Heavy Rotation: The Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing : World Cafe This month's mix includes new music from This Is The Kit, Deb Talan, Otis Taylor, Grizzly Bear and more.
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Heavy Rotation: The Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

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

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

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  • Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Ready for some new music? Well, it's time to check in with a few public radio DJs to hear what they have in Heavy Rotation.

(SOUNDBITE OF DEB TALAN SONG, "BRING WATER")

CINDY HOWES, BYLINE: Hi. This is Cindy Howes. I am a host at Folk Alley and also the Morning Mix host of WYEP in Pittsburgh.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRING WATER")

DEB TALAN: (Singing) Sometimes when the well is empty, I go riding back on all the old roads.

HOWES: Something that we're really into now is Deb Talon's new song "Bring Water." Deb Talon is one half of The Weepies. And this is her first solo album in 13 years. It's been since 2004.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRING WATER")

TALAN: (Singing) Oh, lift me up. Can't take much more. Carry me past any open door.

HOWES: She had three kids with her husband and musical partner, Steve Tannen. She also survived some pretty serious breast cancer. She had stage three breast cancer, and it caused her to sort of lose pieces of her identity. And in order to gain it all back, she began working on this album "Lucky Girl."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRING WATER")

TALAN: (Singing) Something's on fire. Bring water. Bring water.

HOWES: The line, bring water, something's on fire, bring water, that must be my heart - just pure poetry from Deb Talan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRING WATER")

TALAN: (Singing) Bring water. Bring water. Something's on fire. Bring water.

MICAH SCHWEIZER, BYLINE: I'm Micah Schweizer. I'm one of the hosts for Wyoming Sounds located in Laramie, Wyo.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TWELVE STRING MILE")

OTIS TAYLOR: (Singing) I'm a big black man.

SCHWEIZER: I've been seized by Otis Taylor's new release.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TWELVE STRING MILE")

TAYLOR: (Singing) Got dog, dog eyes.

SCHWEIZER: And the song that I'm highlighting is called "Twelve String Mile."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TWELVE STRING MILE")

TAYLOR: (Singing) Big, big man. I got dark, dark skin. Nobody sees me.

SCHWEIZER: What I love about Otis Taylor is that he does what he calls trance blues, which means that oftentimes he's hanging out for a whole song with like one or two chords, creating these moody repetitive grooves. On top of that or within that, he's able to create space for these really evocative lyrics. And he's able to talk about, oftentimes, really difficult subjects.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TWELVE STRING MILE")

TAYLOR: (Singing) One more mile we go. Nobody sees me.

SCHWEIZER: Four years ago, in 2013, he came out with another great album called "My World Is Gone." That one tackled the treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. And I think, well, who wants to listen to such difficult songs, especially, like, as your summertime jam? But it holds you in physically.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TWELVE STRING MILE")

TAYLOR: (Singing) Nobody sees me. Nobody sees me.

TALIA SCHLANGER, BYLINE: Hey. I'm Talia Schlanger. I host the World Cafe. And my Heavy Rotation pick is a song called "Moonshine Freeze" by This Is The Kit.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOONSHINE FREEZE")

THIS IS THE KIT: (Singing) As the change sets in, we are separate. As the game begins, we are separate.

SCHLANGER: OK, isn't that right off the bat the kind of sound that you want to take a bath in? Like, you just want to let it wash over you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOONSHINE FREEZE")

THIS IS THE KIT: (Singing) Cycles of three triangles are tricky. Cycles of three triangles...

SCHLANGER: And moonshine freeze is apparently based on a clapping game for kids, where you say the word moonshine three times and then you freeze.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOONSHINE FREEZE")

THIS IS THE KIT: (Singing) Moonshine, moonshine, moonshine, freeze, moonshine, moonshine, moonshine, freeze, moonshine, moonshine, moonshine, freeze.

SCHLANGER: So you hear her using the game there to repeat moonshine three times. And earlier, she refers to triangles. And I don't know. I've never thought about it this way before until I heard this song. But triangles may be the unsung heroes of shapes. Triangle is the delta symbol in math or science. It represents change. And Kate uses it here in this really interesting way in a song that is about change and about threes - triangles.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOONSHINE FREEZE")

THIS IS THE KIT: (Singing) We are found again. As the change sets in, cycles of three. Moonshine, moonshine, moonshine, freeze. Cycles of three, moonshine, moonshine, moonshine.

SIMON: You can hear more music - and we hope you will - in Heavy Rotation on our website nprmusic.org This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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