My favorite NPR tiny desk concerts

compilation of screenshots of my favorite tiny desk concert

In April 2008, 10-year-old me had yet to learn what the Internet really was, and even less known that the first ever NPR Tiny Desk concert, by Laura Gibson, was released on their blog. 15 years later, I’ve watched A LOT of tiny desk concerts and got into them when they first introduced tiny desk (home) concert edition.

Because I love sharing things I enjoy, I decided to share 9 of my favorite NPR tiny desk concerts with you. They are more recent (think the last 5 years) because I like how artists now give a bit of context between each song, talking, etc. But if it’s something you enjoy, I’ll also be happy to share older versions.

Miya Folick

She was feeling herself!! She is so into her music that it becomes captivating. It’s like she meticulously chooses each note that is coming out of her, to build her songs. It’s very controlled and freeing at the same time. Her expression is also representative of what she sings, and somehow keeps at least a small smile on her face, which in my opinion is one of the reasons this Tiny Desk Concert sounds so airy and vibrant!



Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker are superstars in their solo careers and a supergroup when they decide to combine their talent. After making their comeback at the beginning of the year with 3 singles, I couldn’t resist jumping back into their previous work. Their voices are SO unique, it’s almost unbelievable. They harmonize like no one else and it feels like they communicate so easily to bring their art perfectly.

Also, they are awkwardly hilarious; the contrast between how they behave and what they sing is crazy.


Madison Cunningham

Madison Cunningham has such an organic sound, I can feel her telling a story when she sings. We get through all the emotions she is trying to convey. Life According To Raechel is so powerful and aching and beautiful and melancholic. The whole concert is so special, and her softness is truly a big part of her artistry.


The Lumineers

This just screams “cool”! They are so enthusiastic, it feels like they just loved being there and singing their songs and telling stories. They are incredible musicians, and anyone who knows me knows that I’m also about cool guitars in a song: I’m served here. There are no doubts that they are passionate and it leaves us, listeners (and watchers) with a comforting feeling.


Lizzy McAlpine

I don’t think she needs any introduction, her success over the past couple of years is the result of heartfelt songwriting, an amazing voice, and generosity to share her music. For this concert, she also decided to invite Tiny Habits, a very talented band, specialists in harmonies and singing feelings.

Lizzy McAlpine’s voice is airy and soft, it feels like clouds and her songwriting comes in contrast, with lots of emotions and difficult sentiments.


Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rodgers has such a unique voice that I would enjoy listening to her reading a grocery list. It looks so effortless for her. Everything feels so complex and easy at the same time; I struggle to even put into words how it makes me feel listening to her and hearing her.



If I had to guess, the expression “it’s music to my ears” comes from this talented musician. NoSo succeeds in singing in a way that feels quiet. Their guitar skills are so incredible it requires 2 watches every time I stumble across the tiny concert: one to fully take on the music and listen to their voice, the second to obsess over their fingers.


Big Thief

Do I need to explain this one? Adrianne’s voice is full of character and so unique. The performance is just passionate, everyone is visibly feeling themselves to the music and it feels like flying.


Mac Miller

This couldn’t be a full list without including the one and only Mac Miller. You can clearly see a switch in his behavior when the music starts and he gets ready to sing/rap. His whole body is moved by his music. And by extension, our bodies are moved by him.


Thanks, NPR for putting together these tiny desk concerts. I love having the possibility to hear some of my favorite artists singing their songs live, but also discovering others I’d never heard of before.

Let me know in the comments if you want to discover more tiny desk concerts!

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