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

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

Heavy Rotation

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

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  • Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST A CLOUD")

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A little music break, now. We check in with a few public radio DJs to hear what they have in heavy rotation.

JESSI WHITTEN, BYLINE: I'm Jessi Whitten from Colorado Public Radio's "OpenAir." And the song I chose is from Lusine, the track "Just A Cloud."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST A CLOUD")

VILJA LARJOSTO: (Singing) I wish that I was just a cloud.

WHITTEN: So Lusine is Jeff McIlwain. He's an electronic Seattle-based producer who's been making music since the late '90s.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST A CLOUD")

LARJOSTO: (Singing) Take a stream and disappear.

WHITTEN: When you have layers like this and kind of glitched-out sounds and skipping beats, it can kind of feel like you're getting lost in the song. But this particular track has this beautiful warm hum and persistent beat.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST A CLOUD")

LARJOSTO: (Singing) Just a cloud.

WHITTEN: It is such a perfect open window to spring. It's warm, and it's about movement. There is this kind of propelling beat to it that makes us want to walk outside and enjoy the beautiful air here in Colorado.

(SOUNDBITE OF LUSINE SONG, "JUST A CLOUD")

JONI DEUTSCH, BYLINE: My name is Joni Deutsch, and I'm assistant producer for NPR's MOUNTAIN STAGE.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIVING HALF TO DEATH ")

DEUTSCH: My pick for Heavy Rotation is "Living Half To Death" by William Matheny.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIVING HALF TO DEATH")

DEUTSCH: He's from Morgantown, W. Va. And he's a young, wry, rock 'n' roller. And when I say rock 'n' roller, I mean rock apostrophe n apostrophe roller.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIVING HALF TO DEATH")

WILLIAM MATHENY: (Singing) I used to live in an apartment. It was just me and the bugs.

DEUTSCH: Those first few lines in the "Living Half To Death" about sitting in a roach-infested apartment, it's so realistic. We've been in that situation in some capacity.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIVING HALF TO DEATH")

MATHENY: (Singing) I was abusing all my friendships. And I was drinking all their beer.

DEUTSCH: I love, also, how the song takes on almost a demeanor of, like, a Louis C.K. joke, right? I mean, it's self-destructive. It has this lovable cynic. And you love him, but you also kind of hate him.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIVING HALF TO DEATH")

MATHENY: (Singing) 'Cause I was sorry for nothing.

DEUTSCH: I also love the instrumentation around it - that drumming, the guitar work - probably the best band line-up in West Virginia currently.

(SOUNDBITE OF WILLIAM MATHENY SONG, "LIVING HALF TO DEATH")

JESSE MENENDEZ, BYLINE: My name is Jesse Menendez. And I'm a host and producer at Vocalo 91.1 FM in Chicago.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK NIGHTS")

TAYLOR BENNETT AND STRO THE MC AND JORDAN BRATTON: (Singing) There's no night like this night. There's no night like this night. There's no night like this night.

MENENDEZ: The song that we're really digging right now is "New York Nights" from Chicago-based hip-hop artist Taylor Bennett.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK NIGHTS")

BENNETT AND STRO AND BRATTON: (Singing) There's no night like this night. There's no night like this night.

MENENDEZ: Taylor Bennett is Chance The Rapper's equally talented younger brother. He's from the city of Chicago. He comes from Chicago's South Side, the Chatham neighborhood. The story behind this song surrounds Taylor Bennett's second visit to New York City.

As Taylor tells it, he had some big interviews and a headlining performance lined up. But he wasn't feeling so well. He was finding it hard to sleep, hard to breathe. So he decided to go to the hospital, and it turns out he had a blood clot.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK NIGHTS")

TAYLOR BENNETT: (Rapping) What's the worst news you could hear from the hospital? I'm too young for blood clots, too young mug shots, too old for break downs. I need that lake house view like a stakeout.

MENENDEZ: And so he lays down this track, "New York Nights," which as he says, is all about never giving up and really just capturing the moment and not letting obstacles stand in your way, not getting sidetracked by whatever life may throw at you. It's all about going for it, never giving up.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK NIGHTS")

BENNETT AND STRO AND BRATTON: (Singing) Answer this when I hold my high. Reach for stars, but I just can't fly. Hold me down, but can't burn my side. Bring me down till I break the sky.

KELLY: You can hear more music in heavy rotation on our website, nprmusic.org.

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