This month on Station Breaks, NPR Music member stations steer you away from the mainstream with a diverse list of their favorite new musical discoveries. In this edition, hear the easygoing electronica of Steve Spacek, the retro-soul of Durand Jones & The Indications, a skyline-set performance from Say Girl Say and more.
Songs from this month will be available to stream on the NPR Slingshot Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.
Calibro 35 featuring Illa J, "Stan Lee"
Durand Jones & The Indications, "Young Americans"
If you're like me, you still haven't fully processed the loss of David Bowie. Not since Motörhead covered "Heroes" have I been moved to the point of tears. This is not a cover per se, but rather a very sweet, soulful interpretation as delivered by Indiana's Durand Jones & The Indications. Adding to the ever timeless feel of this iconic track, Jones evokes Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. If you like this one, chances are you have found the next timeless soul act. —Willobee Carlan, Indie 102.3
Early James, "Blue Pill Blues"
Bluesy, folksy, electrified Americana. Birmingham, Alabama's Easy James comes across as a sort of modern day J.J. Cale, or Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler with dashes of fried Southern soul. —Bruce Warren, WXPN
Lili Añel, "Take It From Me"
Lili Añel shines bright on her latest album, Better Days. Her single "Take It From Me" delivers a catchy, head bobbin', funky and heartfelt anthem. —J. Michael Harrison, WRTI
Mikey Mike, "Amazon Prime"
A personal email from the artist himself led me to this seemingly autobiographical look into the world of Mikey Mike. "Amazon Prime" aches with the sentiment that we're all looking for something to hold onto in this world and while you may bend, the search for connection makes sure you don't break. —Russ Borris, WFUV
Mo Troper, "Jas From Australia"
The first single from Troper's new album may only clock in at two minutes long, but he packs it with a ridiculous amount of sonic bells and whistles, intercontinental internet love, heartbreak and sweet, sweet hooks. —Jerad Walker, OPB
NNAMDÏ, f.k.a. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, wrote, produced and engineered this whole song. He directed and edited the video too. And yet, he still manages to find time to listen. He coos, "tell me all your feelings," then sends a quick reminder that he doesn't have time to waste. Likely because he is working on the singularly beautiful artistic vision that is this song. —Justin Barney, Radio Milwaukee
Orion Sun, "Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't Leave Me)"
2019 NPR Slingshot artist to watch Orion Sun drops her first single of 2020. It's got an effortlessness we all crave, flowing in the moment, blissed out, and happy. This artist that has always loved stars and space is well on her way to becoming a star herself. —Kevin Cole, KEXP
Say Girl Say, "Let My Hair Down"
Steve Spacek, "Rawl Aredo"
Steve Spacek is a beloved figure in electronic/house/dance music circles, both among fans and other musicians. Spacek first came out of the British electronic music scene of the late '90s and recently announced a new album, due out on Feb. 7. The first single is "Rawl Aredo." —Aaron Byrd, KCRW
The Sheila Divine, "The Beginning of the End"
Reflecting on an interminable career tested by time and change, The Sheila Divine stand assured that "The beginning of the end / It's where we'll start again." —Stacy Buchanan, WGBH
Tomar & the FCs, "Fine Time"
Already an accomplished hip-hop producer and multi-instrumentalist, Tomar Williams has fully embraced a new chapter fronting this powerful soul quintet. —Jack Anderson, KUTX
Tré Burt, "Real You"
First was "Comin' Thro' the Rye" and Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Now enters Caught It From The Rye, the latest album from Tré Burt. Released on John Prine's Oh Boy Records, "Real You" revisits a time when folk reigned on, with Dylan-esque urgency. —Jessie Scott, WMOT