This independent podcast out of Chicago features beautifully-produced, essay-style, non-narrated human stories. All of its instalments are moving, and of consistently excellent quality, but the third episode in its second season, 'On the Road to New Jerusalem', is one of the most affecting pieces of audio we've heard in some time, and featured as our Episode recommendation in Issue 54.
In it, we meet Randi Belisomo, a Chicago-based journalist who is married to another journalist, Carlos Hernandez Gomez. It soon becomes apparent that something terrible has happened to Carlos and what follows is Randi's account of their life together. Like grief, her story slides between the past and the present, restless and fervent, examining and re-examining the impossible thing that has come to pass. We hear the story of how she met him, of how they married; we hear past television broadcasts, which introduce him breezily, but leave a gaping yaw where his voice ought to be; we are flung back to the present, where the host of this podcast, Robert Andersson, is interviewing Randi in her home. 'Hopefully I'm giving you a lot to work with,' she says at one point. Judicious use of distortion and repetition lend the piece a quality of slipping nightmare and the use of music is sophisticated; we were gripped and impressed all the way to its dignified conclusion.
This is, in fact, a practically perfect thing - we pass it, carefully, to you.