Mother Falcon: Tiny Desk Concert What makes the 17-member chamber-rock collective so alluring isn't its size, but rather the way it uses all its members in the service of great, snappy, stirring, frequently uplifting songs.

Tiny Desk

Mother Falcon

Mother Falcon: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/212633651/212630666" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When it comes to Tiny Desk Concerts, we're suckers for milestones at NPR Music: We're gearing up to acknowledge No. 300, for example, and are constantly taking note of the first time a musician trots out a particular rare instrument or does something else no one has done in front of us before. The Austin chamber-rock band Mother Falcon recently scored a big distinction, at least as far as we're concerned — one it shares with its fellow Texans in The Polyphonic Spree — as the largest ensemble ever to squeeze behind Bob Boilen's desk.

Unlike The Polyphonic Spree, though, everyone in Mother Falcon plays an instrument during this performance: There's no chorus of backup singers among the 17 men and women who play guitars and horns and keyboards and woodwinds and strings here. Which made Tetris-ing each member behind Bob's desk a bit of a challenge, but Mother Falcon knows its way around cramped spaces: At one point during SXSW this year, Bob and I saw the group give a concert as it spilled from a small stage all the way onto the street outside. (Crowds gathered around both spaces, in some cases not realizing that they were only seeing half a band.)

What makes Mother Falcon so alluring, though, isn't its size, but rather the way it uses all its members in the service of great, snappy, stirring, frequently uplifting songs. Its many moving parts aren't creating mere volume, but also texture: These three songs, all from this year's You Knew, find a place for dreamy whispers and literal screams alike. Give this sweet, winning band 12 minutes — heck, give it the first two and a half, which is all it takes to perform the soaring and scrappy "Marigold" — and you ought to have yourself a favorite worth following for years to come.

Set List

  • "Marigold"
  • "Marfa"
  • "Dirty Summer"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius, Stephen Thompson; Editor: Parker Miles Blohm; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Parker Miles Blohm, Chloe Coleman, Becky Lettenberger, Maggie Starbard; photo by Hayley Bartels/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

ALA.NI performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 20, 2017. (Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR/NRR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR/NRR

Tiny Desk

ALA.NI

ALA.NI captures and conveys a reverent love of early-20th-century music, while injecting those sounds with charisma and charm well suited for any era.

Maggie Rogers performs a Tiny Desk concert at NPR headquarters. Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Tiny Desk

Maggie Rogers

The rising pop star performs three of her best-known songs, including a sweet solo take on her career-making "Alaska."

Aldous Harding performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 6, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Aldous Harding

Intensity in songs often expresses itself as volume – a loud guitar, a scream, a piercing synth line. But in the case of Aldous Harding it's in the spaces, the pauses, and her unique delivery.

James Mercer of The Shins performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 19, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Tiny Desk

The Shins

James Mercer, the emotional and creative heart of The Shins, gives a moving performance at the Tiny Desk, with two new songs and a classic from the band's 2003 album Chutes Too Narrow.

Albin Lee Meldau performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 12, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Albin Lee Meldau

Albin Lee Meldau possesses a thunderous, deeply affecting voice, which he uses to tell some utterly dark, but demonstrably cathartic, tales.

Rare Essence performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 9, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Tiny Desk

Rare Essence

Rare Essence has been bringing go-go to the world since 1976 — the group brought that pedigree, and the genre's massive meld of funk, rhythm and blues and soul, to this raucous hometown Tiny Desk.

Tuxedo performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 20th, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Tuxedo

Tuxedo, the unlikely-on-paper funk-soul duo of Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One, brought a left-of-center sonic approach and a sharp sense of style to their Tiny Desk Concert.

Fragile Rock performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 16, 2017. (Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Tiny Desk

Fragile Rock

Fragile Rock is a band that relies on the boogie of The B-52s, the melancholy of The Smiths and the humor of Kermit the Frog. Oh, and they're all puppets.

Jay Som performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 7, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Tiny Desk

Jay Som

Melina Duterte may have played all the instruments on Jay Som's newest record, Everybody Works, but her touring band brought a rougher edge to those silky recordings.

Chance The Rapper performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 5, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper, fresh from a 23,000-strong, sold-out show the night before, brought a thoughtful and fresh take to his Tiny Desk concert.

Back To Top