5 Favorite Solo Tiny Desk Concerts Tiny Desk video producer Maia Stern chooses five artists, from Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis to Angel Olsen, who prove the Tiny Desk is a great outlet for performing solo.
NPR logo 1 Is The Tiniest Number: Our 5 Favorite Solo Tiny Desk Concerts

1 Is The Tiniest Number: Our 5 Favorite Solo Tiny Desk Concerts

If I knew what the future held, then it wouldn't be the future. But still, somehow, right now, with the world aswirl and upside-down and as I'm learning what it's like to live during a pandemic, I find that I'm compelled more than ever to look back in time. What better place to dig into nostalgia than the Tiny Desk archives? I loved all five of these solo performances, as each one makes me feel like I was right there in the room with them.

Jimmy Cliff — who my older brother introduced me to — has a voice that sounds like the warm hug I need right about now. (And those glasses are just the cherry on top.) I like this line from "Enemy," Angel Olsen 's third song in this set: "You could be the only one who knows the truth of me." I'm swept away by the sheer volume of this solo set from Daniel Bachman, whose intricate playing style sounds like so much more than a single acoustic guitar. I love hearing J Mascis' super-recognizable voice paired with an acoustic guitar instead of a wailing electric. (Fun fact: A good pal gifted my daughter a Dinosaur Jr. shirt that says "Dinosaur Jr. Jr." on it.) And I was first introduced to Julie Doiron only a few months ago when she returned to the Desk with Mount Eerie. I dug up her solo Tiny Desk concert and was intrigued by her matching scratchy voice and guitar tone.

We're all maybe a little more solo than we used to be right now, so take some time to hang out with these performers who may make your room feel a little fuller.

Tiny Desks In This Playlist

Jimmy Cliff

Angel Olsen

Daniel Bachman

J Mascis

Julie Doiron