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Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing
Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing
With his catchy songwriting and rock-star stage presence, BØRNS grabbed WNKU's attention. i

With his catchy songwriting and rock-star stage presence, BØRNS grabbed WNKU's attention. Nick Walker/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Nick Walker/Courtesy of the artist
With his catchy songwriting and rock-star stage presence, BØRNS grabbed WNKU's attention.

With his catchy songwriting and rock-star stage presence, BØRNS grabbed WNKU's attention.

Nick Walker/Courtesy of the artist

It's officially summer, and our panel of public-radio hosts clearly had the warmer months in mind when we asked them to select their favorite songs of the moment. Their mix includes an impossibly catchy jam from BØRNS that could have been crafted especially for summer nights, a road-trip-worthy surf-rock anthem from Django Django, and a dream-pop creation from Portland duo Wishyunu. Hear all the songs below.

Hear The Songs

BØRNS.

BØRNS. Nick Walker/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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BØRNS, 'Electric Love'

  • from Candy

"Electric Love" is catchy and clever, but not too clever. The genius behind BØRNS is Garrett Borns, who's poised to become a major rock star. He's got it all: solid songwriting, a stage presence well beyond his years, an intriguingly androgynous look and sound. Borns was an award-winning visual-arts prodigy as a kid in Grand Haven, Mich., and that art, like his music, is incredible. Lucky for us, he ran off to L.A. to join the circus.

John Patrick McGue, WNKU

YouTube

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Song
Candy
Album
Candy
Artist
BØRNS
Label
Interscope
Released
2014

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Django Django.

Django Django. Fiona Garden & Antonio Zarli/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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02Shake And Tremble
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    Song
    Shake And Tremble
    Album
    Born Under Saturn
    Artist
    Django Django
    Label
    Ribbon Music
    Released
    2015

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Django Django, 'Shake And Tremble'

  • from Born Under Saturn

Django Django's "Shake And Tremble" opens with a riff reminiscent of the fuzzy bassline driving Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn theme. From there, it grazes across surf rock and then, with Beach Boys-style harmonies, it becomes the most accessible pop anthem of the summer. I can't help but get sucked into the synths, harmonies and nods to the band's favorite pop and psych-rock sounds. "Shake And Tremble" is my lead-off road-trip track, a true summer mixtape essential.

Anne Litt, KCRW

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Song
Born Under Saturn
Album
Born Under Saturn
Artist
Django Django
Label
Ribbon Music
Released
2015

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Eilen Jewell.

Eilen Jewell. Otto Kitsinger/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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02Hallelujah Band
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    Song
    Hallelujah Band
    Album
    Sundown Over Ghost Town
    Artist
    Eilen Jewell
    Label
    Signature Sounds Recordings
    Released
    2015

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Eilen Jewell, 'Hallelujah Band'

  • from Sundown Over Ghost Town

After years away, Eilen Jewell recently returned home to Idaho, and what she found there was both heartening and heartbreaking. On one hand, the town of her childhood was born anew — pulsing with fresh life and activity. On the other, the endless miles of undeveloped and undisturbed plains were shrinking. Jewell's new album, Sundown Over Ghost Town, takes a look at her contradictory feelings and images surrounding the place she calls home. "Hallelujah Band," for example, looks at that feeling when you discover something you're certain no one has ever encountered before. It's a beautiful ode to feeling open and ready and willing to accept whatever the universe might want to show you.

Elena See, Folk Alley

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Song
Sundown Over Ghost Town
Album
Sundown Over Ghost Town
Artist
Eilen Jewell
Label
Signature Sounds Recordings
Released
2015

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Wishyunu.

Wishyunu. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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02Summer Suit
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Wishyunu, 'Summer Suit'

  • from Photoplay

The drums-and-synth duo Wishyunu has been writing and recording shoegaze-y dream-pop in Portland basements since 2008. But after self-releasing a debut album that same year, drummer Tony Bertaccini and vocalist Bei Yan have kept a low profile, releasing only small bundles of promising tracks in fits and starts. That's set to change this year. In the spring, the band announced that a full-length LP called Ghost Ambition was in the works; then, the group released a 7" single for the song "Photoplay." This track, "Summer Suit," is the lush B-side to that recording, driven by Bertaccini's tasteful drumming, Yan's atmospheric guitar work and propulsive synth lines. Above it all, Yan's smoky voice floats like fog burning off the beach on a sleepy summer morning.

Jerad Walker, opbmusic

Low Cut Connie.

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02Shake It Little Tina
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    Song
    Shake It Little Tina
    Album
    Hi Honey
    Artist
    Low Cut Connie
    Label
    Ardent Music
    Released
    2015

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Low Cut Connie, 'Shake It Little Tina'

  • from Hi Honey

Philadelphia's Low Cut Connie does rock 'n' raunch right on its third album, Hi Honey. There, the vibe is always like your favorite dive bar at last call, and Jerry Lee Lewis and Ike and Tina Turner rub shoulders with the best bands from the classic garage-rock comp Nuggets and The Replacements at their best. (That is to say, in the early days, when Bob Stinson took the stage in a diaper or wrapped head-to-foot in aluminum foil.) Fleet-fingered keyboardist Adam Weiner and Low Cut Connie's co-founder, drummer/guitarist Dan Finnemore, roam this familiar turf with such unbridled enthusiasm and deliciously sordid sarcasm that they make you believe they're the only real rock 'n' roll band in a world of fakes and poseurs. Listen to "Shake It Little Tina" and you'll see what I mean.

Jim DeRogatis, Sound Opinions

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Song
Hi Honey
Album
Hi Honey
Artist
Low Cut Connie
Label
Ardent Music
Released
2015

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Dope Body.

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01Old Grey
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    Song
    Old Grey
    Album
    Kunk
    Artist
    Dope Body
    Label
    Drag City
    Released
    2015

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Dope Body, 'Old Grey'

  • from Kunk

Critics applied the word "grunge" to Lifer, Dope Body's 2014 album, and they'll do the same for Kunk, out in August. "Old Grey," Kunk's first single, would have sounded dandy on a 1990 compilation from landmark noise-rock label Amphetamine Reptile. But am I crazy, or do I detect some groove in "Old Grey"? A smear of New York post-punk, perhaps? Those who don't have the Soul Jazz collection New York Noise baked into their minds might not hear it, but it's one of the first things I thought of when this single first punched its way through my headphones. "Old Grey" sputters and shrieks like a battered freight train, but one day, that mechanical chug could take Dope Body all the way to Funky Town.

Ally Schweitzer, WAMU 88.5's Bandwidth.fm

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Song
Kunk
Album
Kunk
Artist
Dope Body
Label
Drag City
Released
2015

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Orange O'Clock.

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01Belly Button
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    Song
    Belly Button
    Album
    Crazy Carnival
    Artist
    Orange O'Clock
    Released
    2014

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Orange O'Clock, 'Belly Button'

  • from Crazy Carnival

Orange O'Clock, a young band from Sherbrooke, Quebec, just won the CBC's 2015 Searchlight contest for Canada's Best New Artist. Listeners and judges helped determine the winner from among more than 3,300 entrants this year. When I say this rock 'n' roll trio is young, I'm not kidding: The drummer is only 16, while the other two members top out at 20. Orange O'Clock's sound is a terrific mix of then and now, conjuring images of organ-fueled '60s garage rock, turn-of-the-millennium dance-punk and modern-day indie rock.

Grant Lawrence, CBC Music

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Song
Crazy Carnival
Album
Crazy Carnival
Artist
Orange O'Clock
Released
2014

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Robyn Sherwell.

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01Islander
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    Song
    Islander
    Album
    Islander
    Artist
    Robyn Sherwell
    Label
    Birdland Records
    Released
    2015

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Robyn Sherwell, 'Islander'

  • from Islander

Spread across the U.K., the BBC Introducing network gathers local artists' songs and shares them with national stations and shows. That's how we found this month's star, Robyn Sherwell. She was discovered by BBC Introducing in Guernsey, one of the islands surrounding mainland Britain, and we think she has a wonderful voice.

Huw Stephens, BBC Music

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Song
Islander
Album
Islander
Artist
Robyn Sherwell
Label
Birdland Records
Released
2015

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Mylko.

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01Animal
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    Song
    Animal
    Album
    Animal
    Artist
    Mylko
    Label
    Reverbatim Records
    Released
    2015

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Mylko, 'Animal'

  • from Animal

The electronic duo Mylko got its name from a dumb joke: A friend of the band's said, "I can fake Spanish. It's easy: Just add an 'o' to a word —'milk' becomes 'milk-o.'" You can see what happened. Mylko's members are multi-instrumentalists from Mexico City, still in their mid-20s, who cite James Blake, Flying Lotus and FKA Twigs as influences. "Animal" is built around a relatively simple melody that becomes complicated as the percussive electronics build. Soon, contrasting instrumental lines are breaking down and building again into a fantastic rhythmic frenzy. Mylko's debut album is scheduled for this fall.

David Dye, World Café

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Song
Animal
Album
Animal
Artist
Mylko
Label
Reverbatim Records
Released
2015

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Somi.

Somi. Glynis Carpenter/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Somi, 'Ginger Me Slowly'

  • from The Lagos Music Salon

Jazz singer Somi is a study in cosmopolitanism. She was born in Illinois to Rwandan and Ugandan parents, then spent a few years in New York before moving to Nigeria to record The Lagos Music Salon. The standout single from that album, "Ginger Me Slowly," gained traction after it was featured on the BET network melodrama Being Mary Jane. The song beautifully fuses organic soul with jazz undertones; its title is an East African expression that means, "to spice someone up and make them feel good." "Ginger Me Slowly" accomplishes that objective and more, as it wraps a sublimely structured melody around Somi's beautiful, elegant voice — a reaffirmation of music's power to uplift, captivate and inspire.

Chris Campbell, WDET's The Progressive Underground

YouTube

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Song
Lagos Music Salon
Album
Lagos Music Salon
Artist
Somi
Label
OKeh Records
Released
2014

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Heavy Rotation is a monthly sampler of public-radio hosts' favorite songs. Stream Heavy Rotation picks from the first half of 2015 via our Spotify playlist.

Purchase Featured Music

Born Under Saturn

Purchase Music

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Album
Born Under Saturn
Artist
Django Django
Label
Ribbon Music
Released
2015

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