Watch beabadoobee’s Tiny Desk Concert

Watch beabadoobee’s Tiny Desk Concert
Songs from her new album Beatopia and one unheard demo got the acoustic treatment inside NPR’s offices.

By Jordan Darville

November 29, 2022

beabadoobee‘s 2022 project beatopia continued Beatrice Kristi Laus’ hot streak thanks to its carefully crafted yet effortlessly fun collision of genres — even at its most allusive moments, it still feels like you’re listening to a mixtape comprised of the music of her life. Today, NPR released her long-awaited Tiny Desk Concert, where three Beatopia songs and a previously unheard track got the acoustic treatment.

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Backed by a three-piece string section and an additional guitarist, beabadoobee offers fans and new listeners alike a peak into the undeniable songcraft that underpins her vibrant pop music. She and the band open with “See You Soon,“ the album’s Bossanova-inspired hit, followed by “Perfect Pair” and “Ripples.” She ends with “Glue,” a song she wrote just a month ago.

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beabadoobee is currently winding down her 2022 North American headlining tour. After a break, she’ll head out next spring with Taylor Swift for her Eras Tour. In October she shared a cover of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.

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Watch Santigold’s Tiny Desk Concert

Watch Santigold’s Tiny Desk Concert
Santigold brought a live band to the NPR office and shared a video for her Spirituals opener “My Horror” over the weekend.

By Raphael Helfand

November 21, 2022

Santigold brought a five-piece backing band to NPR’s Tiny Desk studio for a tight, five-song set published Monday morning (November 21). Supported by Ray Brady on guitar and synth, Chuck Treece on drums , George Lewis, Jr. (Twin Shadow) on bass, and Melanie Nyema and Stephany Mora on background vocals, the long-time pop innovator opened with punk-tinged renditions of “L.E.S. Artistes” and “I’m A Lady” — two hits from her 2008 self-titled debut — and played “Shake” and “Fall First” from September’s Spirituals before closing with “Ain’t Got Enough,” a song she released way back in 2005 under the moniker Stiffed. (Treece, a legendary pro skater who’s toured with such acts as Bad Brains and Pearl Jam, also played drums in that group.)

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Over the weekend, Santigold shared a music video for Spirituals’ opener, “My Horror,” in which she runs through a sunlit suburban neighborhood, escaping an unseen pursuer. And on Monday, along with her Tiny Desk performance, a new episode of her “roundtable” podcast series Noble Champions arrived. This week’s show features a conversation between Santigold, Saul Williams, and climate journalist Mary Annaïse Heglar on the intersection of race and climate change.

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Watch the Tiny Desk video above and the “My Horror” video below.

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Drake & 21 Savage share collaborative album Her Loss

Drake & 21 Savage share collaborative album Her Loss
The project was announced in late October.

By Jordan Darville

November 04, 2022

Image from Drake and 21 Savage’s parody Tiny Desk “concert”

 

Drake and 21 Savage have released their collaborative album Her Loss. The album is released through OVO, Slaughter Gang, Republic, and Epic.

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The project was announced on October 24 with a message inside the music video for “Jimmy Cooks,” the Drake and 21 Savage song that appeared on Drake’s 2022 album Honestly, Nevermind. Read our review of the album here. The album’s cover art, released on Thursday, is a photograph of the model Qui Yasuka.

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Originally slated for release on October 28, the record was pushed back until November 4 when Noah “40” Shebib, Drake’s longtime collaborator, contracted COVID-19 during the mastering process. This week, Drake and 21 Savage embarked on a staged promo campaign that included a fake issue of Vogue and spoof appearances on Howard Stern and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.

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Her Loss marks the most extensive collaboration yet between Drake and 21 Savage. The two rappers teamed up on “Sneakin‘” in 2016, a few months before Drake shared his mixtape More Life. Drake appeared on “Mr. Right Now,” a song on 21 Savage and Metro Boomin‘s 2020 collaborative mixtape Savage Mode II. In 2021, 21 Savage guested on Drake’s “Knife Talk,” from Certified Lover Boy.

21 Savage released his second solo album i am > i was in 2018. The project was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2020 Grammys and won for Best Rap Song (“a lot“ featuring J. Cole). 21 collaborated with Metro Boomin on two full-lengths, Savage Mode and Savage Mode II. In 2015, Drake and Future teamed up for the mixtape What A Time To Be Alive.

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Watch Omar Apollo’s Tiny Desk Concert

Watch Omar Apollo’s Tiny Desk Concert
The Mexican-American pop singer brought an 11-piece backing band to the NPR office for a dynamic set in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month.

By Raphael Helfand

September 15, 2022

Omar Apollo’s April debut studio LP Ivory, the 25-year-old Mexican-American R&B idol form Hobart, Indiana cast a wide net, expanding his sonic spectrum to include multiple far-flung corners of capital-P Pop. On his new NPR Tiny Desk Concert, uploaded today to kick off the series’ celebration of Latinx History Month, he went a step further, opening with a full-band performance of mid-album cut “En El Olvido,” flipping its acoustic original into an 11-piece corrido, backed by special guest guitarrón players Silvia Estrada and Mayra Martínez.

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For the rest of the show, he returned to his more natural R&B-tinged groove, but his foray into traditional music felt effortless and brought new depth to the entire set. He followed “En El Olvido” with three more IVORY tracks: the heartbroken soul ballad “Evergreen (You Don’t Deserve Me At All),” the acoustic slow-burner “Petrified,” and the bittersweet singalong “Endlessly,” which he ended with an inspiring message. “I want you to think about something,” he told the enthusiastic crowd as the band vamped on the song’s final chords behind him. “I want you to go home. I want you to meditate. And I want you to burn a bridge. It’s OK. Cut them people out your life.”

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A week after IVORY‘s release, Daniel Caesar brought Omar Apollo onstage during his Coachella set to perform “Invincible,” another song from the album. Last month, Apollo announced the Prototype Tour, a joint North American run with Ravyn Lenae. View the full schedule below and check out Years To Come, a short FADER documentary on Apollo from 2019.

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Omar Apollo & Ravyn Lenae Prototype fall 2022 tour

October 21 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air
October 22 – Tucson, AZ – 191 Toole
October 25 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
October 26 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall
October 27 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theatre
October 29 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
November 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theater
November 2 – San Jose, CA – San Jose Civic
November 3 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
November 5 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
November 8 – Saint Paul, MN – Palace Theatre
November 10 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
November 11 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
November 13 – Richmond, VA – The National
November 15 – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern
November 17 – Washington, D.C. – The Anthem
November 18 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
November 19 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
November 20 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
November 22 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
November 26 – Brooklyn, NY – Kings Theatre
November 29 – Toronto, ON – History

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Watch JID’s Tiny Desk Concert

Watch JID’s Tiny Desk Concert
The Atlanta rapper performed songs from across his brief but fruitful solo career with help from an eight-piece backing band.

By Raphael Helfand

September 08, 2022

Before launching into “Kody Blu 31,” a soulful and serious mid-album cut from his new record, at the NPR Tiny Desk office studio, JIDcut the Usher tension” in the room with a casual “watch this.” The moment was exemplary of his whole 22-minute set: The 31-year-old Atlanta rapper paced his seven songs — pulled from all corners of his five-year solo career — perfectly, offsetting the session’s darker moments with a light touch.

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JID kicked the show off with “Galaxy,” the dreamy, jazz-tinged opener of his third studio LP, The Forever Story, which arrived August 26 via J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. From there, he brought the audience back in time four years with “Workin Out” and “Off da Zoinkys,” two tracks from his 2018 sophomore album, DiCaprio 2, and “NEVER,” from 2017’s The Never Story — his first full-length outside of Spillage Village (a collective also featuring EarthGang, 6lack, Hollywood JB, Jurdan Bryant, Mereba, and Benji at various points in time.) For his final three songs — “Sistanem,” “Surround Sound,” and the aforementioned “Kody Blu 31” — he returned to the new project.

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Helping him along on his journey was an eight-piece backing band featuring Teja Lanier Veal on bass, Grady Housworth on trombone, Allan Knighton on saxophone, Michael Cruse on trumpet, Samuel Williams on keys, Divante Davis on drums, and Najinga Luster and Rashida Chitunda on backing vocals.

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Listen to JID’s full Tiny Desk Concert above and stream The Forever Story below.

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Watch Big Thief’s Tiny Desk Concert

Watch Big Thief’s Tiny Desk Concert
The group performed three songs from this year’s Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, plus an unreleased track.

By Jordan Darville

July 20, 2022

A key quality of Big Thief‘s music is that even at its most expansive – and there are plenty of those moments on their new album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You – it still feels like the experimental folk group are playing just for you. That feeling is visualized in their new Tiny Desk Concert for NPR, filmed in a cozy living room on a windy day in Connecticut. The group played four songs: “Change,” “Dried Roses,” and “Certainty,” as well as an unreleased track called “Happiness.”

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It’s the second Tiny Desk concert for Big Thief after one in 2016. Adrienne Lenker performed one solo in 2020 as she promoted her solo album songs. Watch their new Tiny Desk above via Pitchfork.

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Last month, Big Thief canceled shows in Israel following backlash for the dates as well as the group’s justification for them.

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Watch Usher’s new Tiny Desk Concert

Watch Usher’s new Tiny Desk Concert
The R&B icon brought a nine-piece ensemble to NPR’s office studio for the final day of Black Music Month.

By Raphael Helfand

June 30, 2022

On the final day of Tiny Desk‘s Black Music Month series, Usher played a celebratory show at the NPR office studio. Just as Denzel Curry did yesterday, Usher brought a nine-piece backing band to the cramped concert space for his six-song, 25-minute set.

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June 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Usher’s first major hit, “My Way” — the lead single and title track of his sophomore LP. He opened his Thursday Tiny Desk performance with “You Make Me Wanna…” (My Way‘s second single) and closed with “My Way” after playing “Nice & Slow,” a track from the same album that was later released as a standalone single and earned him his first placement atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The rest of his set comprised “Superstar” and “Confessions Part II” — both cuts from his widely celebrated 2004 album Confessions — and “U Don’t Have to Call,” a Pharrell-penned, Neptunes-produced mega-hit from 2001’s 8701.

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NPR’s Black Music Month series, which coincides with the first presidentially proclaimed Black Music Appreciation Month, has given Tiny Desk the opportunity to showcase a bevy of Black artists: In addition to Usher and Denzel Curry, they’ve brought Ravyn Lenae and Maverick City Music into their office, and hosted remote performances by FKA twigs, Larry June, J’Nai Bridges, Monica, Naira Marley, James Francies, and Adekunle Gold.

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Watch Denzel Curry’s Tiny Desk Concert

Watch Denzel Curry’s Tiny Desk Concert
The South Florida rapper brings a large ensemble to NPR’s cramped studio space.

By Raphael Helfand

June 29, 2022

It’s almost a tradition at this point for rappers to bring live accompaniment to their NPR Tiny Desk performances, but Denzel Curry took the concept to another level in his newly released show. To cap off Black Music Month, the South Florida rapper packed the station’s cramped concert space with his nine-piece Cold-Blooded Soul Band for a six-track set that spanned the past four years, and four albums, of his prolific career.

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Buoyed by bass, guitar, keyboard, drum kit, congas, and brass, Curry started the show with three cuts from his most recent record, March’s Melt My Eyez See Your Future. He opened with “Melt Session #1,” with Jay Winfield standing in for Robert Glasper — who features on the song’s studio version — on keys. For the next two tracks, Curry brought on his long-time collaborator DJ POSHtronaut: He provided vocal support on “Walkin” and “Troubles,” which was preceded by a shoutout to T-Pain, a fellow Florida native and the featured singer on the album version of the track — and perhaps the artist whose career has benefited most from his own Tiny Desk appearance, which earned him widespread critical acclaim and an unexpected second act.

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In the set’s latter half, Curry drew from his earlier catalog, pulling “DIET_” from 2020’s UNLOCKED and “CLOUT COBAIN | CLOUT CO13A1N” from 2018’s TA13OO before finishing with “RICKY,” a standout from his 2019 LP ZULU. In a longer performance, he might have made it back even further, to the music that made him SoundCloud famous in his late teens — though these tracks may have presented some challenges for his live ensemble. Still, his Tiny Desk Concert is easily one of the series’ most comprehensive sets.

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Watch TURNSTILE’s Tiny Desk Concert

Watch TURNSTILE’s Tiny Desk Concert
The hardcore band tears through tracks from 2021 album GLOW ON from home.

By David Renshaw

January 05, 2022

JIMMY FONTAINE

Hardcore band TURNSTILE are renowned for their energetic live performances but that’s generally something they get help with from a live audience of their (ever-growing) fans. Stepping back from the stage and into their own homes, the band recorded a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR in which they showcase a series of songs from GLOW ON, one of The FADER’s favorite albums of 2021.

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In the performance, which you can see below, the band runs through tracks from the album including “ENDLESS,” “UNDERWATER BOI,” and “ALIEN LOVE CALL.” If you like what you see then TURNSTILE is on tour throughout 2022, with their TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION TOUR kicking off in spring with special guests Citizen, Ceremony, Ekulu, Truth Cult, and Coco & Clair Clair.

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Turnstile on how isolation inspired their wild and wonderful new album GLOW ON

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Jazmine Sullivan performs “Pick Up Your Feelings” on Kimmel

Jazmine Sullivan performs “Pick Up Your Feelings” on Kimmel
The single appears on the singer’s last project, Heaux Tales.

By Sajae Elder

March 30, 2021

Jazmine Sullivan was the musical guest on last night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where she performed “Pick Up Your Feelings” from an empty ballroom. Backed by a full band and background singers, Sullivan’s live take sounded as pristine as the version on her recent EP Heaux Tales, which dropped back in January.

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The performance is the latest in a string of live and virtual appearances from Sullivan, including singing the national anthem with Eric Church at the Super Bowl back in February, her Tiny Desk Concert, and the Soul Train Awards last fall.

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Watch her Kimmel performance above.

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Thumbnail image by Adedayo Kosoko.

Justin Bieber Releases 6th Studio Album “Justice” With A Powerful Message

Justin Bieber has released his sixth studio album, Justice.

The new Justin Bieber album is now available after months of the singer teasing its singles. The 16-track project titled Justice features guest appearances from the likes of Chance The Rapper, Burna Boy, Khalid, and more. Justin first mentioned Justice in the thick of the racial unrest and police brutality that plagued 2020.

The singer revealed that he hopes to bring some healing with his upcoming album. “In a time when there’s so much wrong with this broken planet, we all crave healing-and justice-for humanity,” Justin said. “In creating this album, my goal is to make music that will provide comfort; to make songs that people can relate to, and connect to, so they feel less alone. Suffering, injustice and pain can leave people feeling helpless.”

Justice has already spawned a number of hits, including “Holy” with Chance The Rapper. “Peaches” with Daniel Caesar and GIVE?N is also already a favorite which Justin released a new music video for when the album was released on Friday. He also gave a riveting performance of the track during his recent session on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.

Justin earned his second Grammy this year for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for his song “10,000 Hours” with Dan + Shay. Justice follows his fifth studio album Changes, which was also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.