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World Cafe's Top 10 Songs Of 2016 (So Far)

From Lake Street Dive to The Lumineers, these are some of public radio's favorites from 2016. Courtesy of the artists. hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists.

From Lake Street Dive to The Lumineers, these are some of public radio's favorites from 2016.

Courtesy of the artists.

We're halfway through 2016, which means it's time to look back at the music that's stood out so far this year. NPR Music has weighed in on the year's best albums and songs; now, we're assessing what's actually been embraced by public radio stations across the country. In World Cafe's first-ever "Public Radio Top 10" countdown, hear the songs that have been played the most by noncommercial rock stations and hosts.

The music world is so broad and so diverse — even splintered — that a list like this can only sample a small section of the great music that's been released so far this year. With that in mind, enjoy the 10 most-played songs in 2016 so far, as reported by the Friday Morning Quarterback Triple-A radio chart — then go tune in to your local station and hear even more.

Public Radio's Top 10 Songs Of 2016 (So Far)

Painting Of A Panic Attack. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

10. Frightened Rabbit, 'Get Out'

  • from Painting Of A Panic Attack

"Get Out," the No. 10 song in our countdown, from the album Painting Of A Panic Attack, is a real breakthrough for the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. Ten years after forming in Glasgow, Scott Hutchison and his bandmates have released a song that clearly resonates with U.S. listeners.

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Song
Painting Of A Panic Attack
Album
Painting Of A Panic Attack
Artist
Frightened Rabbit
Label
Atlantic
Released
2016

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9. Lake Street Dive, 'Call Off Your Dogs'

  • from Side Pony

What a phenomenon Lake Street Dive is. The band sounds like little else in 2016, with bits of jazz and Motown mixed into its yet up-to-date sound. As great a powerhouse lead singer as Rachael Price is, it's the cohesion of all four band members that makes Lake Street Dive's newest album, Side Pony, unique. There's even a disco vibe in our No. 9 song, "Call Off Your Dogs."

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Song
Side Pony
Album
Side Pony
Artist
Lake Street Dive
Label
Nonesuch
Released
2016

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8. Tedeschi Trucks Band, 'Anyhow'

  • from Let Me Get By

Singer Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks make great partners in life and in music. In 2016, they and the Tedeschi Trucks Band made the Trucks-produced album Let Me Get By. Tedeschi really nails our No. 8 song, "Anyhow," adding a little blues grit to the countdown.

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Song
Let Me Get By
Album
Let Me Get By
Artist
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Released
2016

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Cover for Paging Mr. Proust

7. The Jayhawks, 'Quiet Corners And Empty Spaces'

  • from Paging Mr. Proust

The Minneapolis band The Jayhawks has two distinct incarnations: one led by both Gary Louris and Mark Olson, and the other with Louris as sole frontman. The success of the band's latest album, Paging Mr. Proust, stands as a big vote for the latter version of The Jayhawks. "Quiet Corners And Empty Spaces" is the band's most successful song in years and makes the top 10 at No. 7.

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Song
Paging Mr. Proust
Album
Paging Mr. Proust
Artist
The Jayhawks
Label
Thirty Tigers
Released
2016

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6. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, 'No Love Like Yours'

  • from PersonA

Alex Ebert is the man behind the Edward Sharpe "persona" alluded to in the title of the band's newest album. In a forthcoming World Cafe interview, Ebert says he'd felt restrained by the ill-defined "Edward Sharpe" and wanted to walk away from it, which explains the crossed-out name on the album cover. By any name, the band's song "No Love Like Yours" captured hearts and ears and is No. 6 in our countdown.

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Song
PersonA
Album
PersonA
Artist
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Label
Community Music
Released
2016

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5. Bonnie Raitt, 'Gypsy In Me'

  • from Dig In Deep

Let's hear it for the old guard. Ten-time Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt, who's been making blues-based music since the 1970s, is still incredibly relevant in 2016. Her album Dig In Deep is filled with R&B-inflected singing and her slashing slide-guitar work. "Gypsy In Me" is the song that captured listeners, coming in at No. 5.

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Song
Dig In Deep
Album
Dig In Deep
Artist
Bonnie Raitt
Label
Redwing Records
Released
2016

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4. The Record Company, 'Off The Ground'

  • from Give It Back to You

The only brand-new band to debut in our top 10, The Record Company lands at No. 4. The Los Angeles band was inspired by the blues-and-boogie combination its members heard on a vinyl copy of Hooker 'N Heat, made in 1970 by the legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker and the band Canned Heat. The Record Company's rocked-up blues sound on the song "Off The Ground" captured public radio.

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Song
Give It Back to You
Album
Give It Back to You
Artist
The Record Company
Label
Concord
Released
2016

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3. The Lumineers, 'Ophelia'

  • from Cleopatra

The Denver trio The Lumineers took its time working on the follow-up to its multi-platinum debut, which had had an impact like few other folk-rock albums. The first song released from Cleopatra was "Ophelia," which comments on the band's meteoric rise. Just a few spins shy of the No. 2 spot in our countdown, it lands at No. 3.

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Song
Cleopatra
Album
Cleopatra
Artist
The Lumineers
Label
Dualtone Music
Released
2016

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Cover for Are You Serious

2. Andrew Bird, 'Capsized'

  • from Are You Serious

When he set out to make his new album, violinist, songwriter and singer Andrew Bird felt it was time for a change in approach. Are You Serious, released in April, is Bird's most personal yet; he also wanted it to be his most direct. It worked: "Capsized" comes in at No. 2.

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Song
Are You Serious
Album
Are You Serious
Artist
Andrew Bird
Label
Loma Vista
Released
2016

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Cover for Ouroboros

1. Ray LaMontagne, 'Hey, No Pressure'

  • from Ouroboros

Ray LaMontagne refuses to stand still musically. Beloved for his first album in 2004 and the song "Trouble," he's been defying listener expectations all along the way. This year, LaMontagne released Ouroboros, an album-length psychedelic masterpiece. Its lead song, "Hey, No Pressure," captured the No. 1 position in our countdown.

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Song
Ouroboros
Album
Ouroboros
Artist
Ray LaMontagne
Released
2016

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