The first instalment of Lena Dunham’s podcast, Women of the Hour, is available to download today.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll already be a die-hard Girls fan, love Tiny Furniture and have read Not That Kind of Girl cover to cover.
But if film and books aren’t your thing and you’d sooner opt for something you can enjoy whilst getting on with other tasks then Dunham’s latest triumph, is the one for you.
Women of the Hour (not to be confused with Radio 4’s long-standing Woman’s Hour – which also has a rather brilliant podcast), will commence with a series of five episodes, tackling female-interest stories, with the first episode looking into friendship – including a discussion with actress Amy Sedaris.
Dunham has created the podcast with her friend Jenna Weiss-Berman and produced it alongside Buzzfeed, with the aim of bringing “news and wisdom you can use from women living their best life.”
Considering that Dunham’s most recent venure, her newsletter Lenny Letter, has seen contributions from the likes of presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton and Hollywood heavyweight, Jennifer Lawrence, we can only assume we’re in for a treat. You can download it for free here.
To celebrate its arrival, we’ve charted a few of our essential podcasts as chosen by Stylist’s resident addict Jamie Klingler.
Commutes have never looked so inviting...
1. Best for storytelling
Dedicated to the art of storytelling, The Moth encourages people from all walks of life to stand up and orally recount their stories with no notes. From the true story behind Milli Vanilli and the journey that led to the discovery of the BRCA gene to the capture of mob boss Whitey Bulger, each and every Moth story will leave you either gasping in laughter or in floods of tears. And repeating them endlessly to friends.
2. Best for interviews
Death, Sex & Money
This podcast started as a contest for public radio station WNYC (where host Anna Sale worked) and has bloomed into Death Sex & Money. Anna may be my favourite interviewer ever: listening to her compassionate voice while probing into private areas of people’s lives is surprisingly addictive. Her interview subjects range from actress and activist Jane Fonda to singer Bill Withers to a five-part series in New Orleans, ten years after Hurricane Katrina - where she interviews the coroner among others. If you only listen to one, may I recommend Sonia Manzano who is famous for playing Maria on Sesame Street.
3. Best for a news catch-up
Call Your Girlfriend
Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are long-distance best friends who discuss everything that’s happened in the past week in the news, especially about women. They read all of the articles that I’ve seen on social media but not bothered to read. They are unapologetic feminists and totally refreshing. The podcast is very American-focused, but I find their banter and chat wonderfully entertaining. They are taking a break until October, making it the perfect time to download the past episodes
4. Best for general knowledge
Stuff You Should Know
This is like spoken Wikipedia.
This morning I learned all about waterslides.
At first I was worried that this would really be like mansplaining, but the topics are all so interesting and about stuff I know nothing about. It feel like this will certainly make me better at my pub quiz and I’ll definitely be listening to How Police Dogs Work later today.
5. Best for freaking you out
Like a cross between The X-Files and Serial, Limetown is the story of a town of over 300 men, women and children that disappeared from a small town in Tennessee. Set over seven compulsive episodes, Limetown takes its inspiration from Orson Welles’ War Of The Worlds (a 1938 fictional radio show that caused mass panic in the US) and the way radio used to entertain the masses - and keep them wanting more.
6. Best for getting you gripped
The first series of Serial investigated the 1999 murder of American high school student, Hae Min Lee, and the possible wrongful conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. The brilliant Sarah Koenig went through Seyd's case, hour by hour in fascinating detail, which led listeners to cancel all social plans just to catch the next weekly instalment. Now, Koenig is back with series 2 of Serial (any day now) which is rumoured to be about Bowe Bergdahl, a US army sergeant who left his base in Afghanistan in mysterious circumstances in 2009 and who now faces life imprisonment. We can't wait.
Let us know your own go-to podcasts in the comments section, below.