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Station Breaks: The Best New Songs From NPR Music Stations

From left: Shy Beast, Helado Negro and Jonathan Something.
From left: Shy Beast, Helado Negro and Jonathan Something.

In the spirit of The Austin 100 and all things music at SXSW, listen to NPR Slingshot's second-ever Station Breaks, a monthly playlist spotlighting emerging artists. These acts are creating the songs that NPR Music station personalities are excited to hear.

This month, hear a wholesome serenade from Holy Pinto, a high-octane boogie rock from Quaker City Night Hawks and context behind Sierra Ferrell's quirky and dark love testimonial.

Stream the NPR Slingshot Spotify playlist, which lists out all the songs from this Station Break. Enjoy and discover these big songs by not-so-big bands.

Ghost Light, "Best Kept Secret"


"Best Kept Secret" is a quirky yet jaunty kaleidoscopic roller coaster ride fueled by classic roots rock, some Frank Zappa-esque musical surrealism and prog-rock trickery. — Bruce Warren,

Hayes Carll, "None'Ya"


Divorce gets a bad rap just because it breeds self-doubt, resentment, guilt, anger, and tears families apart. Given time, it can also birth new levels of maturity, broader perspectives on relationships, and a deepened sense of humor – a boon for future cohabitation.

Hayes Carll and fiancée Allison Moorer are survivors of failed marriages. Armed with the knowledge of what works and doesn't, the veteran romancers have created "None'Ya," a song that embraces the push and pull, and give and take of lasting love.— Rosemary Welsch,

Helado Negro, "Running"


The meditative vibe of "Running" from This Is How You Smile projects a quality of presence and mindfulness that feels so necessary right now. Helado Negro, has described the song brilliantly: "'Running' is a poem. In it, I've buried sentiments and personal histories. Most of it is just for me and some for you." — Marion Hodges,

Holy Pinto, "Gold Leaf"

Radio Milwaukee

Holy Pinto's Aymen Selah has found himself away from his home in Canterbury, England and in the middle of America's heartland. "Gold Leaf" grapples with this adjustment through a half-hearted gesture of "petrol" station flowers and one incredibly catchy hook. — Justin Barney,

Joe Fiedler, "Pinball Number Count"


On Open Sesame, Joe Fiedler uses classics like "Pinball Number Count" to remind us of the sunny days that swept the clouds away and just how sweet the air is on Sesame Street!— J. Michael Harrison,

Jonathan Something, "For All My Life"


Spaghetti western guitar work, a mouth trumpet solo, and lyrics about being in a Steely Dan cover band. This delightfully bizarre song from Jonathan Something has it all. — Jerad Walker,OPB

Joshua Ray Walker, "Canyon"


Dallas, Tx.'s Joshua Ray Walker is a new Néo-trad voice emerging out of Americana. He is a truth-teller, in the mode of Guy Clark or Rodney Crowell. He questions self worth on the tune "Canyon."— Jessie Scott,- Murfreesboro, TN

M. Lockwood Porter, "The Dream Is Dead"


The indie and Americana borders get blurred with M. Lockwood Porter's "The Dream Is Dead," a rallying cry that explores current affairs with hope and activism. — Stacy Buchanan,

Molly Sarlé, "Human"


We love Molly Sarlé's voice as a part of the "aggressively quiet" trio Mountain Man; this dreamy single from her forthcoming album gets our heads nodding and wanting more. — Brian Burns,

Pure Bathing Culture, "Devotion"


Pure Bathing Culture, the Portland-based duo of Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman, will release its third album Night Pass on April 26. In working with producer Tucker Martine, the first single "Devotion" is the jam of all jams, with a dance vibe that echoes some of the finest pop music of the late '80s and early '90s. - Russ Borris,

Quaker City Night Hawks, "Better In The Morning"


May the power of high-octane boogie rock compel and deliver you with "Better In The Morning," from Fort Worth's Quaker City Night Hawks. — Gini Mascorro,

Shady Bug, "Whining"


Like Theodore Roethke's My Papa's Waltz, a hint of ambiguous violence clings to "Whining," one of the best-realized songs from Shady Bug's sophomore album, Lemon Lime. It opens with singer, Hannah Rainey, sighing "I hear you whining in your sleep / What are you keeping from me?" in a voice that starts in a crystalline upper register and quickly descends into a near parody of a country twang. — KE Luther,

Shy Beast, "Leave Me Be"


Now a go-to Austin favorite, Shy Beast's dreamy, fun-but-disciplined demeanor and pristine production match its flawless, packed-house live performances. Elements of R&B came into play with its latest EP, Leave Me/Let Me, and it was pretty much a no-brainer after we heard it to declare Shy Beast our January 2019 KUTX Artist of the Month. — Jack Anderson,

Sierra Ferrell, "Rosemary"

Mountain Stage

Released appropriately on Valentine's Day, this epic, colorful video contrasts the seemingly dark love story that unfolds like a quirky, odd-ball Western movie. — Adam Harris,Mountain Stage- Charleston, WV

Stream this month's Station Breaks picks on NPR Slingshot's Spotify and Apple Music playlist.

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