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Steve Gunn performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on July 1, 2013. Erica Yoon/Erica Yoon/NPR hide caption

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Steve Gunn

Gunn's music stems from a bushy, overgrown definition of what we often call "Americana." But mostly, his hypnotic long-form jams are perfect for taking it easy. Watch Gunn's trio perform a mesmerizing set at the NPR Music offices.

Daughn Gibson performs live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

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Daughn Gibson, 'You Don't Fade' (Live)


Gibson is a former punk and truck driver who now puts an art-rock spin on contemporary country music. Watch Daughn Gibson and his band play "You Don't Fade."

The Buika performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013. Hayley Bartels/Hayley Bartels/NPR hide caption

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Concha Buika's voice doesn't come from inside her petite body: It comes from Africa, and from the past. There are obvious traces of flamenco, itself a historical mash-up of the Moors and various transitory cultures in southern Spain and north Africa. Watch Buika perform in the NPR Music offices.

Sebadoh hangs out in the KEXP parking lot before the band's studio session. Travis Tyler/KEXP hide caption

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Sebadoh, 'Keep The Boy Alive' (Live)


Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein released their first Sebadoh album in 14 years, Defend Yourself, in September 2013. They visited KEXP in Seattle to give fans a taste of the new material.

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The National, 'I Should Live In Salt' (Live)


With drummer Bryan Devendorf out due to an injury, The National played a pared-down set during its recent visit to KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic studios. Watch them perform "I Should Live In Salt."

The Front Bottoms performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in July 2013. Chloe Coleman/Chloe Coleman/NPR hide caption

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The Front Bottoms

The community that's formed around The Front Bottoms' songs — as total strangers purge deep emotions in a public space — is a beautiful phenomenon, as well as a testament to the passion and compassion the band radiates.

New Sub Pop signee clipping. performs at the label's 25th-anniversary festival. Morgen Schuler/KEXP hide caption

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clipping., 'Killer' (Live At Sub Pop's Silver Jubilee)


The experimental L.A. hip-hop trio cuts quick-slung lines across swaths of destroyed digital noise that's guaranteed to redline your sound system. Advisory: This video contains profanity.

Mother Falcon performs a Tiny Desk Concert in July 2013. Hayley Bartels/NPR hide caption

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Mother Falcon

What makes the 17-member chamber-rock collective so alluring isn't its size, but rather the way it uses all its members in the service of great, snappy, stirring, frequently uplifting songs.

Valerie June performs live at The Current's studios in St. Paul, Minn. Nate Ryan/The Current hide caption

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Valerie June, 'You Can't Be Told' (Live)

The Current

The line between folk music and the blues has always been thin and blurry, and Valerie June appears set to erase it all together. She recently stopped by to perform for The Current.

Lorde performs "Royals" on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. KCRW hide caption

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Lorde, 'Royals' (Live)


New Zealand native Ella Yelich-O'Connor is just 16, but she's already notched one of the year's biggest hits, "Royals," in her home country. Watch Lorde perform the song live in KCRW's studios.

Alpine performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013. Chloe Coleman/Chloe Coleman/NPR hide caption

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The Australian sextet crafts busily impeccable pop music with a danceable sway, prominent synths and the charming shared lead vocals of Phoebe Baker and Lou James. But the band does a tremendous job translating its sound to the spare confines of the NPR Music offices.

Musician Jim Guthrie performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 31, 2013. NPR hide caption

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Jim Guthrie

Guthrie and his band drove 18 hours round-trip from Ontario just to perform three songs behind the desk of NPR Music's Bob Boilen. Watch them perform some of the wistful and infectious highlights from Guthrie's new album, Takes Time.

Alela Diane performs live for opbmusic. opbmusic hide caption

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Alela Diane, 'Lost Land' (Live)

The singer-songwriter recently held a special concert at The Old Church in downtown Portland, Ore., to celebrate her new album. Watch Diane perform "Lost Land" with the aid of a string section.

Hanni El Khatib at Joshua Tree National Park Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Hanni El Khatib Gets Saved In The Desert


Hanni El Khatib and his band brave sharp desert succulents, chilly temperatures and an aggressive maraca for this performance of the appropriately titled "Save Me."