NPR Music's 2023 Tiny Desk Contest winner is Little Moon
May 16th, 2023, Washington, D.C. — Today on Morning Edition, NPR Music announced the winner of the ninth edition of the Tiny Desk Contest: Little Moon.
Little Moon will perform at NPR's Tiny Desk before embarking on the Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour.
Little Moon's group members are Emma Hardyman (lead vocals/guitar), Nathan Hardyman (bass/guitar), Bly Wallentine (keys/bass), Bridget Jackson (harp), Chris Shemwell (drums), and Grace Johnson (electric guitar/keys). The Utah band was selected as the winner out of nearly 6,000 submissions from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The band's performance of its song "Wonder Eye" captivated this year's Tiny Desk Contest judging panel — Tiny Desk creator and host of All Songs Considered Bob Boilen and Tiny Desk producer Bobby Carter; Tiny Desk alums Sharon Van Etten, Baby Rose and Sudan Archives; plus Albina Cabrera from NPR Member station KEXP.
"'Wonder Eye' was a clear and unanimous winner amongst our judges and for a good reason," said Bob Boilen. "It's an explosive tune with a deeply emotional story. It's a song of grieving and understanding with a dynamic performance."
Emma Hardyman says the song is about how "accepting the mysterious, shadowy nature of death can deepen one's sense of humanity and soften the ways we see ourselves and each other."
"When reviewing Tiny Desk Contest submissions, I seek something extraordinary and emotion-evoking," said Bobby Carter. "Emma's voice and the bands' ability to take the music to unexpected places pushed their song to the top of a heap of wonderful artists. I'm blown away."
This is Little Moon's fourth time participating in the Tiny Desk Contest; they have submitted a video each year since 2020. "Winning Tiny Desk after four years is magical, mind-blowing, touching and threatening to my ego story, which finds comfort in being small," Emma Hardyman says. "I got used to approaching the Tiny Desk competition as a way to simply play with my friends and practice whatever I wanted. Winning feels like being a little plant in a little pot, getting suddenly uprooted and repotted in a much, much bigger space than I am used to — unfamiliar and vast, but with plenty of nourishment and space to grow."
Emma says that the song was written in early 2021, while her husband and bandmate Nathan's mother was in hospice care, and while the couple was in the process of leaving the Mormon church in which they'd grown up. "There is beauty and comfort in our former beliefs of certainty, light and life — we honor and respect such teachings. But we also find deep beauty in uncertainty, darkness, chaos and death — perhaps it's all one in the same," Emma told NPR. "Perhaps this song was written because we realized we have been mourning various deaths our whole lives and we didn't want to pretend like we knew what was going on anymore."
Tune in to All Things Considered this afternoon for the first exclusive NPR interview with Emma as the 2023 Contest winner. Stations and broadcast times are available at NPR.org/stations.
TINY DESK CONTEST TOUR
The tour stops are June 20 in Los Angeles (LAist, KCRW, KVCR); June 22 in San Francisco (KQED, KALW, KRCB), June 23 in Seattle (KUOW, KNKX, KEXP), June 25 in Atlanta (WABE/WCLK), June 30 in Philadelphia (WHYY/WRTI/World Cafe Live WXPN), July 1 in New York (WFUV / BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!); July 6 in Chicago (Vocalo) and July 8 in Houston (KPVU/KUFH).
More information about the Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour is available here. Tickets for the tour are on sale now at NPRpresents.org
The Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour, which brings the winner to stages around the country, returns in 2023 in partnership with NPR Members stations and is presented by Capital One, with support from Guayaki Yerba Mate. This victory tour, expanding to eight cities this year, will be a chance to see Little Moon perform live alongside a showcase of vibrant local music, as two local Contest acts will also perform in most cities.
Tickets for the tour are on sale now at NPRpresents.org The Tiny Desk Contest and Tiny Desk On the Road tour is presented by Capital One and supported by Guayaki Yerba Mate.
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Below are the scheduled stops along the 2023 Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour:
June 20- Los Angeles (Station partners: LAist, KCRW, KVCR)
June 22- San Francisco (Station partners: KQED, KALW, KRCB)
June 23- Seattle ( Station partners: KNKX, KUOW)
June 25- Atlanta - (Station partners: WABE, WCLK)
WABE's 75th Anniversary MixTape LIVE
June 30- Philadelphia - (Station partners: WXPN, WHYY,WRTI )
July 1 - Brooklyn - (Station partners: WBGO)
July 6 - Chicago - (Stations partners: Vocalo)
July 8 - Houston (Station partners: KPVU, KUFH)
About NPR Music
For more than a decade, NPR Music's robust music journalism has engaged millions of music fans from all genres with feature stories, live performances, cultural analysis and interviews. Projects include the Tiny Desk concert series; Turning the Tables; Jazz Night in America and the podcasts All Songs Considered, Alt Latinoand Louder Than A Riot. NPR Music collaborates with NPR's news magazines, public radio Member stations and the passionate listener community to celebrate exceptional music and discover emerging artists. Visit NPRMusic.org and connect with NPR Music on Facebook and Instagram.
Yanius Alvarado Matos, NPR Media Relations