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Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Download New Music From CHVRCHES, Joey Bada$$, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper And Frightened Rabbit, Plus A Tame Impala Remix By Light Year

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Our panel of public-radio music obsessives has five more favorites to share. KCRW music director Jason Bentley can't get enough of the new Frightened Rabbit album. Alisa Ali, a DJ for New York's The Alternate Side indie-rock channel, picked a great new track by the promising Glasgow act CHVRCHES. Baltimore's Friday-night hip-hop show Strictly Hip Hop highlighted the new jam by Joey Bada$$. Jessi Whitten, the music director at OpenAir in Colorado, loves the new Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. And Dave P., host of the futuristic dance-music show Making Time Radio, found a sick remix of Tame Impala by Australian producer Light Year.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Our panel of public-radio music obsessives has five more favorites to share. Download new music from CHVRCHES, Joey Bada$$, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and Frightened Rabbit, plus a sick remix of Tame Impala by Australian producer Light Year.



All right, it's time now for our music project that we call Heavy Rotation. Each month NPR Music asks five public radio hosts or program directors to share a favorite new song. And each month we feature one of those selections here on MORNING EDITION.

This month we hear from member station WXPN in Philadelphia.


DAVID PIANKA, BYLINE: My name is David Pianka, also known as Dave P. And my show is called "Making Time RADio."

GREENE: On a Friday night, once a month, DJ Dave P brings a bit of the club scene to Public Radio.

PIANKA: I usually start off the show with some like newer ambient stuff and then progress into what turns into an hour-long dance set in the last hour. So I don't really do much talking. I just play a lot of music.

GREENE: And one track Pianka told us about is this song by the Australian rock band Tame Impala. It's called "Be Above It."


GREENE: But his pick for this month's Heavy Rotation is actually a pumped-up dance version, or what he calls an edit of that song. It comes from the Australian DJ and producer Light Year.


PIANKA: I chose it, the edit, specifically because a lot of rock music isn't meant to be played in the club. And it sometimes doesn't work in the club. That edit made it possible for me to play that song, "Be Above It," in my DJ set.


PIANKA: Light Year took that track and just really beefed it up. And he also takes this bit of the vocal, he loops it. He loops it constantly and he really makes that repetitive hypnotic nature of dance music.


PIANKA: You know, obviously you're playing a rock track in a dance set, you're looking to like create a different vibe. You're looking to add another texture to your set, and that's what that does. If you play it at the right time, it can really create like an amazing reaction in the crowd.


GREENE: That's David Pianka of WXPN in Philadelphia. His pick is Light Year's "Get Above It, 909 Edit." It's a take on Tame Impala's "Be Above It." You can find our complete list of songs at NPRMusic.org.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.


And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

View this story on npr.org

Tame Impala, 'Be Above It (LY's Get Above It 909 Edit)'

Australian producer Jordan Feller, aka Light Year.Courtesy of the artist

Tame Impala's Lonerism was my favorite album of 2012. These Australians may be in a rock band, but they exhibit dance-music influences in their production. I remember the first time I heard "Be Above It" at the Mad Decent Block Party in New York last summer — I was standing on stage while Erol Alkan mixed into it from a massive techno track, and it blew my mind. "Be Above It" was already the perfect rock track to play in a dance set, but Light Year's "Get Above It" edit — which adds a little extra kick drum and some synths — makes it absolutely perfect to play in the club. -- Dave P., host of WXPN's electronic music show, Making Time Radio

Download "Be Above It (LY's Get Above It 909 Edit)" (Right-click and Save Link As)

Frightened Rabbit, 'The Woodpile'

Scottish rock band Frightened Rabbit.Courtesy of the artist

The Scottish rock band Frightened Rabbit has been climbing steadily since 2006, and hits a new peak with this year's Pedestrian Verse. The band's thickly accented rock is so catchy, it's easy to overlook its depth. Pedestrian Verse continues to reveal itself in further listens, but if you listen to just one track, make it the anthemic pub ballad "The Woodpile." It deserves your full attention. -- Jason Bentley, music director at KCRW

Download "The Woodpile" (Right-click and Save Link As)

Joey Bada$$, 'Underground Airplay'

Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$.Courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ took hip-hop by storm last summer with his debut mixtape 1999. Before embarking on his worldwide "BeastCoast" tour, Bada$$ recruited Harlem's Smoke DZA and Meridian — as well as Mississippi's Big K.R.I.T. — for the title track on Ecko Unltd.'s Underground Airplay mixtape. With its "golden era" boom-bap feel, the title song was an immediate hit among our listeners. The biggest surprise comes on the final verse, when Big K.R.I.T. (who's not often heard over old-school beats) flouts Southern-rapper stereotypes with his deft delivery. — Ahmad Collick, editor of WEAA's Strictly Hip Hop blog

Download "Underground Airplay" (Right-click and Save Link As)

CHVRCHES, 'Recover'

CHVRCHES' Lauren Mayberry.Courtest of the artist

There's so much to love about "Recover," the new track from the Glasgow electronic-pop band CHVRCHES: the pop hooks, the synthesizer breakdowns and buildups, the charming brogue that peeks out while frontwoman Lauren Mayberry sings. Lyrically, the song is universal: It's about knowing that you have to accept something you don't want. But rather than taking a resigned tone, it's more confident, as Mayberry offers an ultimatum in the line, "We can change or part ways." Sing it! (Incidentally, CHVRCHES uses the letter V instead of U to make it easier to find the band on Google. Real Estate and Grizzly Bear, take note. -- Alisa Ali, WFUV's The Alternate Side

Download "Recover" (Right-click and Save Link As)

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, 'Rooftop'

Aly Spaltro, aka Lady Lamb the Beekeeper.Courtesy of the artists

The transition from bedroom recordings to studio production can be daunting, but as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Aly Spaltro has navigated the adjustment with grace. Her new album, Ripley Pine, is marked by both vulnerability and sprightly vigor. Each person I question claims a different favorite track, but for me, it's "Rooftop." The foundation of the song is delicate, lovely and clean, but the charming cello backbone continuously turns eerie as a host of unexpected chimes, bangs and even squeals join in to create a feeling of controlled chaos. — Jessi Whitten, music director at Colorado Public Radio's OpenAir

Download "Rooftop" (Right-click and Save Link As)

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