Listening Recommendation: John Hicks’s Troika
Most of the podcasts I listen to involve people talking to one another. A casual observer wouldn’t be off base to assume that this is the preferred format, but there really are so many other ways to make a podcast.
One of my favorite deviations so far comes from British designer (and cyclist and Doctor Who fan) Jon Hicks. His show is called Troika, and I’ve been an avid fan since it launched in March. Here’s how he described the concept in an introductory post:
The idea is that I’ll present a set of just three songs, connected by some sort of link – either by genre, artist, songs that were important to a particular time in my life or just some other odd notion that happens to take my fancy. Sometimes I might have guests on board to choose their trio of music. Talking from me will be minimal – just a short introduction, and then the music!
It’s an excellent idea, impeccably executed. Hicks not only picks so many wonderful tunes and artists I’d never heard of prior to listening, he also brings a childlike excitement to sharing this music with the listener. Even when it’s music I would otherwise never even try listening to, Jon finds a way to get me interested and give it a chance. And since the show is only three songs short, I actually take the time to really consider each song as I listen, as opposed to letting it wash over me as I do when I listen to, say, Beats 1.
So go give Troika a listen. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
In the spirit of the thing, here are three of my favorite episodes so far, the ones that really solidified it in my listening queue. Enjoy.
- Troika #2: (not so) Guilty Pleasures – Mr. Big, ZZ Top and Toto tracks I’d never heard.
- Troika #7: Donuts – Three songs related to the late J Dilla.
- Troika #15: Sub Dove Rivers – Three different bands from twins Andy and Jez Williams. Really liked the final track from their latest group, Black Rivers, but their debut album, annoyingly, isn’t available stateside yet.