Casually listening to true crime podcasts, watching a true crime documentary on a Friday night or occasionally indulging in a true crime novel are best practices for this genre. A lot of the material is emotionally heavy and at times visually jarring.
But what happens when true crime is your job? Your life? Your livelihood? What happens when it’s no longer an escape but becomes the thing you sometimes have to escape from. Paul Holes and Billy Jensen are hosts of the Murder Squad podcast. Paul is a retired cold case investigator. Billy is a true crime journalist. It’s safe to say they’ve seen some shit.
What I’m interested in is what they do to unsee said shit. Specifically I was curious about music, so I asked them both to curate a Palate Cleanser Playlist, something they use to exorcise the true crime demons. I also asked them to explain why they chose one song from the list.
Paul Holes on why he chose Bury Me With My Guns: It’s about my failures to find the guy in other cases. I’ll catch up to him (them) eventually
Billy Jensen on why he chose Vapour Trail: I bought this album because I liked the cover. But two decades later it still plays in heavy rotation. After touring through the heavy emotions in the first half of the record, Vapour Trail comes on and wipes them all away, leaving you will a fantastic stride-into-the-sunset feeling. That feeling has transferred over to my real life when I need to shake off the crime for a moment.