Rugby 12 ear-tingling podcasts we LOVED in 2019

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Right now, there are more than 700,000 active podcastsand more than 29 million podcast episodes, as illustrated by Music Oomph. So it’s no wonder 2019 feels like ‘the year’for podcasts as a Twitter user perfectly illustrated in a meme:

Starting a podcast in 2019 pic.twitter.com/Lrx39rXNSp

— Mike Camerlengo (@MCamerlengo) October 19, 2019

As thousands of podcasts are uploaded to streaming platforms every day, searching for a new series or episode isn’t an easy job — you’ll find yourself wading through the mediocre, the over-enthusiastic, and the unrelatable shows.

So, to save you the hassle of finding your next go-to podcasts, TNW’s editorial team have hand-picked their favorite series and episodes of the year. We’ve got a show breaking down the elements of a pop song, traveling the world to learn about crypto, a witty weekly round-up of current affairs, and more. 

RugbySwitched on Pop — Ivan Mehta’s pick

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Credit: Switched on Pop

Pop songs are often looked at as ‘easy to create’ radio-friendly songs. But there are a lot of factors involved when artists sit down to create a track or an album. What’s it gonna sound like? How long should it be? Should we release a single or a whole album? Is it streaming-friendly?

I frankly didn’t know about the many mind-boggling aspects of pop and its cultural nuances. So, when I started listening toSwitched On Popthis year, I got obsessed. Every episode peeks into an artists, a sub-genre, or a trend in pop music.

They have fascinating episodes such as the one on the history of Baby Shark and another on the importance of space in songs, to break down Ariana Grande’s hit song, “7 rings.”

You can listen to the serieshere.

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 The Missing Cryptoqueen — Matthew Beedham’s pick

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Credit: The Missing Cryptoqueen

Tech journalist and critic Jamie Bartlett goes on the hunt for Dr Ruja Ignatova, the kingpin of the multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme OneCoin.

You don’t have to be into Bitcoin or cryptocurrency to enjoy this podcast. In many ways its story is reminiscent of a real-life crime thriller. Host Bartlett travels the world with his producer Georgia Catt in search of Ignatova. Along the way they meet with those that have lost out massively to the OneCoin promise and those that have been lucky enough to profit. Over the course of their investigation, what unravels before them is so alarming it’s almost hard to believe it happened in the modern day.

You can listen to the serieshere

Rugby The High Low — Cara Curtis’ pick

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Credit: The High Low

Hosted by double-act Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton,The High Lowis a pop-culture and news podcast series offering a witty opinion on what’s going on every week.

After discovering this podcast earlier this year, I don’t think there’s been a week I’ve missed. Although I don’t agree with every opinion they have on certain issues — since they’re self-proclaimed ‘privileged’ middle-class women — they do have a good balance of intellectually dissected opinions on important topics. They cover subjects ranging from sexual assault, to laid-back, funny, and snarky commentary on anything else.

Also, earlier this year, I went toThe High Low Experience, which was a live session where Alderton and Sykes discussed out-dated self-help books on relationships, how their podcast has grown, and discussing other bits of the news from the time. 

Above all, it’s great to have a space where serious things are discussed lightly and frankly — and that’s enough reason for you to check it out. 

You can listen to the serieshere

RugbyH3 Podcast — Mix’s pick

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Credit: H3 Podcast

I love thrillers, dramas, and mysteries when it comes to cinema, but I’m not into podcasts with heavy themes. I mean, I get the appeal of Serial, but I’m looking for some light-hearted entertainment when I’m eating spicy chicken at lunch. I’m looking for something salacious, something saucy.

That’s why I’m a huge fan of theH3 Podcast, hosted by power couple Hila Klein (CEO of Teddy Fresh) and Ethan Klein (also known as Fupas Maximus). Where do I start? Their excellentfood tier reviews, theirmemetastic guests, their succinctYouTube drama breakdowns. They do it all.

Anyways, one of my absolute favorite episodes is thepodcast with Oliver Tree.

Admittedly, I had never heard of Oliver Tree prior to his appearance on theH3 Podcast, but his dynamic with the Ethan and Hila was great. They memed, they beefed, they squashed the drama, it was truly an episode packed with excitement.

You should totallycheck it out.

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Intrigue: Tunnel 29 — Abhimanyu Ghoshal’s pick

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Credit: Intrigue – Tunnel 29

In the early 1960s, three daring young students from West Berlin facilitated the escape of26 of their friends and family from Communist East Berlin— by burrowing underground the fractured city. BBC’s ten-part radio documentary, which you can now enjoy as a podcast, beautifully recounts this tale of bravery, ingenuity, and intrigue in bite-size episodes.

The students are in constant danger of being discovered, because there are spies everywhere — even in West Berlin. They’ve also never built a tunnel before.

The story takes you from Germany’s capital to New York City, where NBC studio executives hear about the plan and decide to capture the event on film. They also agree to pay the builders for the privilege of shooting the effort. I mention this because there’s a black-and-white documentary that you can watch if the podcast sufficiently piques your interest.

If you’re looking to binge on a show but don’t want to lose your entire winter to it,Tunnel 29is a good way to go. Tune in by subscribing to BBC’s Intrigue podcast and grabbing the latest seas

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