My Favorite Tiny Desk Concert Sessions

February 16, 2020

Ever since I have dived into the world of Podcasts, I have been subscribed to Tiny Desk Concerts - Audio. There's something mesmerizing about hearing a singer's voice stripped down from all the outrageous studio edits. I'm just so glad that Tiny Desk exists to exactly showcase that kind of show, allowing the audience to experience an artists' talent in the most organic way.

Those ~15-minute-audio-clips have been my standard lullaby every night possible. I also put it on during my commute whenever I just wanna drift into nothingness and be lost in music. I discerned that I tend to go back to certain sessions because I just wanna relive it because it was so good. Here are some of my top picks, collated as best as I could. 

Maggie Rogers
I discovered her just last year through her song Light On (which actually centralized the theme of my solo Tokyo escapade 🗼). I was pleasantly delighted to have discovered that she already performed at Tiny Desk. She has not released Light On during this filming though. But her vocals are so on point. Loving her more and more!

Cigarettes After Sex
This is the very definition of just calm and tranquility -- it's easy to melt into those guitar riffs together with Greg Gonzalez' ASMR vocals. 🎵 When they announced that they would come to the country for a concert, I thought it would have been a strange experience -- listening to their songs with people screaming. Maybe that's why I cling to this particular performance because this is exactly the manner that I want to experience their music live.

Ólafur Arnalds
Seeing his name pop up in my podcast feed for Tiny Desk was enough for me to wet my panties appetite for some out-of-this-world relaxing music. He has become a household name for me because I have his tracks on Spotify. I never thought the day would come I'd finally see the man behind the music and actually hear him perform live. My life is now complete. 😍

Imogen Heap
If you only have time to watch one video from this list, let it be this one!!! I am 100% super in love with this session. I first heard of Imogen Heap during the One Love Manchester concert in 2017. I found the performance so moving I was almost in tears after she sang. I googled her of course and I found the most wonderful things about her -- one of which is the fact that she contributed to writing the song Clean with Taylor Swift.  I actually went and listened closer to the track and there it was -- Imogen's vocals beautifully backtracking Taylors' throughout the song. 

During this Tiny Desk performance, I fell in love with her song Speeding Cars. Plus, the highlight of this session is her last song. She uses this amazing technology called Mimu Gloves to produce amazing effects during her performance. Oh and if you can, use headphones during this part to fully appreciate the show! 🎧

This woman is just so overflows with confidence and charisma that it's impossible to not love her after seeing her Tiny (ass!) Desk show. She belts flawless falsettos and also plays the flute? I guess I have to say she deserves all the attention she's getting now. She's been releasing music as early as 2013 but it's only in 2018 that she has caught the general public's attention. And now she's in the mainstream and has been nominated in numerous award shows. Love this girl! Her track Juice is now part of my morning paylist, which really perks me up as I prepare for work.

Jonas Brothers
I never followed them during their prime years, but of course I knew how popular they were back then. So it was a surprise for me to see them in my Tiny Desk feed. I could still remember that moment -- I was in my morning commute to work -- I saw the notification on my phone and press play. When they started with their second song called I Believe, I experienced that oh-so-familiar feeling of falling in love with a song during first listen. Right after, I searched for the track on Spotify and just like what they say, the rest was history. 😅 This song was the first track of my Morning Playlist (back then, I've refreshed the tracklist as of this writing) and has been my favorite song to sing in the shower every morning. 💓

Taylor Swift
Of course of course of course! I think this is the Tiny Desk video that I have replayed and revisited the most among this list. I literally screamed when I saw her name pop up in my podcast feed. I listened to the audio version, then relived the performance when the video version was published a few days after. I think this is the longest Tiny Desk concert in existence -- that's Taylor y'all. She really makes sure to connect with her audience in every show she does, and this one is no exception. I could listen to her talk all day. Plus, she plays four songs in this session (artists usually do three). It's a treat to listen to acoustic versions of her songs without fans singing along with her (not that I don't love them, it's just a great change from watching fancams of her live performances of Lover album tracks).

This list would have been longer if I managed to bookmark those other artists that I have played in random that I really was able to enjoy (maybe I'll go and revisit the feed and check out some of the artists I skipped).

If you like music, I highly highly recommend you to listen to NPR's music podcasts like Tiny Desk Concerts and All Songs Considered. You will be able to discover a wide selection of wonderful songs and artists that you wouldn't be able to hear in mainstream radio. Another music podcast that I love is Song Exploder wherein artists breakdown their songs and the story of how the tracks came to be.

Enjoy watching/listening!~ I hope you enjoy their performances as much as I did. 😊

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