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Join us Thursday at our Walker's Point studios for "State of Sound." Tap here for all the details.

Little Moon: Tiny Desk Concert

When 2023's Tiny Desk Contest winner Little Moon arrived at NPR, outward expressions of joy overshadowed the inner bundle of nerves felt by this band from Springville, Utah.

The group's winning song, "wonder eye," unanimously wowed our contest judges Sharon Van Etten, Baby Rose, Sudan Archives and Albina Cabrera. Tiny Desk senior producer Bobby Carter and I, also judges, were in awe hearing singer Emma Hardyman's four-octave voice warming up behind the Desk. She and her husband, Nathan Hardyman, told NPR's All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro they began writing "wonder eye" while Nathan's mother was in hospice care, and that he wrote the lyrics soon after she passed.

"'wonder eye' incorporates the idea of multiple deaths," Emma shared. "I think it took the physical death to help us realize that death is really happening all the time — be it past versions of ourselves, old held beliefs, old judgments even. And to that extent, we're always grieving as well, which was also eye-opening."

Without monitors or vocal amplification, one of the toughest things for a band to do when playing at my desk is to get the balance and sound levels right. Emma and Nathan — joined by bandmates Bly Wallentine on bass, Bridget Jackson on harp, Chris Shemwell on drums and Grace Johnson on keys — all pretty much nailed it.

The band's set, which includes two unreleased songs (recorded for a new album), displays a range of emotion and creativity with a promising future. The group will be hitting the road as part of the Tiny Desk Contest tour, so if Little Moon is coming to your town, come and hear this band's unique sound.

SET LIST

  1. "wonder eye"
  2. "we fall in our sleep"
  3. "kind, kind home"

MUSICIANS

  • Emma Hardyman: vocals, guitar
  • Nathan Hardyman: guitar, vocals
  • Bly Wallentine: bass, rainstick, vocals
  • Bridget Jackson: harp, vocals
  • Chris Shemwell: drums, percussion, vocals
  • Grace Johnson: keyboard, rainstick, vocals

TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bob Boilen 
  • Director/Editor: Kara Frame
  • Audio Engineer: Neil Tevault 
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Kara Frame, Maia Stern, Joshua Bryant, Sofia Seidel
  • Audio Assistant: Hans Copeland
  • Production Assistant: Elizabeth Gillis
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Josh Rogosin, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bob Boilen
In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.