10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing
Each month, NPR Music checks in with 10 DJs, music directors and writers from our extended public-radio family to get their latest recommendations — the one song each of them can't let go.
In this month's list, chosen by curators from across the country, check out new tracks from Bay Area R&B vocalist Rayana Jay, Southern-rock songsmith Jason Isbell, breakout soul singer Earl St. Clair and more.
Earl St. Clair, 'Ain't Got It Like That'
from My Name Is Earl
It was one of those classic public-radio driveway moments when I discovered R&B singer Earl St. Clair. A few weeks back, as I was driving home from work, I happened to tune in to All Things Considered at just the right time to hear Audie Cornish's interview with St. Clair. Within seconds after the beat to his song "Ain't Got It Like That" kicked in, I was hooked. The singer, songwriter and producer born Earl Johnson II is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but spent most of his childhood in Alabama, getting his start as a producer for rappers like Rick Ross and Machine Gun Kelly and collaborating with electronic-music superstar Avicii. St. Clair says he wasn't planning on being a singer, but he eventually found his voice and released his debut EP, My Name Is Earl, a fantastic seven-song collection of raw, emotionally intense soul with elements of more modern R&B. "Ain't Got It Like That" kicks up a mean, infectious beat and conjures up early '70s Funkadelic with the grit of Otis Redding.
—Bruce Warren, WXPN