Saying the winner of the 2023 Tiny Desk Contest : NPR

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NPR Music acquired almost 6,000 entries to this yr’s Tiny Desk Contest, the annual seek for the subsequent nice undiscovered artist to play a Tiny Desk live performance. However one Springville, Utah, band rose to the highest as its entry shocked the judges, moved them to tears and crammed them with hope.

At the moment, we’re thrilled to announce Little Moon is the winner of the 2023 Tiny Desk Contest.

That is Little Moon’s fourth yr getting into the Contest, an actual testomony to by no means giving up. Little Moon’s entries have impressed Contest judges since 2020, however this yr, the band leveled up — and the judges observed. Albina Cabrera of NPR Member station KEXP shared the band’s profitable entry, “Surprise Eye,” as considered one of her favorites on Prime Shelf final month, noting its highly effective message and applauding singer Emma Hardyman’s distinctive voice and the togetherness of all the band. Just a few weeks later, when all of the judges got here collectively to determine on a winner, the choice to crown Little Moon was unanimous. “Emma’s deceptively robust voice, and the band’s means to take the music to locations fully sudden, catapulted ‘Surprise Eye’ to the highest of the heap of great entries,” mentioned Tiny Desk sequence producer Bobby Carter. Singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten mentioned Hardyman’s vocal vary was “out of this world.” Collection creator Bob Boilen shared: “The tune is a dynamic and explosive tune with a deeply emotional story.”

Emma Hardyman instructed us the tune was written below heavy circumstances: Her mother-in-law was in hospice care, whereas she and her husband, bassist Nathan Hardyman, have been within the strategy of leaving the Mormon church. “Mormonism believes in life after demise, resurrection and everlasting households,” she mentioned. “There may be magnificence and luxury in our former beliefs of certainty, gentle and life; we honor and respect such teachings. However we additionally discover deep magnificence in uncertainty, darkness, chaos and demise. Maybe it is all one and the identical.”

She added: “Maybe this tune was written as a result of we realized we now have been mourning numerous deaths our entire lives. … Maybe it took a significant, bodily demise of a cherished one to see that demise is going on on a regular basis — that we’re all the time grieving one thing, that accepting the mysterious, shadowy nature of demise can deepen one’s sense of humanity and soften the methods we see ourselves and one another.” You may hear extra from Hardyman this afternoon, when she’ll do her first NPR interview because the Contest winner on All Issues Thought-about.

Quickly, Little Moon — Emma and Nathan Hardyman, plus keys participant Bly Wallentine, harpist Bridget Jackson, drummer Chris Shemwell and electrical guitarist Grace Johnson — will play a Tiny Desk live performance at NPR’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. And in June, the band will headline the annual Tiny Desk Contest On The Street tour, enjoying alongside native Contest entrants (quickly to be introduced) throughout the nation. You may get tickets for the tour at NPRPresents.org.

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