Having really enjoyed other people’s end of year lists, I thought I’d put a list together that runs through some of the discoveries I’ve made, or moments I’ve enjoyed in 2019. It’s a list of everything from podcasts, to music, to videos. If you find something interesting that you missed in amongst it all, then it’s done its job.

PODCASTS

George The Poet’s Have You Heard George’s Podcast? is breathtaking. I heard the hype, and for once it’s entirely justified. This podcast had me spluttering with laughter as tears flowed down my face… as I made dinner. Quite the sight. It’s honest, beautiful, painful and brave. An extraordinairy achievement. Beautifully written and produced, and of real substance. Hats off to the team behind this one.

Sheila Heti on FT Culture Call was an unexpectedly wonderful way to hear more about the author as she explore the Pierre Bonnard exhibition at Tate Modern.

As the Brexit debacle played itself out, I found Talking Politics was the most consistant and informative source of discussion on both domestic and global politics. Get yourself subscribed.

MUSIC

Here are a selection of my favourite musical discoveries from 2019, with Aldous Harding the artist I listened to the most throughout the year… alongside Drake of course… but that goes without saying, right?

OTHER STUFF

Ian Penman wrote a fantastic piece on Prince for the LRB. Book reviews aren’t meant to be this good. An added bonus for those of you who don’t do words much, Audm now provides an audio version of the article.
https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v41/n12/ian-penman/the-question-of-u

And I’ve not read as many books as I’d like this year, but Reaching for Utopia by James Cowley, editor of The New Statesman, had the biggest impact on the way I see the world.

Hobo Johnson’s Tiny Desk Concert isn’t technically from 2019, but I discovered it in 2019, so that counts. Heartfelt, beautiful lyricism.

This is what strength and conviction looks like. Extraordinairy.

WORK

It’s been a fantastic year of work, which began with the completion of the Google x Guardian Voice Lab. The summer brought working at The Economist with The Intelligence podcast team, before joining the BBC’s Voice & AI department in the autumn to help them develop the persona for their beeb voice assistant.

Around these longer term projects, I found time to also produce a pilot for Sampha / Young Turks, an audio advert for the FA/Public Health England and a couple Strrr TV episodes. Plus, I finally got around to releasing another episode of the Sound Motives podast, this time with the excllent musician Max Cooper.

I’ll consider myself lucky should 2020 match the opportunities I had in 2019 to meet and work with interesting and talented people. With a couple really exciting projects lined up, it’s looking promising. Well, that’s it. I guess all that remains is to say Happy New Year, and I wish everyone a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2020.

Dave O’Donnell

Strrr TV – Matthew Plummer Fernandez

In his Strrr episode, Matthew explores the role that algorithms play in everyday life and culture. From their beginnings in the simple animations of the 1970s and 80s, through to the cutting edge neural networks and artificial intelligence of today, Matthew reveals the various ways in which algorithms are playing an increasing central role in our lives.

Strrr TV – Marie Jacotey

Back in February I headed down to Bermondsey to shoot another episode of Strrr TV with french illustrator Marie Jacotey. Check the episode here! Marie Jacotey is a London-based, French artist, whose work has established her as an enduring and charming presence on the...

Strrr TV – Gilles Peterson

When Daniel Brandt asked me to get involved with Strrr TV, with a focus on London's 'superstars and brilliant newcomers hailing from the world of music, art, design, film, and fashion', Gilles Peterson was one of the first people I got in touch with, and it turns out...

Worldwide FM talk at Glug x WeTransfer Event

Last summer I was asked by Rob Alderson to talk at the Glug x WeTransfer 'Passion Projects' event in Shoreditch. It was a good opportunity to consolidate my thoughts on the launch of the station, and the first year of running Worldwide FM, as well as articulating the...

Nadav Kander

A few weeks back, researching people for Strrr TV, I was reminded of the photographer Nadav Kander. I first came across his work when a former girlfriend brought me to see his show 'Yangtze, The Long River' back in 2010. By chance, early this year I walked by Flowers...