Fourth time is a attraction for this 12 months’s Tiny Desk Contest winner : NPR






The band Little Moon is the 2023 Tiny Desk Contest winner.

Mario Alcauter

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Mario Alcauter

The band Little Moon is the 2023 Tiny Desk Contest winner.

Mario Alcauter

Practically 6,000 unbiased artists submitted to this 12 months’s Tiny Desk Contest with excessive hopes of performing behind the identical Desk that is been graced by artists like Taylor Swift, Usher and Yo-Yo Ma. In the present day, Morning Version introduced the winner: Little Moon, a band from Springville, Utah.

Very like the story behind it, the band’s successful entry, “Surprise Eye,” has distinct phases. It begins with artist Emma Hardyman quietly plucking a guitar earlier than her voice builds and the six-person band — Emma Hardyman, plus bassist Nathan Hardyman, keys participant Bly Wallentine, harpist Bridget Jackson, drummer Chris Shemwell and electrical guitarist Grace Johnson — erupts with a pressure of sound.

“I used to be used to not successful,” Emma Hardyman tells Ari Shapiro, who she and her husband Nathan Hardyman spoke with hours after at this time’s announcement. The Utah band members say they don’t seem to be used to numerous consideration — and as longtime followers of Tiny Desk (the group has now entered the Contest 4 years in a row) it looks like an entire new realm to be seen by NPR. “It is like when your crush likes you again,” jokes Nathan Hardyman.

Nathan and Emma Hardyman inform Shapiro that they started writing “Surprise Eye” whereas Nathan Hardyman’s mom was in hospice care, and wrote the lyrics quickly after she handed. “‘Surprise Eye’ incorporates the thought of a number of deaths,” Emma shares. “I believe it took the bodily dying to assist us notice that dying is absolutely taking place on a regular basis — be it previous variations of ourselves, previous held beliefs, previous judgements even. And to that extent, we’re at all times grieving as effectively, which was additionally eye-opening.”

There was one other main private life occasion that factored into Emma and Nathan writing the music: They had been within the means of leaving the Mormon church they had been raised in. “The instruments I had been taught to make use of to make sense of dying had been now not as related to me,” Nathan Hardyman shares. “My perception system, which was as soon as very clear about [what happens when you die] — I used to be now not as sure of that. So the lyrics to the music are actually a reminder to me to take a seat with that uncertainty.”


“Is there a data that’s discovered / not in realizing?” Emma Hardyman sings within the successful entry. Nathan Hardyman says that acknowledging that he would not have all of the solutions is “a step towards discovering acceptance and peace with the thriller of life.”

He additionally shares: “My human intuition is to switch that uncertainty with one thing that does not upset us a lot. However I believe accepting uncertainty, accepting ambiguity, making peace with the thriller of life and dying — that may be a very therapeutic factor to do.” Maybe there’s one thing paradoxical about taking uncertainty and grief and channeling it into one thing that grew to become a definitive winner.

The band will carry out its Tiny Desk live performance at NPR’s headquarters quickly earlier than headlining the Tiny Desk Contest On The Highway tour. You may get tickets to see Little Moon on tour at

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