 4 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far).
Caught is a crime podcast that steps away from the trope that defines this genre: did the person locked up for the crime do it and if not, who did? Instead, Caught looks into the lives of kids that are unquestionably guilty of crimes and that as a result, have been chewed up and spat out by America’s juvenile criminal justice system. Listen to Caught and explore how a million kids in America get caught up in that system each year and how that shocking number can be reduced.
Caught comes in at number 3 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
2. Ear Hustle (Season Two)
Season 2 of Ear Hustle was released on 14 March 2018 and it’s better than ever. Ear Hustle is one of the most unique podcasts out there; it is recorded and produced inside San Quentin State Prison. Ear Hustle tells true stories of what it’s like living inside prison from the perspective of the inmates themselves. It’s deep, humorous, tragic, insightful, confronting and heart-warming, all at once. Get downloading.
Ear Hustle comes in at number 2 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
1. This is Love
Released on Valentine’s Day 2018, This is Love is the brand new project from the team who brought us the ultra-popular podcast, Criminal. What makes people bet it all on one other person? How much have people sacrificed for love? What is love? Jump on the This is Love train while they explore these universal themes. The raw, heart-warming first episode, ‘The Run’ will leave you wanting more.
This is Love comes in at number 1 as one of our best podcasts of 2018 (so far). Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.
Did we hit the mark?
Sifting through the half a million odd podcasts in the iTunes directory and ranking them in order of goodness isn’t easy. To help us get this countdown right, if you think we’ve missed a great 2018 podcast that should be here, or we’ve got the ordering wrong, search for the podcast you think we’ve missed in the search box below and hit submit.
Otherwise, happy listening!