Islands’ Nick Thorburn Launches Critical Podcast

Nick Thorburn, best known for leading the indie-pop band Islands (and first widely beloved for his work with the Unicorns), has launched a new podcast. It’s called Critical, and Thorburn is co-hosting it with Irish artist and filmmaker David OReilly. From the sounds of the latest episode, it’s a pretty spot-on parody of podcast culture — a podcast about how it’s a podcast and you should financially support the hosts.

You may recall that Thorburn first waded into the podcast game when he provided the score for the breakout This American Life offshoot Serial, the serialized investigative report hosted by Sarah Koenig. Critical is something entirely different. Thorburn and OReilly are taking the piss out of podcast culture with an abundance of rambling banter about “content creators” and such. As someone who hates that shit, I found this delightful.

Critical launched three weeks ago. The third episode posted last Thursday, featuring Thorburn’s longtime collaborator (and newly minted Tony nominee) Michael Cera as the first featured guest. After almost 20 minutes of knowingly vapid and meaningless introduction, they get into some chitchat about men’s names. Apparently James is the most popular men’s name, and these guys are no fan of it. With opinions like that in the world, it’s no wonder my colleague James Rettig rebranded himself as Jams. Anyway, check it out here, and make sure to stick around for the Critical theme song about 25 minutes in.