If you have a spare fifteen minutes (or a few hours) I can think of no better way to spend it than listening to some of the best musicians playing NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. These sessions are now legendary, breaking new artists as well as bringing in those at the top for a more intimate performance.
Of course there are so many now it can be hard to find the time to search through them, let alone watch them all so I have picked ten great ones for your viewing pleasure (and to be honest I’m partly making this list for myself so it’s easy to find the links) Enjoy!
1. Margo Price https://youtu.be/S9bLHMCnCAk
To me Margo is the new queen of country and this performance tells you why. She also performs the song ‘All American Made’ which does not appear on her album and it’s great to hear a new song.
2. Holly Macve – https://youtu.be/5q-cdf4170A
I mean I love this album (review here) and haven’t managed to see a Holly live yet so watching this is an absolute treat. She barely seems to breathe or move when she sings but the control she has of her voice is stunning. Absolutely devastating lyrics at times but just beautiful songwriting from one of the UK’s most promising talents.
3. Lianne La Havas https://youtu.be/9HUV5a7MgS4
This performance is a genuine joy. Such a soulful voice, allowed to breathe when stripped back and you can just hear the talent shine. I think I may have even cried the first time I watched this.
4. Corrine Bailey Rae https://youtu.be/h–fvyPu5e4
I watched this one not long after her new album came out and it just reminded me why I’m been a fan since ‘Put Your Records On’. Such gorgeous sunny vocals and melodies delivered with soul.
5. The Wild Reeds https://youtu.be/0TiEO149Ydc
I watched this when I was writing my review of their album, The World We Built and I was just blown away by the harmonies and the musicianship of these three women.
6. Adia Victoria https://youtu.be/LaCjgtH4zac
This girl has got the blues and she can really sing them. Such a different and unique style which I adore.
7. Valerie June https://youtu.be/iBDrTHCSWDc
I’m a huge fan of her new album Order of Time and this performance is from a few years ago showcasing songs from her previous record. Her skills as a guitarist and singer are so incredible.
8. Laura Marling https://youtu.be/k4Ed6vT6a94
I’ve been a fan forever but if you’ve not heard the UK’s Joni Mitchell then you should start here. Highlight is ‘Once’, which cuts me new every time I hear it. I reviewed her last album ‘Semper Femina’ here.
9. Brandy Clark https://youtu.be/2BZSvAsmMXg
I sent this to my sister when I was trying to get her to come to see Brandy with me. Safe to say she’s a crazy fangirl now, just like me. Brandy’s talent, humour and stunning voice all evident here.
10. Ashley Monroe https://youtu.be/xoMzPhYYIsM
The first song ‘Like A Rose’ is one of my favourites, in fact it’s probably the reason I’m here writing this blog since it’s through Ashley I’ve become a fan of so many other female singers. This is such a gorgeous performance.
There are so many amazing other artists who have performed in the series which I haven’t got around to watching yet – send me some recommendations if you’ve seen any others.