Wye Oak performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices.

Tiny Desk

Wye Oak

At NPR Music, we usually brainstorm Tiny Desk Concerts by scouring the concert calendar in Washington, D.C., before inquiring about the schedules of our favorites. A few musicians have made special trips into town just to appear at NPR — including The Swell Season last year — but when that happens, a Tiny Desk performance is often secondary to some other function in the building.

Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, who perform together as Wye Oak, live only half an hour away in Baltimore, so they didn't think much of a trip to D.C. for the sole purpose of livening up a day at our office. Last year, Wasner and Stack put out an extraordinary album called The Knot — the disc even hit a certain NPR editor's year-end Top 5 — and they wanted to bust out some of their brand-new stuff behind Bob Boilen's desk. The typical Wye Oak concert doesn't want for volume, so they'd agonized over ways to tone down the noise while letting the unfamiliar material shine in an unexpected setting.

They needn't have worried. Though Stack's instrumental input was minimal compared to his usual role in the live band — he often plays drums and keyboards simultaneously, to remarkable effect — Wasner lost none of her commanding presence or energy. (If anything, her words are easier to parse without so much noise and distortion.)

Wye Oak's four-song Tiny Desk Concert bypasses The Knot entirely, instead drawing two songs from a new EP called My Neighbor/My Creator ("My Neighbor" and "I Hope You Die"), another from 2007's If Children ("Regret," sung by Stack after a brief acknowledgement of the current healthcare debate), and an as-yet-unreleased song called "Civilian."

Set List
  • "My Neighbor"
  • "Civilian"
  • "Regret"
  • "I Hope You Die"
Credits

Filmed and edited by Michael Katzif; photo by May-Ying Lam

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Tiny Desk Concert with Car Seat Headrest. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Car Seat Headrest

Will Toledo is a wordsmith with a vision, as well as a DIY sound that's still finely crafted.

Tiny Desk Concert with EL VY. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

EL VY

The National's Matt Berninger and Menomena's Brent Knopf team up in an intimate setting.

Tiny Desk Concert with The Arcs. Jessica Mowery/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jessica Mowery/NPR

Tiny Desk

The Arcs

It's our 500th show at the Tiny Desk, featuring The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and his new band.

Tiny Desk Concert with Wolf Alice. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

Wolf Alice

The band's music can be noisy and primal, but at the Tiny Desk it showed a different side.

Tiny Desk Concert with River Whyless. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

River Whyless

The North Carolina band fills its rootsy music with unexpected instruments and clever ideas.

Tiny Desk Concert with Benny Sings. Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Morgan Walker/NPR

Tiny Desk

Benny Sings

The Dutch singer layers R&B, jazz and pop over hip-hop beats in his first-ever U.S. appearance.

Tiny Desk Concert with Natalie Merchant Jun Tsuboike /NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike /NPR

Tiny Desk

Natalie Merchant

The singer-songwriter gives a warmhearted performance of two new songs, an old favorite and a hymn.

Tiny Desk Concert with Mariachi Flor De Toloache Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Mariachi Flor De Toloache

While on tour with The Arcs, the powerhouse mariachi band performs live in the NPR Music offices.

Tiny Desk Concert with Rapsody Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Rapsody

Watch the rapper perform three songs from Beauty And The Beast live at the NPR Music offices.

In January, Mucca Pazza set a Tiny Desk record by fitting 23 members onstage. Colin Marshall/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Colin Marshall/NPR

All Songs Considered

2015: Looking Back On A Year At The Tiny Desk

This year, NPR Music published 84 sessions from behind Bob Boilen's desk. Here are 15 highlights.

Back To Top

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor