Can a new podcast bring classical to the masses? – podcasts of the week

Talking points

WYNC, the studio behind the likes of Radiolab and Snap Judgement, are launching an ambitious month-long podcast series aiming at bringing classical music to the masses. Hosted by former BBC Radio 3 presenter Clemency Burton Hill, The Open Ears Project will see likes of Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, and Call Your Girlfriend host Aminatou Sow reflect on how a piece of classical music changed their life. It all kicks off on 10 September.

Spotify are hoping to turn its army of podcast listeners into podcasters themselves. A new button on the platform will encourage users to make their own podcasts by using Anchor, the podcast-creation app purchased by the streaming service in February. Spotify has stepped up its podcasting operation in recent months, buying major studio Gimlet Media, and launching a host of new shows.

Picks of the week

Shirley Manson.

Shirley Manson. Photograph: PR

Sex Power Money With Sara Pascoe

At the beginning of comic Sara Pascoe’s podcast about sex work, stripping and porn, she admits she doesn’t know enough about it. Which means she asks a lot of pertinent questions as she investigates further, hitting just the right tone. In the first episode, she talks to sex workers about human rights as well as gaining an insight into the amount of admin and marketing required to do their jobs. Her interview with social historian Hallie Rubenhold, ostensibly about Jack the Ripper’s crimes, is far-reaching and fascinating. Hannah Verdier

The Jump With Shirley Manson

Garbage’s Shirley Manson has produced seven podcasts where she talks with musicians “about the one song that changed everything”. It’s a varied cast, from Esperanza Spalding to Chromeo’s Dave 1. Along the way, she inspires Big Boi to do a Scottish accent and persuades Courtney Love to read out her lyrics, which Love says inevitably feature “some Kurt stuff”. Throughout it all Manson laughs, listens and is a delight of a host who never fawns. Start with Karen O talking about Maps. HV

An anti Brexit demonstrator wears a mask depicting Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson protests outside the Cabinet office in London, Thursday.

An anti Brexit demonstrator wears a mask depicting Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson protests outside the Cabinet office in London, Thursday. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

Jessica Elgot and the Guardian politics team reconvene a week early in a snap edition of the podcast that looks at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s unprecedented decision to prorogue Parliament for five weeks from mid-September. Jessica and guests Rafael Behr, Owen Jones and Sonia Sodha look at what the move, which Speaker John Bercow called a ‘constitutional outrage’, will mean for Brexit negotiations. Katherine Godfrey

Chosen by Takudzwa Mudiwa, Positive Action Scheme participantIn r

Reggie Yates.

Reggie Yates. Photograph: Production/BBC/Swan Films

In recent years Reggie Yates has made a name for himself as a serious documentary maker, tackling issues such as police brutality and homophobia. The Reggie Yates podcast, which also features his friends Uzo, Owen and Baba, and the occasional guest, is a space where Yates doesn’t have to be as serious as he is in his documentaries, and finds himself bursting into fits of laughter in almost every episode. His experience as an interviewer means he manages to sway the conversation in a direction that results in an engaging discussion. But the best conversations are when they go off-topic, resulting in vulnerable and hilarious chats. You end up feeling like you’re catching up with friends or listening in on your big brother’s conversation.


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