On this month's Station Breaks, you can check out an experimental hip-hop trio and an infectious combination of new wave, disco and indie rock. Oh, and two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner launches his music career with a new song.
Stream the NPR Slingshot Spotify playlist, which lists all the songs from this installment of Station Breaks, a perfect opportunity to enjoy and discover big songs by not-so-big bands (and also Jeremy Renner).
It's a tune for those of us who crave a quick-witted, melodic view of the world that simultaneously exudes affection for the past. —Alexis Palmer, Mountain Stage, Charleston, West Virginia
"Nothing Is Safe," the lead single from experimental hip-hop trio clipping.'s forthcoming album There Existed an Addiction to Blood, is a menacing, confrontational slow burn. Like the horror films that inspired it, "Nothing Is Safe masterfully builds tension and an imposing sense of dread. This is the soundtrack to our reality: unsettling, dark, sinister. —Kevin Cole, KEXP, Seattle, Washington
Country music that's as raw as it gets, with squeaking lo-fi violin, plaintive vocals and sexual humor. —Rosemary Welsch, WYEP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Folk- and soul-inspired harmonies meet electronic production. You'll hear more of this delicate balance on the Austin duo's forthcoming self-titled debut. —Jack Anderson, KUTX, Austin, Texas
Some bands just ooze cool. The proudly independent L.A. band The Growlers serves up an infectious combo of new wave, disco and indie rock in "Natural Affair." —Mike Vasilikos, WXPN, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jamie Drake's "Redwood Tree" begins with all the throwback glamour and flourish of a 1950s musical, with nostalgic embellishments like whistling, harp and heavenly harmonies that pull back to reveal a bouncing, playful tune. —Jessi Whitten, Colorado Public Radio, Denver, Colorado
Two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner is accustomed to being the "Main Attraction," which also happens to be the title of this foray into his freshly launched music career. Sounding as if Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION had a baby, this Nevada transplant found a way to placate the Renner fans who are mourning the loss of his app. We recommend listening to this electro-rock anthem as you sip the Jeremy Renner cocktail. (It's whiskey-based!) —Malayna Joy, Gia DeSantis, David Hadel, Jake Wagner, NV89, Reno/Las Vegas, Nevada
Milwaukee's Juiceboxxx may be broke, but he's not broken. "Coinstar Song" is an anthem for anyone scratching and surviving in a cash-strapped world. —Gini Mascorro, KXT, Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas
Julie Dexter creates music that moves your mind, body and soul. Her fitting reminder that "It Ain't Easy" inspires when life provides enormous challenges. —J. Michael Harrison, WRTI, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A simple drum, bass and piano riff drives "Come On In," giving Nicole Wray a whole lot of room to let her vocals shine in an upbeat, hopeful jam. —Brian Burns, WUNC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
"Radio Flyer" uses a mix of idealism and psychedelic rock to find a connection in a spiritually and morally disconnected world. —Stacy Buchanan, WGBH, Boston, Massachusetts
You know the feeling of driving a high-performance car when you're forced to go 20 mph? That's the restraint you hear in "Charlatan" from Pony Bradshaw's new album Sudden Opera. It's powerful stuff. —Jessie Scott, WMOT, Nashville, Tennessee
On the sugary lead single from The Regrettes' new album, frontwoman Lydia Night sings about mustering the courage to let yourself fall in love, in spite of the red flags. —Troy Schulze, Houston Public Media, Houston, Texas
In the first single from the Portland band's forthcoming Dark Thoughts, walls of choppy, psychedelic guitars give way to surf-rock solos and remarkable group vocals that move the hazy "Gloria" forward with surprising force. — Jerad Walker, OPB, Portland, Oregon
As his name implies, Velvet Negroni is smooth with a late-night vibe, stitching together healthy servings of soul, synths and lots of thick beats. "KURT KOBAIN" is not what you're expecting. —Alisa Ali, WFUV, New York, New York
Stream this month's Station Breaks picks on NPR Slingshot's Spotify.