3 Podcasts to Listen to in August

August 2023 Podcasts

Each month, Podcast Review’s staff offers recommendations on the best new podcasts to listen to. Here are our favorites for August:

Rough Translation

The eighth and final season of NPR’s Rough Translation released its first episode at the end of July. A show about nurturing conversation across cultural divides, this season follows a Delhi-based activist group called the Love Commandos known for providing shelter to young individuals defying the constraints of caste and religion to marry their chosen partners. “Love Commandos” has been years in the making and boasts a rich soundscape, making it the perfect twenty-minute production to enjoy over breakfast. One part documentary, another part true crime, host Gregory Warner tells this rich story with care and nuance.

Search Engine

The former Crypto Island turns its gaze away from currency and toward big questions submitted by listeners. PJ Vogt has returned with Search Engine, which allows him to do the same broad, curious work characteristic of Reply All. The latest episode begins with the idea of turning empty office space into housing across major cities, and leads to a larger exploration of the American housing crisis. The nature of the show allows Vogt to wander into and outside of the online world as he sees fit.

Smoke Screen: Betrayal on the Bayou

From the crime documentary series Smoke Screen comes Betrayal on the Bayou, a captivating investigation set in the streets of New Orleans. The story centers on DEA Special Agent Chad Scott, a canny cop who has spent decades putting away drug dealers. Though a contentious figure in the city’s criminal circles, it’s ultimately one of Scott’s own that betrays him and causes things to spiral. The reporters behind Smoke Screen seek to discern if Chad Scott is genuinely the hero or merely another crooked cop. There’s nothing too innovative here, but the premise is perfectly executed. Both the production and narration are worth praising. Listen to Betrayal on the Bayou for escapism that gives you something to chew on.


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