Maria Taylor: Tiny Desk Concert It's clear from this Tiny Desk Concert that Maria Taylor has never made a go of it as a busker: In terms of volume, she's closer to a whisper than a scream. But hers is a wonderfully warm presence.

Tiny Desk

Maria Taylor

The Omaha-based folk-pop duo Azure Ray was built around the tension between its two very different halves: the playful experimentation of Orenda Fink and the straight-to-the-heart melancholy of Maria Taylor. Ever since Azure Ray went on hiatus in 2004, Fink and Taylor have released solo records and side projects — Fink popped up as half of O+S earlier this year, while both have performed in Now It's Overhead and Bright Eyes — that play to their respective strengths. In the case of Taylor, that's meant three terrific albums (11:11, Lynn Teeter Flower and the new LadyLuck) that bleed wistful beauty.

Azure Ray just announced a short reunion tour, with an album on the way thereafter, so it's a good time to revel in the quiet, sweet sadness of Taylor's solo side. It's clear from this Tiny Desk Concert, recorded without amplification at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen while Bob was on vacation, that Taylor has never made a go of it as a busker: In terms of volume, she's closer to Laura Gibson than Tom Jones. But hers is a wonderfully warm presence, and the setting brings out her songs' winsome essence.

This three-song set features a pair of highlights of LadyLuck — the title track and the first single, "Time Lapse Lifeline" — before closing with a devastating song from Lynn Teeter Flower. Given a spare acoustic reading, "Clean Getaway" closes the set on a tender, reflective note. Amplification wouldn't have done it justice.

Set List

  • "LadyLuck"
  • "Time Lapse Lifeline"
  • "Clean Getaway"

Credits

Production by Bob Boilen and Frannie Kelley

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Theodore performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Theodore

The music of Theodore is dark and transformative, with the kind of spare elegance you can hear in Sigur Rós or Pink Floyd.

Gary Clark Jr. performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 1, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Gary Clark Jr.

These three songs, from Clark's incendiary new album This Land, roar with the assurance and force of a showman at the top of his game.

Karine Polwart Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 22, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Karine Polwart Trio

Scottish singer, songwriter and essayist Karine Polwart seldom comes stateside, eschewing air travel to reduce her carbon footprint. But on a rare, recent visit, she stopped in D.C. for a Tiny Desk.

Georgia Anne Muldrow performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 26, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Georgia Anne Muldrow

The R&B singer from Los Angeles is all about showing and spreading love.

Courtney Marie Andrews performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 2, 2019 (NPR). NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Courtney Marie Andrews

It was a day when sunlight drenched the office and the songs of heart from Courtney Marie Andrews felt right at home.

Weezer performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Weezer

Performing unplugged, the band forgoes its usual meticulousness in favor of a shaggy, entirely acoustic mix of new songs and '90s-era deep cuts.

Andrea Cruz performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 4, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Andrea Cruz

The singer from Puerto Rico is part of a movement on the island that emphasizes largely acoustic instruments and a folk-based approach to interpreting life before and after the hurricane of 2017.

&More performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 4, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

&More (Chill Moody & Donn T)

Philadelphia Rapper Chill Moody and singer Donn T, along with their crew known as &More, were one of the standout entrants in last year's Tiny Desk Contest. They bring a message of hope and love.

Back To Top