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Heavy Rotation: Songs Public Radio Couldn't Stop Playing In 2018

Heavy Rotation has been your guide to the best music on public radio all year long. Now we look back on the top track from each month in 2018.
This year-in-review Heavy Rotation playlist features Angelique Kidjo. Source: Danny Clinch

As we look back on our favorite songs, albums and artists of 2018, we're highlighting some of the most-loved songs that we featured throughout the year for our Heavy Rotation series. Each month, NPR Music asks music programmers, station hosts and producers across the country to pick the songs they can't stop spinning. Here are some of our favorites from the year, month by month.

Head to the playlist at the bottom of the page to shuffle all the Heavy Rotation tracks selected by public radio in 2018.


January: Jade Bird, "Lottery"

The odds of stumbling across a gambling-themed song in the alt-country genre are, well, pretty high. From to , to , there is certainly no shortage of cards or high stakes in Americana. But now, within that canon of chance, we have a new standout — enter "Lottery" from British singer-songwriter, and artist, Jade Bird. At first listen, the song exudes a lovely, youthful innocence. Bird's inimitable vocals come in soft as she tallies the numbers on a first love that's withered and waned: I was 19 and you Turns out, though, this Bird has a bite, and with a fiery switch we're thrown into a thunderous chorus that carries us from start to finish: "You used to tell me that love is a lottery, and you got your numbers and you're betting on me." It's a treat of a track, complete with playful wordplay, ebb and flow — and that -meets- style Bird has carved out for herself since the release of her 2017 EP, . With that successful debut under her belt, and this single in her very capable hands, we're pretty sure we'll be betting on Jade Bird for years to come.

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