Hometown: New Rochelle, N.Y.
Pairs well with: Watching the moon's reflection dance on the sea
Evan Stapleton, the singer-songwriter who performs as florid, could quiet a crowded room just by singing the word "of." His fourth Tiny Desk Contest entry is full of poetic lyrics, including lines "Blunt the edges of my anger / Starve the embers of my pride" and "The more I know / The more I'll reconstruct some rose-colored revision of a history that never was." But Stapleton's gorgeous falsetto runs give shape to each and every word he sings, giving listeners a whole new appreciation for even filler prepositions.
The song's title, "mirror flower," "refers to something beautiful but unattainable," Stapleton tells us. "Memories aren't fixed reproductions but corruptible interpretations," he adds. This introspection is evident in the music, as Stapleton begins with slow, transcendent guitar plucking. It'll make you want to hold your breath between each pluck, waiting for the release.