While some may be running out of things to do during the ongoing quarantine, students like Paige Keller ’23 are getting more creative. For the past few weeks, Keller has been working on a podcast with her sister Brynn, a senior at Macalester College, and her brother Tyson, a high school first year, that puts passion for pop culture at the forefront.
The podcast takes after NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour show. “Our mom made us listen [to the show] and me and Brynn collectively agreed that the main part we like in each episode was a section called ‘What’s Making Us Happy This Week,’” Keller wrote in a message to the Collegian. In this part of the show, NPR’s correspondents each discuss one piece of pop culture they’re enjoying that week. “We want it [our podcast] to be in that style,” she wrote. The Keller siblings identify as musicians, with varying interests. “The three of us have very strong opinions when it comes to media,” Keller wrote. “So we thought a conversational style would work well.”
After many long discussions and brainstorming over what their podcast should be named, the trio decided to call it The Undisputed Truth. “It’s a reference to the song ‘Goodbye Stranger’ by Supertramp and we just loved the idea of claiming that an opinion-based podcast is absolute fact.” While the podcast has yet to officially come on air, Keller and her siblings plan on releasing an episode every two weeks and are hoping to upload the first episode “very soon.”
The Undisputed Truth will also take inspiration from the aptly named genre of “sibling podcasts.” “We love My Brother, My Brother and Me and their dedication to the craft really inspired us to actually do this,” Keller said. The show is hosted by three brothers who began the podcast as a means to stay in touch with each other as their personal lives became more and more complicated. “We really took that to heart as two of us are away from home at school and beyond while the youngest is stuck at home in high school.” Tyson, the youngest of the Kellers, sarcastically added, “We really want this podcast to share our fame and glory.”
Other inspirations for The Undisputed Truth include Dear Hank and John, another sibling podcast hosted by Hank and John Green ’00. “We really love the energy that they carry while discussing things that they’re passionate about,” Keller said.
Perhaps the Kellers’ biggest inspiration of them all is their father’s podcast, which is about video games and “shows that anyone, if they really want to, can start a podcast about something they’re passionate about.”
While being stuck in quarantine poses many issues for some, Chicago’s stay-at-home order (where two-thirds of the Keller siblings are based) has only benefited the Kellers’ project. “Quarantine is definitely allowing us to consume more content for episodes while we’re stuck inside our homes. Though this situation is stressful with online classes and general anxiety about the current global state of affairs, finally sitting down to record will give the three of us time every week to reconnect and recharge,” Keller said. “We all finally have no reason to put off focusing on this personal project!”
The podcast will be recorded and edited remotely, as Brynn is currently based in St. Paul, Mo., while Paige and Tyson are at home in Chicago, Ill. They plan on using the app Discord to communicate and record, as well as the audio-editing software Audacity to edit episodes.
The Keller siblings are actively working on premiering their new podcast, and will hopefully have the first episode up within the next few weeks. The Undisputed Truth will likely be streamable on platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and possibly on YouTube and Soundcloud. Until then, the Kellers are consuming more media than ever, preparing for the many passionate discussions about pop culture they’ll soon be broadcasting.