Mindful Urbanist Podcast Playlist 3rd Edition

I love podcasts.

I'm always searching for my next great listen.  I take great care to always follow fewer than 10 podcasts at a time. It's a way to keep things minimal and allows me to devote my full attention to the podcasts I love.  It helps me to appreciate the work that goes into producing podcasts and gives me freedom to try new podcasts.

We're overdue for a podcast playlist update on Mindful Urbanist so I'm sharing one of my new favourites with you today, a podcast called Within the Wires.

Jeffrey Cranor and Janina Matthewson are the creators of Within the Wires. Cranor co-founded Welcome to Nightvale, the podcast that I've often cited as the best in the world. Matthewson narrates the show and her clear British voice carries the plot beautifully. Mary Epworth provides the delightfully creepy soundtrack for the podcast.

Season one, entitled Relaxation Cassettes, tells its story in the form of relaxation tapes. These recordings are designed for the lone listener, you, who is a patient or perhaps an inmate at "the institute".  They are narrated by someone who works at the nefarious institute. She's a mysterious character.

Within the Wires is set in an Orwellian alternate future that recalls the setting of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It's heavily satirical. I like the idea of listening to relaxation tapes. I think it is a play on how these days there's a mania going on to practice meditation with apps and podcasts.

Each episode focuses on relaxing a different part of the body. The ten-cassette course intends to teach total body relaxation. Broken into two parts, Side A and Side B, the episodes end with a visualization exercise that's suspiciously specific. The actual plot of Within the Wires is in the likely subliminal messages in the "visualization exercise" at the end of each episode. They reveal the true nature of the relaxation cassettes.

There are pseudo-philosophical monologues by the narrator that oscillate between dark and comic. They remind me of the "traffic" portions of Welcome to Nightvale. These were always my favourite parts of the podcast because they have a unique brand of romantic weirdness that grabs me.

Check out Within the Wires and if you are not yet familiar with Welcome to Nightvale, it's never too late to join in the weird fun.