Top 10 Podcasts from 2017

It almost feels like every day someone tells me that they want to start listening to podcasts, and since it’s become a regular medium, you can find podcasts about literally anything.  I’ve listened to podcasts about everything from tech to crying.  There really is a podcast for everyone, whether you need information, a laugh, or an emotional reaction.  Here are some of the best new podcasts and veterans that have kept up the good work:

 

  1. Swipe Out

Alix McAlpine’s podcast is simple enough on the surface, and it’s certainly not the first dating podcast.  The premise is Alix goes on first dates, then discusses them with her friend, while creating a list of qualities she’d like her ideal partner to have.  Occasionally, it’s funny, but McAlpine is doing more than just gossiping about her dates.  She’s really exploring what it’s like navigating the dating world, as a millennial, with dating apps, and as a young adult.  It’s a mostly transparent look into the dating world, and it provides so much insight to those single among us.

Standout episode: Connor/Slim Thicc Continue reading

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Adult Mom-Soft Spots

When Soft Spots was announced, I’d just about forgotten about Adult Mom.  Sure, Steph Knipe’s project had some catchy tunes, and they released one of my favorite records of 2015, but looking back on Momentary Lapse of Happily, it’s replay value was limited save for a few songs.  Knipe has not only improved as a songwriter, they’re much more vulnerable and personable on Soft Spots.

The most noticeable change to this Adult Mom album is the warmth of the production.  “J Station” is incredibly homey, while narrating a despondent breakup.  Even the closing track, “First Day of Spring,” despite Knipe discussing their not being ready for warmth, sounds like a friendly record to play under your covers on a cold day.  “Full Screen” has many more fleshed out tones than the barebones of Happily.  The touches of xylophone and synthesizer expand the track in the minutest way to perfectly compliment Knipe’s melancholy acoustic song.  “Drive Me Home” is another example of a song that builds around Knipe’s repetitive, manic vocals.

Besides being a better sounding record, Knipe is much better as a lyricist on Soft Spots.  There are much fewer cheeky, cliché references like “it’s okay to kiss girls!” on Happily, but there’s still a tongue-in-cheek nature to a song like “Full Screen,” which begins with Knipe asking:

“Do you full screen your porn?

Do you think about me

as you watch her crawl across the floor”

A song like “J Station” shows Knipe developing stories through their songs recalling one more go with an old lover, but ends with perhaps the coldest line of the album: “I’ll be sad you were ever in my life in the first place.”  Knipe’s vocal performances on these songs are much more emotive than on their debut or Sometimes Bad Happens, and it really puts Adult Mom ahead as an interesting artist within the punk community.

On their second full-length, Adult Mom really takes the next step into creating remarkably comforting music.  Listening to this record sounds like the way Chris Gethard describes The Smiths during Career Suicide, as the type of music that could only grow and the meaning could expand through the ages, as a constant spot that only grows to take on new meanings as you grow older.

James Crowley