#DeleteMonday with The Stoop

Menaka Raman

Where do you get your podcast recommendations from? Friends? The New and Noteworthy section of your podcast app? Your Twitter feed? All three? I’ve been using The New York Times Podcast Club on Facebook as a sort of podcast speed dating space. I log in, give myself 10 minutes, scroll up and down looking at recommendations and then hop on to Spotify to listen to the latest episode in the feed for a few minutes before deciding whether I want to commit or not.

This week, I came across The Stoop, a Radiotopia podcast.

I found the very premise of the episode intriguing, but what drew me in was the song at the start of the episode — Miss Mary Mack — a clapping song from my childhood that I had all but forgotten. They had me at the third Mack.

But what made me stay on was the easy banter between the hosts and then the beautiful line-up of guests, how they talk about the sounds they associated with their identity, and the memories associated with them. Timberland shoes on basketball courts, the sound of grease as it sizzles on the skillet, the whirring of insects in summer, hums, and the verbal tics and sounds associated with family — I loved hearing David Oloweyo talk like his Nigerian family members.

My podcast tastes of the last year have been largely a mix of how to get things done, self-care, writers on writing interviews, and the odd short story podcast. These tend to often be spare in terms of additional sounds. But I realise how much I love sound-rich podcasts that take you into intimate worlds. I find my body relax, my mind tune out all the other noise around me and I sink to the sound of grease sizzling on a skillet.

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