A narrative podcast series about the digital breadcrumbs people leave behind
“Best Podcasts of 2021” —Vulture
“Best New Podcasts of 2021” —Mashable
“Best Podcasts of 2021” —The Guardian
“Most Outstanding Podcasts of 2021” —Bello Collective
“Best LGBTQ+ Podcasts” —The Guardian
One December evening in 2019, Chris Stedman noticed a new message in his inbox from his friend Alex, sent at exactly 7 p.m. He and Alex hadn’t talked in a while—was Alex writing to tell him off for being a bad friend? But it wasn’t that. “listen,” the note read. “i am writing to let you know that when you receive this scheduled email, i will no longer be alive.” At the bottom of his message, Alex included a link to a private SoundCloud account. “here’s Alice recordings,” he wrote.
Alice. Alex had talked to Chris about her before. A Britney Spears superfan, Alex had befriended this anonymous figure in a Britney fan forum years earlier. Alice had become the stuff of legend in Britney fan circles, and for good reason—she happens to sound exactly like Britney herself. Why was Alex including these recordings in his goodbye email? Who was Alice, really, and what had she meant to Alex? More importantly, could she help Chris understand why his friend was gone? With help from Alex’s loved ones, Chris decides to track down the elusive Alice, in the hopes that she can answer some of the questions Alex couldn’t.
Listen to Unread in full on the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
Praise for Unread
“An unlikely story about friendship, depression, and Britney Jean Spears… Tragic on so many levels, heartbreakingly kind, and entirely unique.” —The Podsauce
“This podcast definitely took me by surprise . . . I laughed, I cried, and while I wish this series were longer I think the show wraps up quite nicely. You could tell that this production was a real labour of love for Chris, and I thought it was a beautiful tribute to Alex’s life.” —Kelsey Cueva, CBC, Best Podcasts of 2021
“An incredibly moving story about grief, mental health, friendship and finding community . . . It’ll be one of the best podcasts you listen to this year — and one that sticks with you for even longer.” —Áine Ryan, 9Honey Australia
“Death always has and always will be hard to understand, but perhaps it is even more so now in the digital age, where people leave traces of themselves electronically more than ever. The new podcast Unread is a beautiful real-life exploration of such an idea . . . A touching and sometimes devastating podcast about suicide – so it goes without saying that this comes with a major trigger warning. Listen with care, but if you’re up for it, I’m sure you’ll find it as moving and healing as I did.” —George Fenwick, Stuff New Zealand
Unread is one of those stories and listening experiences that is difficult to represent. It sounds flat when it is so full, so much like navel-gazing when it is deeply relevant. Unread is at the same time a narrow, personal story of the narrator Chris Stedman’s loss of a beloved friend, and a broad view of the phenomenons of suicide, loneliness, and internet culture . . . No spoilers, but a vehement recommendation. ☆☆☆☆☆” —Eva Eistrup, Politiken (Denmark)
“A lot of people from outside the podcast industry have asked me, how do you know when something is meant to be told as a podcast? Unread—one of my absolute favorite podcasts from last year—is a great example of a story that just works best as a podcast . . . A deeply moving audio essay.” —Adam Cecil, Night Water
“Unread is a deeply touching and personal skewering of the investigative podcast formula . . . [it] wrangles with the complex relationship between our IRL and URL lives, and the liberating nature of queer friendship.” —Alim Kheraj, The Guardian, Best LGBTQ+ Podcasts