Heavy Rotation: The Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing : World Cafe Need some new summer jams? Our panel of public-radio music buffs recommends tracks by Nooky Jones, Juana Molina, Downtown Boys 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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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/537942604/538705557" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time for our monthly check in with music masters who are not BJ Leiderman - who writes our theme music - public radio DJs with what they play in Heavy Rotation.

NICK BRUNNER, BYLINE: My name is Nick Brunner. I am the host of Hey Listen at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, Calif. And the track that I picked for heavy rotation this week is "Idiot Soul" by So Much Light.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IDIOT SOUL")

SO MUCH LIGHT: (Singing) I'll crown you anyway. She's so sweet.

BRUNNER: Damien's been making music in Elk Grove, Calif., which is just south of Sacramento, since about 2014 under the name So Much Light. And he's this quiet, sweet guy. And I think that really comes through on his music. It's just filled with this earnest sensibility.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IDIOT SOUL")

SO MUCH LIGHT: (Singing) Idiot soul. Nothing to me. Partners in crime. Find us a room.

BRUNNER: What I love about this track is that it has so much in common with groups that he grew up listening to like TLC and D'Angelo. But it's not quite as brooding or ponderous. His label manager at ANTI came up with the term Bizarre and B, which I like a lot.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IDIOT SOUL")

SO MUCH LIGHT: (Singing) Idiot soul.

BRUNNER: We had him in for an in-studio performance and got a lot of people talking about it. And it just kind of came out like a bolt from the blue. And yeah, he's easily becoming a staple of the show. That's for sure.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IDIOT SOUL")

SO MUCH LIGHT: (Singing) Idiot soul.

ANDREA SWENSSON, BYLINE: I'm Andrea Swensson. I host the local show at The Current in Minnesota.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HELLO")

NOOKY JONES: (Singing) Oh, people passing by.

SWENSSON: My pick for Heavy Rotation is "Hello" by Nooky Jones off their debut record.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HELLO")

NOOKY JONES: (Singing) Caught up in the distraction on their way.

SWENSSON: The sound that is commonly associated with Prince - this kind of melding of R&B, funk, soul, pop music - I kind of think of Nooky Jones as an extension of the Minneapolis sound. But they're bringing these live analog horns onto the stage as well. And I think this song is just so catchy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HELLO")

NOOKY JONES: (Singing) And suddenly, she smiled at me. I hope she noticed that I notice her so casually.

SWENSSON: Nooky Jones is one of those bands that you see on every block party lineup in the Twin Cities in the summer. It's - they're just so fun to watch live and to dance around to. So they are definitely kicking up some heat this summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HELLO")

NOOKY JONES: (Singing) I will be there.

ART LEVY, BYLINE: My name is Art Levy. I'm a producer and host at KUTX in Austin, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COSOCO")

JUANA MOLINA: (Singing in Spanish).

LEVY: The artist and song I picked for Heavy Rotation is an artist named Juana Molina. The song is called, "Cosoco." So Juana Molina has one of the more interesting backstories of an artist I know. She actually used to be a famous comedian in Argentina. At about age 30, she decided to stop acting, stop doing comedy and switch to music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COSOCO")

MOLINA: (Singing in Spanish).

LEVY: She just bought like a looping pedal and would just sit in her room and improvise. Now she's kind of created this body of work that is really fascinating kind of childlike in a good way. It's really playful, so much fun to listen to.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COSOCO")

MOLINA: (Singing in Spanish).

LEVY: It's playing really well with a lot of us here at the station, also really well with the children of a lot of the people here at the station. Actually, our program director - his 5-year-old daughter heard this song and was completely transfixed in the car. And we thought, man, if it's working for her, it's got to be working for a lot of people as well.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COSOCO")

MOLINA: (Singing in Spanish).

SIMON: And you can hear more music in Heavy Rotation on our website nprmusic.org.

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