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Arts & Culture

What we're listening to on Public Radio Music Day

thee-sacred-souls-jensine-benitez-summer-music.jpg
Courtesy of Thee Sacred Souls
San Diego musician Jensine Benitez (pictured at right) performs with Thee Sacred Souls in an undated still photo from the KPBS Summer Music Series.

To celebrate this year's Public Radio Music Day, we asked KPBS staff what they're listening to right now, and why they love it. Because the 2022 Public Radio Music Day is themed "Discovering the Sound of Local Communities," we sorted the tracks by local San Diego music picks first. You can find a partial playlist of these tracks on Spotify here.

Our San Diego picks:

'Ties Unwind' by Boostive, Racquel Jones, Divina Jasso

Inviting rebel sounds from local reggae band Boostive, Divina Jasso and Jamaican recording artist Racquel Jones. "Ties Unwind" promotes disinformation awareness while offering strength and solidarity to those fighting against social injustice. True to the roots!
—Ian McFarland, Traffic

'Ilusión de Amor' by Jensine Benitez (Thee Sacred Souls)

I've always liked the Thee Sacred Souls but have wanted to hear more from their backup singer, Jensine Benitez. Her single "Ilusión de Amor" and its B-side "Sparkle in Your Eyes" are similar to Thee Sacred Souls' "souldies" sound but showcase Benitez's sweet, soprano voice. To me, her singing recalls the sugary sweetness of '60s girl groups and demonstrates picture perfect technique in its phrasing and clarity.
—Lara Azevedo-McCaffrey, News web producer

'Cancion Del Mariachi' by Mariachi Garibaldi from Southwestern College

This is a local Mariachi degree program. Saw them perform the other day with the Frida Opera. Such energy, skill and devotion!
—KPBS staff

'See I' by Boostive

An Ocean Beach local band. I love their vibe; it's chill and beachy. It's a mix of dub-hop, world and soul. I love to listen to them live when they play here in San Diego. The way they play their instruments is captivating! It's nice to see them grow, from free to paid events. I'm proud to support them.
—Christian Roa-Mendez Almanza, Executive Administrative Assistant

'No Rules (Only a Ticking Clock)' by Irenie (feat. Preston Harris)

I first saw singer-songwriter Irenie play at the Hill Street Country Club "High Tea" music and art festival last year and she was mesmerizing. She has a voice that's somehow both crystalline and soft, and her lyrics hit those same notes. I like the blend of R&B, intimate bedroom pop and even a cappella stylings in this track, featuring her brother Preston Harris. It's lush, wistful, sonically layered and leaves you wanting more.
—Julia Dixon Evans, KPBS/Arts producer and editor

Our non-local picks:

'Hello, Hi' by Ty Segall

Ty Segall is basically one of the last great garage rockers from the early 2000s that is still consistently putting out great tracks and albums. While his style has evolved a lot since his stripped down, lo-fi early days, his music still retains that grungy fuzziness that walks a strange tightrope between delicate lyrics and headbanging riffs. "Hello, Hi" sounds like a mix of the old and new for Ty Segall here; it has the vocal hallmarks of his early work but has these heavy, mean guitar licks that are more indicative of his modern style. It's pretty rad.
—Harrison Patiño, Producer, Midday Edition

'Enséñame a Bailar' by Bad Bunny

Love the beat, the vibe. His whole album "Un Verano Sin Ti" is summery and fun.
—Tania Thorne, Reporter, KPBS News

'One, Two, Three, GO!' by Belanova

I had forgotten about this band but have been listening to them again recently; this song is super nostalgic and energizing.
—Roxy de la Rosa, TV Programming Coordinator

'Lisbon' by Slim & the Beast

This song gives me big '70s vibes. I grew up listening to Casey Kasem American Top 40 replays in my dad's car and this song reminds me of the Bee Gees.
—Brenden Tuccinardi, News web producer

'Horror Movie' by Death Valley Girls

It's spooky season, and I spend most of the month of October listening to and seeking out new songs to add to my colossal Halloween playlist (1092 songs and counting). This song from Death Valley Girls is one that I've had on repeat this year, a blast of psychedelic garage rock that pays homage to horror B-movies, with the propulsive rhythm of a climactic chase scene between a killer and a final girl.
—Ally Bacaj, Digital Marketing Producer

'Case 143' by Stray Kids

Silly hook but upbeat tune to work to.
—KPBS staff

'Ni Contigo, Ni Sin Ti' by Pepe Aguilar

In one of those phases where I'm listening to a ton of Pepe Aguilar songs. Enjoy his voice and the meaning of his songs. Makes you want to get up and dance!
—Alex Kim, Associate General Manager, Development & Grants

Explore all national, state and local returns now.