Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing
Tame Impala, 'Be Above It (LY's Get Above It 909 Edit)'
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
Frightened Rabbit, 'The Woodpile'
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
Joey Bada$$, 'Underground Airplay'
Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ 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
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
Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, 'Rooftop'
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