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