Stephen Thompson

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

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Back in April, during the early days of COVID-19, Bon Iver dropped a seemingly free-standing single called "

Taylor Swift was supposed to spend this summer touring songs from Lover, the album she put out last August. Instead, like many of us, she wound up cooped up at home. The isolation seems to have sparked her creativity, leading her to write and record an entirely new record in collaboration with producers Jack Antonoff and The National's Aaron Dessner.

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When John Prine died on April 7 due to complications from COVID-19, he didn't just leave behind a rich recorded legacy.

You can probably guess that we recorded the original Broadway cast of Hadestown before the coronavirus pandemic made live theater (live anything) an untenable risk. The reminders are everywhere — in the way 16 performers bunch up behind the desk, singing formidably in close proximity as a large crowd gathers just off camera — that this took place in the Before-Times. To be specific, on March 2.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

When Jason Molina died in 2013, the 39-year-old singer-songwriter left behind a mountain of works: wrenching solo albums, released under his own name and as Songs: Ohia, as well as louder electric recordings with his band Magnolia Electric Co. In 2007, Molina had amassed such a backlog of unreleased songs that he by

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Cue the Hamilton quotes: Soon the room where it happens will be your living room! Shout it to the rooftops that the Broadway sensation Hamilton will be available for home viewing this summer! Look around, look around to see how lucky we are to be alive in a world where Hamilton is coming to Disney+ on July 3, more than 15 months ahead of schedule!

We're roughly two months into a collective crisis that's kept us sheltered in place, cut off from friends and fearful for the future of our health, our families and our economic well-being. Our emotions frequently form a thick slurry of anxiety, worry, boredom, rage and desperate desire for threads of normalcy; for moments of mundanity; for the calming comfort of the familiar.

Back in the Before-Times, when Tiny Desk concerts were held in front of gatherings of people — "crowds," we called them — we'd remind everyone in attendance to silence their cell phones. When the music was loud enough, it didn't matter if people followed instructions. But when Daughter of Swords came to grace us with a few hushed folk songs, the music was so eerily still, you could have heard a phone vibrate.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected musicians around the world. Many have had to cancel tours, delay album releases and find new sources of income. But some artists have found inspiration in the virus.

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Bon Iver's recent music has been intricately crafted enough that it's bound to roll out sparingly: The gaps between all four

In this era of social distancing, few celebrities have carved out a social media presence as appealing as those of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. They're married, so they get to share their isolation — and they've been filling the time with a kindhearted weekly YouTube show they call Some Good News.

It's tempting, when assessing great creative works, to funnel all credit to a lone genius — a writer, a singer, a director, an artist, or a name that sits atop a marquee. It's so much easier to be spared the task of teasing out greatness from an interconnected web of contributors, partners, helpers, teachers and organizers. We can accept a songwriting credit that reads "Lennon-McCartney," but our icons — our geniuses, our auteurs — more often stand alone, lest their stars seem diminished.

Adam Schlesinger, one of the most prolific and decorated songwriters of his generation, died Wednesday from complications caused by COVID-19. He was 52.

His death was confirmed to NPR by his lawyer, Josh Grier.

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Conor Oberst has kept busy since the last Bright Eyes rec

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Genre: Indie Pop

Why We're Excited: Born in Colombia and based in L.A., singer-songwriter Andrea Silva records beautiful, bittersweet songs under the name Loyal Lobos. In "Criminals," a tribute to platonic friendship that frequently recalls Phoebe Bridgers, Silva proves enormously adept at dreamy, languid balladry. Even when crisp, gorgeous guitars dominate the mix, it's hard not to hang on her every word.

Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Rock

Why We're Excited: With its gritty riffs and fiery rhetoric — one new single is called "People Don't Protest Enough" — Catholic Action ought to sound deadly serious, even strident. But there's a sense of play to the Scottish band's sound: "One of Us" may churn and grind, but it's also tossing fistfuls of glitter into the mix. Throughout the forthcoming Celebrated by Strangers, aggression and joy coexist comfortably.

Hometown: New York, New York

Genre: Punk

Why We're Excited: Patio's guitar-forward post-punk songs clatter with jagged, infectious verve. But in "Boy Scout," the band steps up its game even further, bundling up a gaggle of virtues — sweetly raggedy hooks, funny lines delivered as conversational asides, a distinct point of view, references to other bands — in a span of just 95 highly eventful seconds.

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Genre: Rock

Why We're Excited: At the helm of Why Bonnie, Blair Howerton writes glossy, synth- and string-inflected guitar-pop songs that fit a mighty, beating heart underneath all the gleaming hooks. Between 2018's Nightgown and the forthcoming Voice Box EP, Why Bonnie started cranking its guitars a bit, lending heft and fervency to a sound that had already sported a fair bit of Cranberries-esque intensity.

Hometown: Northampton, England

Genre: Rock

Why We're Excited: U.K. singer-songwriter Katie Malco has released a smattering of songs over the years — mostly barren piano-and-voice recordings steeped in vulnerable melancholy — but none like last year's bracing and infectious rock-and-roll blowout "Creatures." The track, from Malco's forthcoming full-length debut, taps briefly into the singer's softer side, but uses it primarily as a foil for a soaring string of marvelous, ever-grander choruses.

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Genre: Rock

Why We're Excited: Horse Jumper of Love plays dirges — deliberately (even funereally) paced slow jams in which each strangled note feels as if it's been squeezed out with great effort. Led by singer-guitarist Dimitri Giannopoulos, the band's songs sound hypnotically beautiful in an off-kilter way, with arrangements that magnify small narrative details into big, booming moments of catharsis.

Hometown: Perth, Australia

Genre: Folk Pop

Why We're Excited: An Australian singer-songwriter with a gift for deadpan observation and deftly deployed guitar licks, Carla Geneve sneaks up on you: Her songs can feel like overheard conversations, but also she's got a keen instinct for just when and how to crank up the dramatic tension. She's only just released her debut EP, and Geneve has already locked down a pitch-perfect mix of booming peaks and seething near-silences.

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Genre: Indie Pop

Why We're Excited: Aymen Saleh makes sweetly jangling, goodnatured Britpop — appropriate for a guy who grew up in Canterbury, England. But he eventually found his way to an American town that won his heart (that'd be the great city of Milwaukee) and now uses his songwriting to reflect on the pull of both places and the pressures inherent in growing up. Dispensed with abundant charm and grace, his songs feel warm and lived-in.

Hometown: Diyarbakir, Turkey

Genre: Global

Why We're Excited: A Kurdish musician who's performed at hundreds of weddings in Turkey, Tufan Derince now spreads collaborative and celebratory music from his new home base in the Netherlands. Derince plays a stringed instrument called an elektrobağlama — think of a long-necked, amplified lute — that lends his arrangements a springy sense of playfulness. In "Sultane," a song credited to Derince's bandmate Raman Dari, traditional Kurdish music gets a wild and danceable remix.

Hometown: London, England

Genre: Jazz

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Genre: Folk

Hometown: Snyder, Texas

Genre: Indie Pop

Why We're Excited: In 2018, it was Kady Rain. In 2019, Dossey. This year's pure pop find from the great city of Austin is Sydney Wright, whose "You Can Stay" exudes dynamism and drama. With a bit of smartly deployed vocal processing — closer to Gordi than, say, Imogen Heap — Wright crafts a wildly catchy kiss-off anthem that bypasses simple slogans in favor of a more thoughtful awakening.

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Genre: Hip-Hop

Why We're Excited: L.A. singer-rapper Steven G finds more or less the exact midpoint between sleekly stylish R&B and slyly playful hip-hop, landing on a monster sex-jam earworm in "Handcuffs." An engaging presence with an easy smile and a few million streams to his name — seriously, the chorus to this thing can get stuck in your head for days — Steven G has all the commercial potential in the world.

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