There’s a lot more than time and dedication that goes into getting a podcast off the ground. Nobody tells you about the other stuff. Heck, there’s a lot more than nagging your friends to download/listen/review. For one thing, there’s the money. Advertising is a bigger deal than I would’ve thought. Gone are the days when you could get by with a plucky attitude and a whole lot of heart. These days, you’ve got to shell out to get your name out there.
A part of deciding where we wanted to advertise (never mind whether or not we could afford to do so) was listening to new podcasts. Most of us had our go-to’s, like WTNV, nosleep, Drabble, etc. But we really wanted to get to know more about the weird fiction podcasting scene, make some connections, get more involved. This meant listening to new stuff. And man, did we find some great new stuff.
I almost feel silly discussing THE BLACK TAPES when it’s blown up so big, but it really served as an inspiration for us with its radio play format. Love of horror and mystery kind of goes hand-in-hand, and TBT meets those loves pretty thoroughly. After LIMETOWN, I was eager for a new spooky, investigative series to listen to. TBT filled in the gap extremely well. It’s the kind of story you burn through, then turn right back around to listen to it all again. Which is what I’m currently in the process of doing. Both seasons are suspenseful, dark thrillers that leave you on the edge of your seat. It sounds cliche, maybe, but it’s true. There’s no telling where the adventures of Alex and Dr. Strand will take us next, but it’s bound to be somewhere fascinating.
LORE was the next series I came across, suggested by Twitter thanks to whatever algorithm it uses. Produced and performed by Aaron Mahnke with music by Musician, it recounts strange and sordid true tales from history. Touching on urban legends and true crime alike, Mahnke highlights the ugly side of human history. Lore’s episodic nature makes it easy to pick up – there are no seasons, no storyline to keep track of. Just pure weird history. This makes it great for easy listening, something to fill the time on a jaunt to the grocery store or while taking a long walk.
THE BRIGHT SESSIONS was recommended by the inimitable Aaron Rehdactedd. I couldn’t say how he stumbled across it, but I was glad that he did. Each episode features the recordings of the enigmatic therapist Dr. Bright, whose practice specializes in a peculiar kind of patient. Despite her patients’ superhuman abilities, their problems are all too normal – they struggle to connect with those around them, wrestle with their own emotions and shortcomings. It’s easy to lose yourself in Dr. Bright’s professional voice, encouraging but also calculating. What does Dr. Bright want from her patients? Just what makes them assets to her?
SPINES is an ominous, eerie blend between Alias and Re-Animator. It’s a masterfully produced lovechild between mystery and the grotesque. Narrated by Wren, a young woman missing memories after waking from a bizarre cult ritual, the story features a cast of curious young men and women with even curiouser abilities. She’s clever and resourceful, more so than even she knows. All the while, Wren searches for the mystery man she believes holds the answers to her search – who she is, what brought her to this point, and what becomes of them next.
If you haven’t checked these series out, I highly recommend them! There are so many good podcasts out these days, it’s hard to keep up – I still have a few on deck I haven’t even gotten around to sampling yet. But if you’re looking for a place to start, look no further than this post, mystery lovers – I’ve got you covered.