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AUDIE CORNISH, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

At the end of the year, NPR Music producers get together to choose their 50 favorite albums of the year, and those are posted online.

But there are also interns at NPR Music, and before they go, we want to let them champion music they admire. So we've asked Andre Barnes and Erik Myers and Sarah Ventre to lobby for music that didn't get on the list at those sessions.

SARAH VENTRE: We got to sit in on those meetings. So we definitely got to give our opinion. But it was not always one that everyone else agreed with.

CORNISH: Okay, well, Sarah, give us your top pick.

(Soundbite of song, "In the Waiting Room")

VENTRE: This is a band that flew past everyone's radar. They're a little bit of Girth. The band is called Terry Malts, and song is called "In the Waiting Room."

(Soundbite of song, "In the Waiting Room")

TERRY MALTS (Music Group): (Singing) (unintelligible).

VENTRE: I love this band for a lot reasons. One of the things I noticed since I've been here is that I'm from the West, I'm from Arizona, and I think that my sense of aesthetic is really different than a lot of people on the East Coast.

And I feel like Terry Malts kind of marries the confident, edgy big talk of the East Coast and then this sort of reverb-laden, sun-drenched sound of the West.

CORNISH: I feel, is this some of this lo-fi that I've been hearing about?

VENTRE: Yeah, absolutely.

CORNISH: I feel like I've heard this with Best Coast and a couple other bands that have that sort of - the vocals are buried somewhere in sand and beach sounds.

VENTRE: Exactly. You hit it right on the head. It's lo-fi and gritty, but it's still kind of light and catchy.

CORNISH: Another choice. I want to hear from Andre.

ANDRE BARNES: Yeah, so I chose a song called "Black Coffee" by a duo, actually a hip-hop duo, called Panacea.

(Soundbite of song, "Black Coffee")

PANACEA (Music Duo): (Rapping) (Unintelligible).

BARNES: They're really this kind of obscure hip-hop duo. Not a lot of people know about them, but they've been around for a long time, so...

CORNISH: And where are they from?

BARNES: They're from D.C. They're a DJ and emcee duo, and, you know, that's kind of an old tradition in hip-hop, but they sort of take it to another level. Raw Poetic, that's the emcee in the duo, he's a very smart and conscious emcee, and K-Murdock, his production is very futuristic, space-age.

(Soundbite of song, "Black Coffee")

PANACEA: (Rapping) (Unintelligible).

CORNISH: So I see what you mean. It's a very kind of traditional hip-hop rapping style over some kind of good electronic influence.

BARNES: Right, right, definitely. So.

CORNISH: All right. Thanks, Andre. Now we have one more, and Erik.

ERIK MYERS: Yes.

CORNISH: You've brought us a band called...

MYERS: Gauntlet Hair.

(Soundbite of song, "I Was Thinking")

MYERS: I really like these guys because - this song, by the way, is called "I Was Thinking." I really like these guys, I'll admit, because they come from my home state of Colorado. They're really good at reverb, you know.

A lot of bands are doing that these days, and, you know, I'm not always that impressed with the results. But these guys, I don't know. They make it sound, you know, really wide, really big, you know.

(Soundbite of song, "I Was Thinking")

GAUNTLET HAIR (Music Group): (Singing) (Unintelligible).

MYERS: Every time I heard it, I kind of picture them jamming away on Pike's Peak.

CORNISH: And when do you listen to this music because I actually picture it, I picture listening to this on the subway for some reason.

MYERS: Really?

CORNISH: It makes me think of being underground and being at war with other commuters. I mean, that's just me, but that's what I would do with this music.

MYERS: I mean, yeah, I'm sure it brings different things to different people. I mean, personally, just because - and maybe that's just because they are from Colorado. It sounds to me like, you know, they're playing on a mountain, in some kind of valley or something. It's just got those big, you know, echoes.

(Soundbite of music)

CORNISH: That's Erik Myers, Andre Barnes and Sarah Ventre, campaigning for some of the artists they discovered in their four months at NPR Music. Their playlist at npr.org is called "Songs Our Bosses Missed."

(Soundbite of music)

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