Tiny Desk

Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/156300534/156487110" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

It's possible to place countless movies and TV shows within a very specific time frame based on whether they feature certain songs: Baja Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out," Smash Mouth's "All Star" and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' "Home" all provide a form of pop-cultural carbon dating, as well as signifiers of a tone that's both specific and universal. Brandi Carlile's 2007 hit "The Story" didn't quite reach those songs' level of ubiquity — it popped up on Grey's Anatomy during the height of that show's powers, and was prominently featured in a series of commercials during the 2008 Summer Olympics — but it did establish Carlile as a singer with a huge, powerful voice and a gift for connecting with listeners on a gut level. It was a song of its moment, yet still timeless in its message.

Carlile's new album, Bear Creek, follows nicely in that spirit (vocal power, lyrical accessibility) without trying to replicate the specific moves of the ballad that made her name. In the tradition of the best bluesy folk-rock singers who preceded her — think Janis Joplin or Melissa Etheridge, but with less bluster than either — Carlile sings with restrained power and from-the-gut force.

She's aided, on all her records and in this concert at the NPR Music offices, by twins Phil and Tim Hanseroth, whose guitars and gorgeous vocal harmonies help ground her within the impeccable chug of an airtight rock band. Performing together — whether storming wildly in "Raise Hell" or swooning gently in the string-swept set-closer "A Promise to Keep" — Carlile and her band sound tremendously assured. They're in complete control, even (or perhaps especially) when they're singing heart-on-sleeve songs about messy lives, loudly lived.

Set List:
  • "Raise Hell"
  • "That Wasn't Me"
  • "A Promise To Keep"
Credits:

Producer and Editor: Bob Boilen; Videographers: Becky Lettenberger and Nick Michael; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Blake Lipthratt/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Delicate Steve performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Mar. 3, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Delicate Steve

This fierce and lyrical guitar player writes playful instrumental music led by hooky vocals — but there is no voice, just the human-like twang of a glass slide on a guitar.

Sampha performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 7, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Sampha

A Tiny Desk Concert as intimate as it gets (that's saying something). Just Sampha, a piano and three heart-wrenching songs that seem to double as coping mechanisms.

Red Baraat performs at Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 8, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Tiny Desk Special Edition: Red Baraat's Holi Celebration

The Brooklyn bhangra band come to the Tiny Desk in celebration of Holi, the Hindu festival of color that welcomes the coming of spring.

Tank And The Bangas perform perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Mar. 6, 2017. (Niki Walker/NPR) Niki Walker/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Niki Walker/NPR

Tiny Desk

Tank And The Bangas

Tank And The Bangas' victory lap around the Tiny Desk was momentous and deeply touching.

Maren Morris performs perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 16, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Maren Morris

One of the newest Grammy winners stops by the Tiny Desk to share her winking, sometimes tongue-in-cheek songs.

Ninet Tayeb performs perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 14, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Ninet

One of Israel's most popular performers may fully win over fans of hard-playing rock.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band performs perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 23, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

To celebrate Fat Tuesday, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band brought their euphoric horns to the Tiny Desk for a raucous, joyous set.

Little Simz performs perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 23, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Little Simz

Little Simz has been compared to Lauryn Hill for her self-reflective wordplay. And though the British lyricist is a relative new-comer, her Tiny Desk performance was poised and confident.

Agnes Obel performs perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 9, 2016. (Raquel Zaldivar/NPR) Raquel Zaldivar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Raquel Zaldivar/NPR

Tiny Desk

Agnes Obel

Agnes Obel brings the Tiny Desk three alluring and powerful songs.

Esme Patterson performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 1, 2017. (NPR) NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Tiny Desk

Esmé Patterson

Esmé Patterson has dropped the banjos and folk from her previous project Paper Bird, and in their place are electric guitars and a backing band worth getting behind.

Back To Top