Tiny Desk Producer Bobby Carter (and an All-Star Panel of Judges) Will Watch Your Tiny Desk Contest Video 

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One of the most popular live-performance video series in the world, NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts continue to delight and inspire, all the while turning audiences on to emerging bands and offering a new and more intimate lens with which to view iconic artists.  In late January, the Tiny Desk Contest – NPR Music’s annual nationwide search for the next …

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The Tiny Desk Contest is Back for 2024! Here’s How to Enter

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The Tiny Desk Contest – NPR Music’s annual nationwide search for the next great undiscovered artist to play a Tiny Desk concert – is back for its tenth year. The Tiny Desk team will begin accepting entries on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. When you enter the 2024 Tiny Desk Contest, you join a nationwide community of music-makers and creators. Get …

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Live Sessions | SoCal Surf-Jazz Duo The Mattson 2 Drenched in Reverb at Hotel Palms

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In April, we welcomed the Mattson 2 to Hotel Palms in Atlantic Beach. Over the course of the last decade, the San Diego based duo, made up of twin brothers Jonathan and Jared Mattson, have consistently displayed a kind of casual alchemy. The identical-twin brothers Jonathan (drums) and Jared (guitar, bass) Mattson pull on the threads of ‘60s Southern California …

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All Songs Considered | The best releases out Oct. 6

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Rapper Earl Sweatshirt’s album-length collaboration with producer The Alchemist had been rumored for quite a while. Its first internet release rolled out on a little-known streaming website over the summer. Now, Voir Dire is officially out everywhere — and it’s a remarkable cross-generational collaboration, full of inventive samples and lyrics that can be abstract and dark, but also hopeful. We’ve …

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All Songs Considered | The best releases out Sept. 29

It’s been five years since singer Jorja Smith released her beloved and acclaimed debut album, Lost & Found. She returns this week with a long-awaited followup, Falling or Flying, a wide-reaching album of solitude and quiet confidence, as Smith explores new rhythms in both her music and life. We open this week’s show with a listen and talk about the …

Public Radio’s Favorite New Musicians Of 2023

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With autumn upon us, we decided it was time to poll NPR Music’s Member station partners to find out the new musicians who caught their hosts’ ears this year. We had one question: Identify your favorite artist who entered 2023 without a full-length album. We received 13 answers, and the results spanned rock, Americana, soul, jazz and electronic music. Enjoy …

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All Songs Considered | The best releases out on Sept. 15

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Our picks for the best albums out this week refuse to be one thing — they shape-shift and warp any rules around genre and conventions, with hairpin turns and sometimes strange sonic shifts that, despite upending expectations, are seamless and often breathtaking. We start with Corinne Bailey Rae‘s Black Rainbows, an album inspired by the English singer’s visit to Chicago’s …

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Live Session | Watch Frankie and the Witch Fingers Melt Faces on the JME Soundstage

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Nearly a decade of constant touring is paying dividends for the L.A.-based psychedelic-rock outfit Frankie and the Witch Fingers. The group cranks out energetic, riff-heavy earworms befitting of a band that has shown incredible stamina. And their seventh-studio record, Data Doom (out now via Greenway Records) is poised to make the band’s extraneous nom de plume (there are no Frankies …

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Indigo de Souza | Tiny Desk Concert

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It’s not exactly typical for artists at the Tiny Desk to share their future burial plans, but that’s exactly what Indigo de Souza does halfway through her performance. “I wrote this song about my love for nature,” the singer-songwriter says, introducing the track “Not My Body.” “I think that when I die … what I want is to be composted …

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All Songs Considered | The best releases out on Sept. 8

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On her new (and wildly anticipated album) GUTS, Olivia Rodrigo dives deep into comical wordplay, deadpan lyricism and a whole lot of guitar noise. We kick this week’s show off with a listen, talk about the ways Rodrigo deftly walks the line between intimate beauty and gut-punch rock — with a bonkers amount of hooks — and all the ways …

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Chlöe | Tiny Desk Concert

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Chlöe Bailey and her band were scheduled to fly in the day before this show. But with thousands of flights delayed or canceled at the start of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, one member couldn’t make it into town. Because the arrangements were designed for two background vocalists, it didn’t make sense to have just one and the team …

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All Songs Considered | The best releases out on Sept. 1

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Speedy Ortiz‘s music may sound jagged around the edges, but it comes bundled with glimmers of sunny pop, clever lyrics and smartly deployed lap steel. The band’s new fourth album, Rabbit Rabbit, finds singer-songwriter Sadie Dupuis wrangling with abuse and trauma, learning to let go of anger and writing about the activism that’s fueled her life and career. (She’s a …

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Christian McBride’s New Jawn | Tiny Desk Concert

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The start is chaotic for sure, but that’s the intent. Two minutes of craziness is an accurate description of the intro and outro of “Head Bedlam.” “A sonic description of us looking at Twitter particularly during the pandemic,” leader Christian McBride explains after the first tune of his Tiny Desk set, “when you put your phone down, that’s when the …

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Speedy Ortiz | Tiny Desk Concert

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Ten years ago, sometime after Speedy Ortiz transformed itself from a Sadie Dupuis solo project into a functioning rock band, its jagged and clever early singles caught the attention of NPR Music’s Lars Gotrich. So we reached out to inquire about a Tiny Desk concert, only to learn that the timing wasn’t quite right: The group didn’t have any days …

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All Songs Considered | The best releases out on Aug. 25

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Nigerian singer Burna Boy is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, as well as a global superstar by any metric. His seventh album has a title that promises the victory lap for which he’s long-overdue: It’s called I Told Them… The record continues to expand Burna Boy’s Afro-fusion palette, as he draws inspiration from ’90s hip-hop and …

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Live Session | Jacksonville Indie-Folk Band Bobby Kid Plays Songs from their Beloved New Record, ‘Babyface’

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A few weeks back, the Jacksonville Music Experience conducted an in-no-way-scientific poll of our Instagram followers (a small-but-mighty bunch nearing 2K; follow here) based on the following prompt: Fave Local Release of 2023. Of the four-dozen or so respondents, nearly half said they either liked Bobby Kid‘s Babyface or a song from the band’s new full-length album. In some ways …

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All Songs Considered | The best releases out on Aug. 18

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After beating out Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and others for the 2022 album of the year Grammy — and after stepping down as the bandleader for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert — Jon Batiste is back with a new album this week called World Music Radio. As the name suggests, it’s a sprawling exploration of what global music can …

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The Sunset of Sonic Youth | An oral history of the band’s final U.S. show

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No one knew Sonic Youth was making its last stand — not even Sonic Youth itself. “It was a period of regrouping. But in spite of some personal problems, it was still business as normal: ‘We’re going out to do a summer show in our hometown,’ ” admits co-founder Lee Ranaldo from his New York apartment. This cycle was not …

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Little Dragon | Tiny Desk Concert

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The last time Swedish band Little Dragon performed for Tiny Desk, the group wasn’t actually at the Desk. Like a number of Tiny Desk alum who played between 2020 and 2022, Little Dragon delivered its debut Tiny Desk as a (home) concert in the band’s Gothenburg studio. That performance provided a comforting balm to many during the early and confusing …

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All Songs Considered | The best releases out on Aug. 11

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The Chicago rapper Noname returns this week with her first new album in five years. Like her earlier works, Sundial is filled with songs that stand at the nexus of slam poetry, literature, jazz and hip-hop. We give a listen to open this week’s show and talk about the ways Noname seeks to serve her community and speak truth to …

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Action Bronson | Tiny Desk Concert

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There are times during Action Bronson‘s Tiny Desk when his vocals momentarily drift. We instruct our guests to face the directional microphones so that our recorders clearly pick up the voices. Action warned us of the improbability of that happening before we started filming and sure enough, the Flushing, Queens emcee strolled off mic a couple of times, did an …

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Obongjayar | Tiny Desk Concert

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When I got downstairs to greet Obongjayar and his bandmates at NPR headquarters, they had already found their way over to some stationary bikes near the lobby to get the adrenaline pumping. OB and crew seemed shy but ready for this moment. During the show, I witnessed my colleagues go from wiping away tears to bouncing and clapping within a …

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New Music Friday | The best releases out on July 28

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A year after releasing his last album — and becoming a dad for the first time — Post Malone is back with AUSTIN, a sprawling collection of intimate songs on addiction, afflictions and contradictions. On this week’s show, Atlanta-based culture journalist Gavin Godfrey, critic and reporter Cyrena Touros and writer LaTesha Harris, along with host Robin Hilton, look at the …

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Trumpet was Too Loud, Clarinet was Too soft — Here’s ‘The Story of the Saxophone’

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Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome met at a “Purple Rain” party when they were 19 — sophomores at Pratt Institute. “I asked her to dance, and we’ve been dancing together ever since,” says James Ransome. Cline-Ransome was in the fashion department. Ransome was an illustration student. They began dating. “I think we knew we were a match because he would …

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New Music Friday | The best releases out on July 21

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NewJeans has only been putting out music for about a year, but is already taking a serious run at K-pop domination, partly by subverting the genre’s conventions. On the group’s second EP, Get Up, the songs do lean heavily into cute, sugary sweet dance pop, but leave the edges a bit more ragged with a warmer, more genuine sound. On …

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New Music Friday: The best releases out on July 7

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Electro-pop singer Aluna Francis first made her name as one-half of the hit-making duo Aluna George. Now, her second album as just Aluna, MYCELiUM, finds her working with the worldwide artistic community she’s built in the last few years. With an emphasis on queer and/or Black artists from many different countries, she’s built a powerful statement about claiming your power …

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Favorite New Artists Of 2023 (So Far)

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On this edition of All Songs Considered, we asked NPR member stations to pick their favorite new artists of 2023. We begin with Matt Shaw from WJCT in Jacksonville, Fla. He chose the grunge-inspired music of Blondshell. Justin Barney from WNXP in Nashville is obsessed with the music of Hannah Jagadu, who recorded her debut as a student at New …

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The Rebuilt Heart of Jason Isbell

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Luck favors the prepared, as they say, and young Jason Isbell was ready. He had honed his skills as a songwriter and guitar player since he started playing the mandolin back when his hands were too small to wrap around a guitar neck. He would sit alone in his bedroom for days on end, isolated and insulated from his parents’ …

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New Music Friday: The best releases out on June 16

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We’ve got two big releases this week from artists who’ve returned after long breaks from their own work: Killer Mike has his first new solo album in more than a decade and Iceland’s Sigur Rós is back with the band’s first new studio album since 2013. Killer Mike’s Michael is steeped in gospel and deeply personal stories that reflect on …

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On the Easy-Going ‘Joy’all,’ Jenny Lewis Defiantly Preaches the Pursuit of Happiness

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“I once knew someone who said that he didn’t believe in the pursuit of happiness,” Jenny Lewis recently said in an interview about Joy’all, her new solo album. “And I thought, wow, how unfortunate.” The comment sums up a kind of wry wisdom that seems to characterize Lewis’ music: the belief that happiness isn’t a given but must be pursued …

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New Music Friday | The best releases out on June 9

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When Amaarae began work on her latest project, Fountain Baby, she knew she wanted it to defy labels. On one hand, it’s defiantly pop, but it’s persistently kaleidoscopic, built on a consistently surprising world of sound that draws from alternative Afrobeats to punk rock, R&B, bubblegum pop and more. As NPR Music editor Sheldon Pearce says on this week’s show, …

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New Music Friday | The best releases out on June 2

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It’s a big release day for veteran artists who’ve been putting out great music for decades, from Bob Dylan and Foo Fighters to Tanya Tucker, Cowboy Junkies and more. We can’t get to all of them on this week’s show, but we do spend some time with What Matters Most, the first new solo album from Ben Folds in 15 …

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Little Moon | Tiny Desk Concert

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When 2023’s Tiny Desk Contest winner Little Moon arrived at NPR, outward expressions of joy overshadowed the inner bundle of nerves this Springville, Utah band felt. The group’s winning song, “wonder eye,” unanimously wowed our contest judges Sharon Van Etten, Baby Rose, Sudan Archives and Albina Cabrera. Tiny Desk senior producer Bobby Carter and I, also judges, were in awe …

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New Music Friday | The best releases out on May 26

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The Chicago rapper Lil Durk returns this week with Almost Healed, a sometimes searing, sometimes tender examination of his life after years of loss and survival. On this week’s episode of New Music Friday, we dig into the music, talk about the pain that informs it and how Lil Durk has entered a new period of growth as an artist. …

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Tina Turner, Rock and Roll Icon, Dead at 83

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Tina Turner, a soul and rock powerhouse known for her octave-defying voice and mesmerizing stage moves, has died at the age of 83. Her death was announced in a statement on her official Facebook page, but offered no details about the cause. In her 2018 memoir, Tina Turner: My Love Story, Turner detailed a litany of health issues she had …

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Kurt Cobain’s Broken Guitar Sells for Nearly $600,000

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Kurt Cobain’s black Fender Stratocaster is covered in scratches and chipped wood. The names of Cobain and his former band, Nirvana, are misspelled. And the guitar itself, which was once smashed and put back together, is no longer playable. But on Saturday, the broken guitar was sold at Julien’s Auctions for a whopping $596,000 — nearly 10 times more than …

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