Laura Gibson Plays Tiny Desk Concert No. 200 Her gorgeous, whispery voice inspired the Tiny Desk Concerts series in 2008. Now, Laura Gibson returns with her band to perform four songs from her new album, La Grande.

Tiny Desk

Laura Gibson Plays Tiny Desk Concert No. 200

We call her the Typhoid Mary of the Tiny Desk.

Singer-songwriter Laura Gibson served as the inspiration and guinea pig for the Tiny Desk Concerts back in the spring of 2008, after Bob Boilen and I witnessed her struggle to be heard over the din of a yappy crowd at SXSW. I suggested to Bob that we'd be better off asking her to play a concert at his desk rather than straining to hear her at a bar, so we waited around after the show and suggested the notion to Gibson. It felt like an imposition, but she lept at the idea — and noted that she'd be in Washington, D.C., in three weeks.

The solo performance we captured was spare and gorgeous, and the series evolved quickly, from quiet singer-songwriters (Gibson, Vic Chesnutt, Sam Phillips) to the noisier likes of Tom Jones, Chuck Brown and The Avett Brothers. As of this writing, we've recorded more than 200 Tiny Desk Concerts. Bob's desk, in addition to being a place where he works and distracts his colleagues with scatterbrained shenanigans, now sits under professional video lighting; while my desk houses a menagerie of wind-up robots and drinking birds, Bob's permanently houses a microphone that's worth more than my car. (Three hundred dollars!)

The whole time the series has been going on, Laura Gibson has been making gorgeous music. We've been blown away by the albums she's released in the past few years — Beasts of Seasons and this year's La Grande — which build on her sonic palette without sacrificing the intimacy of her fragile, whispery voice. So who could be better to help us celebrate Tiny Desk Concert No. 200? Other musicians, like Nels Cline and Marketa Irglova, have played the desk once as a headliner and once as a collaborator. But Laura Gibson, the Typhoid Mary of our labor of love, had to be the first to headline twice.

Set List:

  • "Feather Lungs"
  • "La Grande"
  • "Milk-Heavy, Pollen-Eyed"
  • "The Rushing Dark"

Personnel:

  • Brian Perez - Vocals, Percussion
  • Matthew Berger - Drums
  • Johanna Kunin - Vocals, Piano, Flute
  • Jill Coykendall - Clarinet

Credits:

Producers: Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson; editor and videographer: Michael Katzif; audio engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Doriane Raiman/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Moonchild performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 17, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Moonchild

The LA-based trio makes an intricate blend of jazz, R&B and hip-hop. For their Tiny Desk set, they pulled out all the stops: flutes, flugelhorns, saxophones, keyboards, ukuleles and more.

The Comet Is Coming performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 2, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

The Comet Is Coming

The Comet is Coming is a force of nature. The British trio makes the kind of instrumental jazz that takes music lovers out of their comfort zone and into a musical realm they may never have explored.

Weyes Blood performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 7, 2019. (Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Weyes Blood

Watch the band perform a blissed-out, gently sweeping set featuring three songs from its latest album, Titanic Rising.

Raveena performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 8, 2019. Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Raveena

"I just want you to know," Raveena told the NPR office, "that in this space that we're in, you're extremely, extremely loved."

Freddie Gibbs performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Sept. 26, 2019. (Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Freddie Gibbs And Madlib

The enigmatic and reclusive producer Madlib joins hard-hitting emcee Freddie Gibbs for one of the most memorable Tiny Desks of the year.

Raphael Saadiq with Lucky Daye performs during Tiny Desk Fest, on Oct. 31, 2019. (Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Raphael Saadiq

The godfather of 21st century soul electrified NPR's Tiny Desk Fest audience, with a little help from rising R&B star Lucky Daye.

Sheryl Crow performs during Tiny Desk Fest, on Oct. 29, 2019. Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow's Tiny Desk Fest concert included a handful of early hits that have become pop standards.

Megan Thee Stallion plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Megan Thee Stallion

The budding superstar debuted a new song with Phony Ppl and performed hits from Fever and Tina Snow during the first night of NPR's Tiny Desk Fest.

Black Uhuru plays a Tiny Desk Concert. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Black Uhuru

The influential reggae group, whose name means "black freedom," brought songs of solidarity and love to the Tiny Desk.

Mereba performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Sept. 17, 2019. Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Mereba

A nomadic storyteller with a cross-genre style ranging from folk to rap, Mereba slays the devil in her solo set behind the Desk.

Back To Top