Five music podcasts you need to listen to right now

New York Times Popcast

Each week the NYT music team take an in-depth look at the week’s biggest music news story. NYT pop music critic Jon Caramanica hosts but he often invites special guests from the music industry to discuss with. Topics have ranged from The Weeknd’s mysterious internet presence to Mariah’s awful New Year’s Eve performance. Whatever the story, Caramanica and co. always provide a fascinating discussion packed with insider information. The podcasts vary in length but most hit the one-hour mark. It’s also paired with a Spotify playlist so you can listen to each of the tracks discussed during the show.

Find New York Times Popcast on Spotify.

Song Exploder

The Song Exploder podcast sees Hrishi Hirway invite an artist to take apart a song of theirs and, piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. The artists reveal the decisions behind their work and the process from inception to completion. It’s a great listen for anyone with a deeper interest in songwriting or wants to peak into the mind’s of the music industry’s biggest and best. With previous guests ranging from Arcade Fire, to Lorde to Gorillaz and everyone in between, you’re spoiled for choice.

Find Song Exploder on iTunes.

NPR Tiny Desk Concerts audio

You’ve seen the videos of NPR’s tiny desk concerts with artists squashed into a bedroom-like room, singing their heart out. Now, you can listen to the raw audio track too. Since the Tiny Desk Concerts have become a bit of a rite of passage for artists, the archives are packed with household names and independent artists alike. Most podcasts are only as long as two songs, so they’re perfect for on the go.

Find NPR Tiny Desk Concerts on iTunes.


Considering the fact that KEXP have five different regular podcasts, it would’ve been so easily to have filled this feature with just their shows. The team at this Seattle radio station are always one step ahead of the game with their impeccable curation and exclusive sessions. The Music Matters podcast is a testament to this as the Seattle station’s DJs bring you an exclusive mix of new music from the world’s best independent artists.

Find KEXP podcast on iTunes.

Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs is undoubtedly the godfather of music podcasts. This golden oldie was created by English radio broadcaster, Roy Plomley, back in 1942. The show, now hosted by Kirsty Young, sees a guest choose eight records, a book, and a luxury that they would take with them to a mythical desert island. Previous guests include everyone from Ed Sheeran to David Beckham to Stephen Hawking, and with the archives available to delve into, you’d be hard pushed to find a household name that hasn’t been invited onto the show. For a podcast that clocks in at just under 30 minutes, each one is a treasure trove of music trivia and historical artifacts; it’s a classic that’s well worth a listen.

Find Desert Island Discs on iTunes.

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