New and notable: August edition
We bring you the top picks of the month
Last week I sustained a minor concussion. It was rough. It meant no phones, no Netflix, no books … really anything that involved serious concentration. But towards the end of my recovery, I got the OK to listen to podcasts! That's when I finally finished Borrasca.
Borrasca follows Sam Walker, who moves to Drisking, Missouri with his family as a kid. Over time, it becomes clear that something isn't right about their quaint little town. Between the mysterious screams that echo from the mountains, the massive treehouse in the middle of the woods and young folks suddenly disappearing on the regular, Sam takes it upon himself to find answers. Is Borrasca just a myth? With the help of his friends Kyle and Kimber, he sets out to untangle the local lore.
The podcast was created by The Haunting of Hill House writer Rebecca Klingel and stars Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead Jones in the Archie Comics TV series Riverdale. While Sprouse is no stranger to the camera, this was his debut as a voice actor — and an exceptional one at that.
The world of Borrasca is immersive, sonically rich and suspenseful, and the story ends with a brilliantly chilling payoff. As a horror fan, it certainly delivered. So please take it from me: don't wait to sustain a head injury so that you're forced to take time off and listen to this podcast. Make the time.
— Kelsey Cueva, Associate Producer, Podcast Playlist
Podcasts featured this week:
Slow Burn: "In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a white supremacist became an American political phenomenon. David Duke's rise to power and prominence—his election to the Louisiana Legislature, and then his campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the governorship—was an existential crisis for the state and the nation. The fourth season of Slate's Slow Burn will explore how a Nazi sympathizer and former Klansman fashioned himself into a mainstream figure, and why some voters came to embrace his message."
WARNING: This podcast contains language that some listeners might find offensive.
SickKids VS Podcast: "Fifty kids in Canada are waitlisted for a new heart each year. Of those, 30 to 35 will get one. Others continue waiting. But SickKids surgeon Dr. Osami Honjo thinks he has a solution. A way to expand the donor pool by keeping hearts beating outside the body. He calls it the Heart in a Box."
Reach: A Space Podcast for Kids: "Reach: A Space Podcast for Kids is a weekly, family friendly exploration of our galaxy (and beyond!) with hosts Brian Holden and Meredith Stepien. Built for kids and based on questions from kids, Reach educates with entertaining segments, fun at-home experiments, and interviews presented in association with subject matter experts & thought partners from leading institutions like the Adler Planetarium (and many more)."
Borrasca: "A parolee tells a story to his parole officer about his childhood. Twelve year old Sam Walker moves to a small town in the Ozarks with his family after his father is reassigned to a new sheriff's department. Something screams on the mountain there, but his friends won't tell him what or who. [Then] A family friend goes missing."
Deep Cover: The Drug Wars: "Marijuana, motorcycles, and mayhem. Deep Cover is the true story of an FBI agent in Detroit who goes undercover in an outlaw motorcycle gang and makes a series of bizarre discoveries that inadvertently lead to the US invasion of a foreign country."
Death, Sex & Money: A few months ago, Nick van der Kolk, the host of the podcast Love + Radio, tweeted: "If I were Anna Sale, I'd be asking my listeners how they're coping with a lack of physical touch in their lives." So that's exactly what Sale did on her podcast Death, Sex & Money. Their inbox was flooded with responses — mostly, as expected, from people living by themselves, or, at least, without any other adult humans. Here is, the first of a two-part series about people's "skin hunger."