Banks: Tiny Desk Concert On record, Banks is at the center of lavish productions, each suitable for throbbing remixes and banks of swirling lights. Here, though, she serves notice as a powerful singer in her own right.

Tiny Desk

Banks

Banks: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/359304580/359610335" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tiny Desk Concerts often require creative and logistical transformations, from electric bands going acoustic to big bands squashing into a tiny space to many players gathering around a single microphone. But the setting is particularly challenging for vocalists, especially those accustomed to heavy production, effects or — in the case of recent guest T-Pain — generous dollops of Auto-Tune.

T-Pain's effects-less set grabbed more attention at the time, given the extent to which digital alterations are expected of him, but this performance by Banks is, in its own way, an even greater high-wire act. Banks' terrific full-length debut, Goddess, is constructed out of layer upon layer of electronics, beats, samples and other means of submerging the singer's voice in swirling accoutrements. With assistance from keyboardist/guitarist John Anderson and percussionist Derek Taylor, she's not all alone behind the Tiny Desk, but her expressive voice is fully exposed here.

Kicking off her three-song set with "Beggin For Thread," Banks sets the scene in vulnerable, breathily seething fashion before opening the throttle in her choruses. On record, she's placed at the center of lavish productions, each suitable for throbbing remixes and banks of swirling lights. At the Tiny Desk, though, she serves notice that she's a powerful singer in her own right — and that heavy production needn't be the product of necessity.

Set List

  • "Beggin For Thread"
  • "Alibi"
  • "Brain"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Becky Lettenberger, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: James Clark; photo by James Clark/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Ty Dolla $ign plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Ty Dolla $ign (Home) Concert

The R&B superstar assembled some frequent collaborators — including Skrillex — for a six-song quarantine concert.

GroundUP perform a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

GroundUP Family Dinner (Home) Concert

Gregory Porter, Brad Mehldau and Chris Potter all appear in this 18-musician Tiny Desk quarantine concert, organized by Snarky Puppy's Michael League.

Katie Pruitt plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Katie Pruitt (Home) Concert

The Nashville singer-songwriter delivers an empowering performance in this Tiny Desk quarantine concert.

Spillage Village plays a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Spillage Village (Home) Concert

Let the Atlanta hip-hop collective take you to church in its Tiny Desk quarantine video.

Christone "KINGFISH" Ingram plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Kingfish (Home) Concert

The blues prodigy performs a special Tiny Desk show at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Miss.

Gracie and Rachel perform a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Gracie And Rachel (Home) Concert

The pop-meet-classical duo perform a quarantine concert from their New York City apartment.

Ozuna plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Ozuna (Home) Concert

Global superstar Ozuna performs five songs in quarantine for Tiny Desk.

Bebel Gilberto plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Bebel Gilberto (Home) Concert

Two members of Brazilian musical royalty unite for a special Tiny Desk quarantine performance (and a heck of a view).

Carlos Vives plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Carlos Vives (Home) Concert

Colombian actor and singer Carlos Vives has been performing Latin American hits for almost 30 years. His Tiny Desk (home) concert is part of our Hispanic Heritage Month extravaganza.

Lido Pimienta plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Lido Pimienta (Home) Concert

The Polaris Music Prize winner kicks off our week-long Tiny Desk celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Back To Top