I found Fugitive Waves not too long ago and thought I would listen to all the episodes in a row (my usual approach). The show was created by the Peabody Award-winning duo The Kitchen Sisters—Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva—and is a member of PRX’s Radiotopia. Each episode tells a story, with the only continuous theme between episodes being that the stories come from “the flip side of history”. Because they are The Kitchen Sisters—and formerly produced the Hidden Kitchens series for NPR’s Morning Edition—many of their stories are about the history and intricacies of what and where we eat. The podcast includes a combination of interviews and discovered recordings, traversing time and space through a mashup of narrative styles. Each episode feels more like a documentary capturing a moment as it happens than it does a story designed to be told. The narrative emerges at the meeting of new sound, found sound, and background music. Fugitive Waves is exquisitely produced and always interesting, and perhaps that is why I have taken it slow. It’s immensely satisfying, but not the best background show. Just like there are headphone records, this is a headphone podcast—a delicacy to be lingered over and savored.
Style: Narrative, Interview, Investigation
If You Like: Radio Diaries, Radiolab, Love + Radio, Strangers, The Truth, This American Life
Favorite Episode: Episode 18, “A Man Tapes His Town: The Unrelenting Oral Histories of Eddie McCoy”