Tiny Desk Concert with Sturgill Simpson on July 8, 2014. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

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Sturgill Simpson

The Kentucky native writes country songs about loneliness, failed dreams, drinking and drugs.

Tiny Desk Concert with Nickel Creek on August 13, 2014. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

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Nickel Creek

The band was made to sing and play around one microphone, so a Tiny Desk Concert seemed inevitable.

Rodrigo Amarante performs a Tiny Desk Concert. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

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Rodrigo Amarante

A veteran of Little Joy and Los Hermanos, Amarante makes warm, tender music as a solo artist.

Pacifica Quartet performs a Tiny Desk Concert. Olivia Merrion/NPR hide caption

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Pacifica Quartet

Watch the group play selections from Shostakovich's cycle of introspective string quartets.

Tiny Desk Concert with Ernest Ranglin on June 25, 2014. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

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Ernest Ranglin

Watch a talented, charming guitar legend make magic as his band Avila holds down the beat.

Tiny Desk Concert with Bob Mould on June 16, 2014. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

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Bob Mould

The former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman plugs in for a characteristically loud four-song set.

Irene Diaz performs a Tiny Desk Concert. NPR hide caption

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Irene Diaz

With Carolyn Cardoza, Diaz conjures a place where emotions run deep and beauty is unmistakable.

The Family Crest performs a Tiny Desk Concert. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

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The Family Crest

The band's seven players are trained in classical and jazz, led by Liam McCormick's powerful voice.

Tiny Desk Concert with Quetzal on June 27, 2014. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

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Quetzal

The veteran East L.A. band's music penetrates the intellect even as it makes your hips sway.

Saintseneca performs a Tiny Desk Concert. Olivia Merrion/NPR hide caption

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Saintseneca

In the NPR offices, the Ohio band plays three alternately brooding and stomping songs from Dark Arc.