The Top Five NPR Tiny Desk Concerts of 2015 So Far
Who would have thought an independent radio network known more for human interest shows like “Fresh Air” would have been able to create one of the music industry’s most successful mini-concert series? Well, that’s exactly what NPR Music’s “All Songs Considered” has done with the popular Tiny Desk Concert Series. Think of it as MTV’s “Unplugged” shrunk down to a memorable set of 15-minute performances by some of both the biggest and fastest-growing names in music. We chose five from this year that thus far have impressed us the most. Enjoy these bites!
Photo via Wind-Up Records
With a colorful, upbeat romp of a performance, Genevieve showed just how innovative and original she is during what was arguably the sunniest opening to a Tiny Desk Concert. She perfomed a lively rendition of her song “Colors.” She also showed a somber side with a haunting rendition of “The Enemy.” This was a performance that truly stood apart from many others for NPR Music.
2. Death Cab for Cutie
Recorded only a few months ago, this emotional, heartfelt performance by the veteran indie rockers has already become one of the most popular Tiny Desk Concerts on YouTube with just over 300,000 views. The slow burning songs selected by Death Cab were a perfect set up for dedicated fans of NPR Music.
Although hip-hop doesn’t have as heavy a presence on the Tiny Desk Concerts as other genres, rising emcee Oddisee, a native of Maryland, recently brought his brand of positive, thought provoking hip-hop to the NPR Music studios. Songs like “Contradiction’s Maze” help Oddisee prove in a performance less than 15 minutes just how complex, balanced and well-versed a lyricist he is.
4. Sylvan Esso
With a clever mixture of R&B, inventive electronic music, and balanced drums, Sylvan Esso’s Tiny Desk Concert has garnered over 300,000 views on YouTube to date. It’s little wonder why: the soft, yet commanding performance from March of this year takes listeners to other worlds through music. Even with moments of sheer awkwardness, it’s an amazing 17-plus minutes of bliss.
5. Rosa Diaz
The singer/songwriter has been well represented throughout the course of Tiny Desk concerts. Still, no one has brought as much complex passion, sophisticated lyricism and overall longing in music quite like Rosa Diaz did in her April performance for NPR. The candor in Diaz’ acoustic-centered performance is nothing short of powerful.
August 13, 2015 via Pepsi