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New Mix: Some Of The Best Songs We Missed This Year

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New Mix: Some Of The Best Songs We Missed This Year

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(Clockwise from upper left) Africaine 808, D.D Dumbo, The Frightnrs, Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band, Anthony Joseph. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

Bob Boilen and I, along with the rest of the NPR Music team, have been prepping for our year-end coverage by listening to hundreds of songs and albums in one big shared playlist. Along the way, we've all discovered stuff we hadn't heard before — and even fallen in love with some of it.

On this week's show, Bob and I share some of the artists and albums we missed before now, from Caribbean roots music by Anthony Joseph to the Boston-based funk group Lettuce and the idiosyncratic pop of D.D Dumbo.

NPR Music's Tom Huizenga stops by to talk about his favorite discovery from our year-end playlist: The Frightnrs, a band that lovingly recreates the retro sounds of reggae.—Robin Hilton

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for Caribbean Roots

01Slinger

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    Song
    Slinger
    Album
    Caribbean Roots
    Artist
    Anthony Joseph
    Label
    Heavenly Sweetness / Strut
    Released
    2016

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Anthony Joseph

  • Song: Slinger
  • from Caribbean Roots

Anthony Joseph makes Caribbean-based music and "Slinger" is a song that honors the classic calypso singer The Mighty Sparrow. The song comes from Anthony Joseph's latest album, Caribbean Roots.

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Song
Caribbean Roots
Album
Caribbean Roots
Artist
Anthony Joseph
Label
Heavenly Sweetness / Strut
Released
2016

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Cover for Nothing More To Say

02Nothing More To Say

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    Song
    Nothing More To Say
    Album
    Nothing More To Say
    Artist
    The Frightnrs
    Label
    Daptone
    Released
    2016

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The Frightnrs

  • Song: Nothing More To Say
  • from Nothing More To Say

This pick comes from guest DJ and Deceptive Cadence host Tom Huizenga. Though he's a classical expert, Tom has some of the biggest ears on the staff, and will listen to and appreciate a wide swath of music. Tom heard The Frightnrs and enjoyed their music as comfort food and a safe haven from a stressful year. This Queens, N.Y. band lovingly recreates a retro rocksteady sound, down to the lo-fi quality, loving harmonies and delicate instrumentation.

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Song
Nothing More To Say
Album
Nothing More To Say
Artist
The Frightnrs
Label
Daptone
Released
2016

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Cover for Utopia Defeated

01Walrus

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    Song
    Walrus
    Album
    Utopia Defeated
    Artist
    D.D Dumbo
    Label
    4AD
    Released
    2016

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D.D Dumbo

  • Song: Walrus
  • from Utopia Defeated

Australian artist D.D Dumbo is influenced by pop and West African music, creating an interesting blend of two worlds. "Walrus" comes from his debut album, Utopia Defeated. The song is a commentary on the horrors of making foie gras; the entirety of Utopia Defeated is about animal rights and the importance of treating the planet right.

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Song
Utopia Defeated
Album
Utopia Defeated
Artist
D.D Dumbo
Label
4AD
Released
2016

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Cover for The Rarity Of Experience

01Anthem I

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    Song
    Anthem I
    Album
    The Rarity Of Experience
    Artist
    Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
    Label
    No Quarter
    Released
    2016

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Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band

  • Song: Anthem I
  • from The Rarity Of Experience

You might recognize Chris Forsyth from the Tiny Desk Concert he and The Solar Motel Band had back in July. "Anthem I" is from Forsyth's double record, The Rarity of Experience. His anthemic music is informed by '70s guitar rock, with a portion of the tracks on the album being purely instrumental.

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Song
The Rarity Of Experience
Album
The Rarity Of Experience
Artist
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
Label
No Quarter
Released
2016

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Cover for Basar

02Ngoni

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    Song
    Ngoni
    Album
    Basar
    Artist
    Africane 808
    Label
    Golf Channel
    Released
    2016

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Africaine 808

  • Song: Ngoni
  • from Basar

Don't let their name deceive you — Africaine 808 is a duo from Germany fusing global music with danceable beats. Their name is derived from the familiar Roland 808 drum machine they use. "Ngoni" is from Basar, Africaine 808's debut album. We featured them in our First Listen series in February.

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Song
Basar
Album
Basar
Artist
Africane 808
Label
Golf Channel
Released
2016

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Cover for Mt. Crushmore

01The Love You Left Behind (feat. Alecia Chakour)

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    Song
    The Love You Left Behind (feat. Alecia Chakour)
    Album
    Mt. Crushmore
    Artist
    Lettuce
    Label
    Lettuce Records
    Released
    2016

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Lettuce

  • Song: The Love You Left Behind (feat. Alecia Chakour)
  • from Mt. Crushmore

A funk band from Boston, Lettuce has been making music for 25 years. They formed in 1992 after meeting at the Berklee College of Music and released their first album a decade later. "The Love You Left Behind" comes from their most recent release, Mt. Crushmore.

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Song
Mt. Crushmore
Album
Mt. Crushmore
Artist
Lettuce
Label
Lettuce Records
Released
2016

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