You Should Be Listening To is a series where I talk up one of my favorite podcasts and explain why you should be listening, too. Each post gives an explanation of the show using the same five questions, including how best to listen and comparisons to other pieces of media. You can find all of my You Should Be Listening To articles here.
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All About Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services
What is Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services?
Kalila Stormfire is a (mostly) single-narrator magical realism audio fiction. Each episode is ranges from about 15-30 mintues long, with several smaller bonus episodes. It follows Kalila Stormfire, a witch-for-hire with a mysterious background who takes commissions for spells for clients. Each episode is a case file for one of her clients, going into how she diagnosed what the client needed and how she went about resolving the concern. The show’s first season ended on August 15th, 2018, and a second season has been confirmed.
Okay, but what is it really?
Kalila Stormfire is about identity–mostly, the parts of ourselves we aggressively choose to ignore because the truths of who we are are often too hard to face. Kalila evaluates this in her clients, but slowly, it becomes clear she struggles with this as well. Each client faces some facet of identity that is difficult for them, and the story works both as a character study and something deeper, more philosophical, more psychological. Each episode contains a single story about a client, leaving you with one full narrative arc while also weaving together the plot of the first season in full.
What makes it different from other podcasts?
First, the premise of Kalila Stomfire feels so welcome right now. Media is slowly starting to return to narratives about witches, and Kalila Stormfire creator Lisette Alvarez comes from a place of expertise. Alvarez’s writing is also deeply poetic, and each episode takes a patient, careful pace that feels accurate to Kalila as well as giving the listener something to really steep in. Each episode provides a gorgeous rumination on human nature without being dull or didactic; it’s so easy to get close to each patient, even though they only show up for one episode. As the overarching plot emerges, though, everything becomes even more intriguing and intense, culminating in a first season finale that left listeners stunned.
When does it start to “get good?”
Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Services was always good, but its third episode, “Case Three: Music” is one of the highest points of the first season. New listeners should listen to these three episodes at least before making an assessment on the podcast’s quality.
Why should I be listening?
Kalila Stormfire is a gorgeous, engaging podcast that takes the single-narrator format in such an interesting direction. It’s contemplative and introspective, but it always stays interesting and deeply effective. Alvarez’s writing and acting are subtle and nuanced in ways many other audio dramas haven’t quite attained yet.
Listen Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services if you like:
- Witchy (but not dark) narratives like Practical Magic or Chocolate
- Paranormal YA series like The Raven Cycle or The Magicians
- Emotional, pensive classic literature like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights
- The interesting, dark fairytales of Neil Gaiman like Stardust, Sandman, and Neverwhere
- Mysterious thrillers like Black Swan or The Prestige