Today is the day that NPR Music’s Bob Boilen made the big announcement of this year’s Tiny Desk Contest Winner, the Virginia-based, folk-soul singer-songwriter Neffy.
We members of the judging panel, which also included last year’s Tiny Desk winner Linda Diaz and her fellow artists Phoebe Bridgers and Tobe Nwigwe, WXPN’s John Morrison and NPR Music reps Bobby Carter and Boilen, the creator of the Tiny Desk series, sifted through loads of stand-out entries. I had the pleasure of joining Boilen for a recent episode of Tiny Desk Top Shelf to rhapsodize about five of my faves.
There are plenty of other videos that came from closer to home and pack quite a punch, featuring songs that communicate memorably, arrangements that range from intimate minimalism to bright, energized, full-band treatments and performances that bridge the distance between the homey, studio or outdoor settings where they were filmed to reach us where we are.
From NPR Music’s viewable storehouse of entries, I’ve gathered up 10 of the compelling clips submitted to the contest from Nashville, Memphis and elsewhere in Tennessee, and here they are, in no particular order:
Jett Holden’s “Alison’s Song (Gone)”
Multi Ultra’s “Price I Pay”
The Art of ZHanre’s “Say It”
Jordan Occasionally’s “ISSAPARTY”
Rochelle Riser’s “Empty Vases”
Tyke T’s “Preaching To the Choir”
Lily Ophelia’s “Pockets”