116 episodes

Since 2014 this longstanding podcast favourite has been creating hard-hitting cinematic stories about love, bodies and all of the things between humans that we don’t know how to name. Creator Kaitlin Prest works with her friends, idols and all kinds of loved ones to bring you into an expansive sonic universe that is both tender and raw. From Mermaid Palace and Radiotopia.

The Heart Radiotopia

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 2.1K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Since 2014 this longstanding podcast favourite has been creating hard-hitting cinematic stories about love, bodies and all of the things between humans that we don’t know how to name. Creator Kaitlin Prest works with her friends, idols and all kinds of loved ones to bring you into an expansive sonic universe that is both tender and raw. From Mermaid Palace and Radiotopia.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Ode to Sound

    Ode to Sound

    KP says sweet nothings about the great love of her life: SOUND. A shared moment and meditation: recorded at 4AM in Athens Greece with the window open as the rain fell, gazing at the Athenian mountains aka: former home of the Gods. Use this episode like you would a meditation app: come back to it when you need a moment of peace. Take out the meditation pillow. Play it when you’re taking psychedelic drugs. Use it to relax during your break at work. Play it with a group of friends on a road trip. Play while you take a bath. Half ambient music, half guided meditation, half transcendental experience across the space-time continuum. Don't forget to DONATE to Mermaid Palace 3 We need your dollars to keep making feminist sound art!In this episode: Zeus [from KP: this was not staged. the moment I mentioned his name, he threw a thunderbolt and I happened to be recording. I share the moment AS IS.]The apartment of the badass artist and feminist Doreen Toutikian (check out her work! For pix of her gorgeous pad: follow KP on insta @kaitlinprest). An audience in LA singing with KP:  the premiere of this performance, originally commissioned by the On Air Festival 2019. (thanks Scott and Jemma!). An audience in Milan singing with KP:  the reason she was in Europe! (thank you to the friends who came all the way to Milan to see the piece: Juj, Ali, Rosa, Ariel and Doreen. Thank you Sarah, Martina and Andrea from Chora Media, and to the opera singers who practiced in the conservatory as KP walked in to do her sound check).Send us a recording of you singing along at hello@mermaidpalace.org!

    • 18 min


    The love story underneath the love story. We finally meet the real-life Charlie Park. Audio artist and friend Brendan Baker: the sound genius who inspired and supported KP to be the artist she is today. Real moments from the real relationship that started it all.

    If you are an artist or a writer interested in the complicated journey of translating real life into a fictional universe, this one is for you. If you are a regular human being interested in how love is born and grows and changes over the course of decades, this one is for you. We start with a full length audio doc about all of that.

    And then: the end of a romance. The anatomy of a breakup. The final chapter of “The Shadows”.

    This is the 6th episode of The Shadows, from CBC Podcasts. Made by Kaitlin Prest with production and co-writing from Phoebe Wang, editing by Sharon Mashihi, and associate production by Yasmine Mathurin. Cameos from Greg, Nancy, and Natalie Prest, Eliot Feenstra, Ian Field Stewart Raven Castle and the residency SMT.

    You hear Brendan Baker’s award-winning creations from the Love+Radio era. He is an audio fiction director, composer, and installation artist specializing in spatial audio and ambisonics currently scanning the horizon for his next big creative project.

    Leonard Cohen clip from “Leonard And Marianne” - Falling Tree Productions

    • 1 hr 11 min
    An Argument That Should Be Simple

    An Argument That Should Be Simple

    The original unpublished title was “Anatomy of a Resentment”. This episode chronicles the era of a relationship wherein every minor annoyance is a symbol of the very major sacrifices we make to accommodate the shortcomings of the person we love.

    The story underneath the story: Mitchell Akiyama and KP spending 80+ hours pretending to be in a relationship in the summer of 2018. Fortunately, the frustrations you hear in this episode are (mostly) fiction. Six years later, Mitch and KP are Toronto besties.

    This is episode 5 of The Shadows, from CBC Podcasts, written and directed by Kaitlin Prest with production and sound design help from senior producer Phoebe Wang. Story editing by Sharon Mashihi. Associate producer Yasmine Mathurin made this episode sparkle. Mitchell Akiyama as Charlie Park with cameos from Kaitlin’s friends as well as Greg, Nancy, and Natalie Prest. Assistant production on this episode of The Heart by Yasaman Mansoori.

    • 35 min


    What is love? What is it really? bell hooks writes that love is something that we do. Not something that we feel. Not a story. So what do we do when we’re inside of a love that feels like a great love of the ages? The kind of romance that has a life of its own? 

    The story underneath the story in this episode is meeting Johnny Spence. The performer and musician that breathed life into the character “Devon”. Former owner of sweater. 

    This is episode 4 of The Shadows, from CBC Podcasts,  made by Kaitlin Prest in collaboration with Phoebe Wang. Musician and artist Johnny Spence performs as Devon. Mitchell Akiyama as Charlie Park. Edited by Sharon Mashihi. Appearances by playwright and animator (former puppeteer) Bekky O’Neill and Max Kelly. Assistant production on this episode by Yasaman Mansoori.

    • 44 min


    There are certain kinds of things a sweater spends its life dreaming about. Primarily: achieving the coveted position of: favourite. 

    The story underneath the story of this episode is one that we will never tell. What we CAN tell: is that the sweater who speaks in this episode is real and it lives to this very day in KP’s trunk. It was given to her in the year 2014, 9 years ago this very week of November. She washed the sweater once and only once since then. The last time she wore it was last week. 

    This is episode 3 of The Shadows, made by Kaitlin Prest in collaboration with Phoebe Wang and CBC Podcasts. Musician and artist Johnny Spence performs as Devon. Radio goddess Veronica Simmonds performs as Jean Simmonds. The series was edited by Sharon Mashihi, who also appears in this episode as the other sweaters abandoned in the sweater graveyard.

    “Palestine is a feminist issue”, Yazan Zahzah. Keep showing up.

    Donate to Ashtar Theater’s initiative for psycho-social relief interventions for affected youth in Ramallah.

    If you like this show and the other incredible shows on Radiotopia like Weight For It, Hang Up, Normal Gossip, Articles of Interest, The Stoop and more, participate in our fundraiser!

    • 41 min


    A window into the set-up from which an audio heartthrob emerged: Charlie Park. A neurotic and immensely talented puppeteer conceived of by artist Phoebe Wang and performed by sound artist Mitchell Akiyama. 

    This is episode 2 of The Shadows from CBC Podcasts: an auto-fictional series in which KP explores the life she would have had if she’d become a puppeteer instead of a radio producer. There IS a Terry Gross cameo in this episode. Listen closely. You also hear the real life puppetry aficionados: Jessie Orr, Max Kelly and Bekky O’Neil.

    It’s fundraiser time! Donate to Radiotopia to support new Heart content and all of the other incredible shows on the network. We need your help to make more beautiful and heartfelt audio!

    AND: Don’t forget to call your representatives and support a ceasefire in Palestine.

    In the U.S.

    In Canada.

    In the U.K.

    Jewish Voice for Peace

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
2.1K Ratings

2.1K Ratings

Geumpyhistory ,


Audio storytelling in a way that hits random topics, tells longer tales, or something else, but is always immersive and engaging. Delightful.

Arleducci ,

An extreme political podcast that pretends to show humanity

A podcast that claims to show humanity through intimate private stories. Now dabbling in politics and not even mentioning the humanity on the other side. Completely complicit in war crimes, hate, antisemitism and violation of women!

Where is your humanity for the Israeli babies, women and children who were beheaded? How can this be called Genocide? Over 20% of voting Israelis are Arab Palestinians. Where did you get the idea of white supremacy? Over 50% of Israelis are Arab and Ethiopian! Where was the mercy of the Hamas terrorists when they beheaded and burned babies and families together. Forced husbands and children to watch their wives and daughters being raped in front of them before they murdered all of them? Do you think there are LGBT people in Gaza? They are stoned to death there. Why don’t I have the right to live in peace and security in my home? There is a difference between targeting and massacring innocent citizens and casualties of war. I am fighting a war for my existence here. Please do your homework before you spread lies of a terrorist organization… I invite you to come to Israel and experience the creativity, resilience, peace loving and liberal people we are. The fact that you don’t say a word about the Hamas crimes against humanity makes you complicit in their crimes and is simply anti-Semitic. Wish you would share your humanity with both sides. We are also human and suffering…

Savitrii ,


I listened all the way through SISTERS out of curiosity, thinking maybe it would change my already unfavorable opinion of KP. Instead, it made me unsubscribe from The Heart. I hated this series. KP is so intensely unlikeable and myopic here, and the smug, oh-so-edgy fetishization of her own mental illness is not only unoriginal, it’s cringe. Her sister comes off as unidimensional and desperate, a sap pining for KP’s love, something I’m sure KP intended. It felt like being stuck on a bad first date who won’t stop talking about how interesting they are. She’s not like other girls, you guys, she’s flawed and broken and that’s beautiful (eye roll).

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