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Music

By day, Nicola Berlinsky and sisters Lisa Pimentel and Joanie Pimentel are all teachers at the same elementary school in southern California. By night, they're rockers, playing together in a band called No Small Children. It sounds like a lot to balance, but the members say they often find their two careers overlapping.

In the last week of 2016, we're featuring just a few of the songs that, for whatever reason, never got their due this year.

earthsongs.net

Of Choctaw heritage from Shawnee, Oklahoma, singer-songwriter Samantha Crain started touring when she was 19 years old. Starting out with an interest in creative writing, she ended up teaching herself to play the guitar. Many of her short stories became songs, exploring themes of the common person in the tradition of folk rock. Following her third album, Kid Face, she continues with producer John Vanderslice and an analog recording style in the 2015 album Under Branch & Thorn & Tree.

In the last week of 2016, we're featuring just a few of the songs that, for whatever reason, never got their due this year.

I could call this list "The Songs I Love To Drive Around With." More often than not, these 2016 songs set you up for a brilliant climax, often an unforgettable chorus. And I found a wide variety of artists that made songs with that memorable character, artists ranging from barely 20 years old to a reflective 82, from Niger to Nashville, from British hip-hop to yearning falsetto. I'd be thrilled to turn on a radio and hear this broad world of sound represent the Top 40.

Bob Boilen's Top 40 Songs Of 2016

Don't think for a moment that we didn't struggle as we compiled our list of the best World Cafe interviews and performances of 2016. We had to choose from over 200 sessions we recorded this year in our studio, onstage at World Cafe Live and on our "Sense of Place" travel adventures.

Trent Reznor promised new Nine Inch Nails material by the year's end, and has now delivered with Not The Actual Events. The EP, recorded with co-conspirator and now official band member Atticus Ross, is among Reznor's heaviest and most manic work. "Branches/Bones" and "The Idea Of You" team with chaotic punk, and the industrial doom of "She's Gone Away" and "Burning Bright (Field On Fire)" rivals Godflesh in its gloomy clank.

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