Tiny Desk

Nellie McKay

Download Audio

Nellie McKay: Tiny Desk Concert

You wouldn't think to call someone audacious who once devoted an entire album to Doris Day songs, but Nellie McKay is. McKay's first album for a major label, Get Away From Me, was a double-CD set unlike any other record I can think of, and her bold personality shines through in every project she's tackled since.

You may have seen McKay at NPR before: She took on the crazy task of writing and recording a song in just a few days while the cameras rolled as part of our Project Song series. The song she wrote unfolded in typical Nellie McKay fashion: She wrote the song pretty much backwards, holding the melody and words to the very end.

Despite the seemingly reckless chaos that surrounds McKay, there's also purpose and determination, and you can see that in this Tiny Desk Concert. The whimsical, charming songs she plays here are from her recent record, Home Sweet Mobile Home. There's no one quite like her, as you'll soon see.

Set List
  • "Caribbean Time"
  • "The Portal"
  • "Beneath The Underdog"

Michael Katzif and Bob Boilen (cameras); edited by Bob Boilen; photo by Abby Verbosky

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

TK Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk


See a singer with a powerful voice and extremely encouraging message.

Tiny Desk Concert with Zac Sokolow (left), Frank Fairfield and Tom Marion. Emily Jan/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Jan/NPR

Tiny Desk

Frank Fairfield

A young man with an old musical soul has a spellbinding voice and fluid fiddle playing.

Tiny Desk Concert with Jason Vieaux and Yolanda Kondonassis. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Tiny Desk

Jason Vieaux And Yolanda Kondonassis

Watch the Grammy-winning guitarist and acclaimed harpist play music influenced by Africa and Asia.

Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Young Fathers

Intense, hip-hop-infused poetry is reduced to just the essentials in this two-song, four-minute set.

Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk


A star in his native Portugal, Camané evokes melancholy with a silky baritone and elegant phrasing.

Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk


These are enchanting songs, with the power to drift in your head for days.

Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk


Found objects are percussion instruments in the hands of a man who's part musician, part magician.

Vijay Iyer Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 20, 2015. Olivia Merrion/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Olivia Merrion/NPR

Tiny Desk

Vijay Iyer Trio

Iyer's working band transforms selections from throughout the pianist's deep and varied catalog.

Back To Top