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

Jan 22, 2013
Originally published on January 22, 2013 3:31 pm

Earlier this month, we welcomed two new music channels to the public radio family — KUTX in Austin and XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio in Philadelphia — so for this installment of Heavy Rotation, we asked them to share their favorite songs of their first two weeks on the planet.

We've also got picks from WNYC's Soundcheck program, KUNM's excellent gospel show Train to Glory and KMHD in Portland, which was named Jazz Station of the Year by Jazz Week magazine.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit



All right, recommendations for reading. How about recommendations for new music? It is hard to keep track of all the great new songs being played every day. But our team at NPR Music has a project that highlights some of the best new tunes out there, suggestions coming from experts in our public radio family.

Each month, NPR Music reaches out to hosts and program directors at five member stations around the country and asks them to share a favorite new song. They're calling the series Heavy Rotation. And the entire list is at Each month we'll feature one of those tracks here on MORNING EDITION. And this pick comes to us from the great Pacific Northwest.

MATT FLEEGER: My name is Matt Fleeger. I'm the program director at KMHD Jazz Radio in Portland Oregon.

GREENE: Fleeger has been working in jazz radio for more than a decade. The 36-year-old currently hosts a show called "New Jazz for Lunch."

FLEEGER: We try and play cutting edge music on the show, that is maybe outside the box a little bit for jazz and also looking for new sounds that are out there happening today.


FLEEGER: The name of the song I picked for Heavy Rotation is "Sweat Pea" by the Project Trio.


FLEEGER: I picked this song because it has got a hook to it. It was one of these songs we came across in the summer and immediately we started to hear the phones ring when we played it on the air from people asking it what it was. And it's a pretty simple song. But it's got kind of an interesting groove to it.


FLEEGER: The Project Trio, technically what they are doing is playing chamber music. It's cello, upright bass and flute. Those are the only instruments in the band, but they make a pretty big sound with those three simple acoustic instruments. And most of that is probably due to Greg Patillo and his beat-boxing technique on the flute.


FLEEGER: Typically, what we hear from listeners when we play this song is, what was that?


FLEEGER: It's hard to put your finger on what is the genre of music is here. Is it chamber music, is it Americana? Is it jazz? That's the great part about this song.


GREENE: That's Matt Fleeger of KMHD Jazz Radio in Portland with his pick for the series Heavy Rotation. The song is "Sweet Pea" by Project Trio.


GREENE: You're Listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.