Tiny Desk

Kelly Hogan

Download Audio

Kelly Hogan: Tiny Desk Concert

The reliable backup singer who seizes the spotlight is the stuff of entertainment-industry fairy tales, but Kelly Hogan hasn't actually had to labor in obscurity. She's spent the last decade or so as a high-profile accompanist for the likes of Jakob Dylan and Neko Case; the three of them even played a Tiny Desk Concert together a couple years ago, and it's not as if Hogan had to sing behind a curtain like Debbie Reynolds in Singin' in the Rain. Hogan is no household name, but she had little trouble inspiring a load of terrific songwriters to contribute a dozen custom-made compositions for her new album.

That record, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain — a title it shares with the Robyn Hitchcock song she performs here — exudes confidence and unflappable professionalism. And, naturally, that carries over to this performance in the NPR Music offices, as Hogan and her ace band knock out three songs with seeming effortlessness and easygoing charm.

Hogan took 11 years off between her last solo record and I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, in large part because she's been working constantly with other musicians — ironically, their constant demand for her work has helped keep her from seizing the spotlight. Seeing her in action, both in performance and as a calming presence in a chaotic room both before and afterward, it's easy to see why her collaborators never want to let her go: You can't go wrong surrounding yourself with oases of calm competence, especially when they bring cupcakes to share and sing as beautifully as Hogan does here.

Set List:
  • "Haunted"
  • "Plant White Roses"
  • "I Like To Keep Myself In Pain"

Producer: Stephen Thompson; Editor and Videographer: Michael Katzif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Michael Katzif/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Tiny Desk Concert with Deqn Sue. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Deqn Sue

She came so close to winning NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert Contest, we just had to see her play.

Tiny Desk Concert with Lianne La Havas Jun Tsuboike /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jun Tsuboike /NPR

Tiny Desk

Lianne La Havas

The singer is soulful yet playful, raw and vulnerable in a commanding kind of way.

Tiny Desk Concert with The Internet. Cameron Robert/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Cameron Robert/NPR

Tiny Desk

The Internet

The R&B band might just be the oddest thing to come from the hip-hop collective Odd Future.

Tiny Desk Concert with Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg. Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Joan Shelley

As technology rules the day, here's a reminder that a single voice can carry deep emotion.

Tiny Desk Concert with Gina Chavez Lydia Thompson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lydia Thompson/NPR

Tiny Desk

Gina Chavez

The Austin singer-songwriter performs with intense openness, directness and warmth.

Fiona Apple performs with the Watkins Family Hour at the Tiny Desk. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Tiny Desk

Watkins Family Hour

With help from Fiona Apple, two Nickel Creek alums gather a band to perform old and new songs.

Tiny Desk Concert with Chris and Morgane Stapleton Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chris Stapleton

With his wife Morgane, the country singer-songwriter sings patient, detailed songs of devotion.

Tiny Desk Concert with Sam Lee Lydia Thompson /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lydia Thompson /NPR

Tiny Desk

Sam Lee

The singer found his voice by finding and preserving old British, Irish and Scottish folk songs.

Tiny Desk Concert with Leon Bridges Lydia Thompson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lydia Thompson/NPR

Tiny Desk

Leon Bridges

Bridges is easy to love and hard to resist, with purity in his voice that's untouched by modern pop.

Tiny Desk Concert with Happyness Morgan Walker/NRR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan Walker/NRR

Tiny Desk


If you're a fan of dark, incredibly dry, wry humor, you've just found Happyness.

Back To Top