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Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR's All Songs Considered features your favorite musicians performing at Bob Boilen's desk in the NPR Music office. This is the AUDIO only archive.Are you a fancy A/V nerd and need video? Visit our new Tiny Desk Concert video channel. Eye-popping video and all of the music you've come to expect.

Laura Mvula: Tiny Desk Concert

Listen to Laura Mvula's terrific full-length debut, Sing to the Moon, and you'll hear soulful pop music in Technicolor. The U.K. singer's sonic ambition is boundless: Her intricately layered songs straddle genres, locations and eras in ways that sound entirely original.

Squeezing that sound behind Bob Boilen's desk is no tiny task, as she acknowledges partway through this three-song set in the NPR Music offices. Mvula faces the challenge by seizing an opportunity to showcase her most intimate material; with the help of a small string section, she forgoes some of her flashier songs ("Like the Morning Dew," "Green Garden") in favor of Sing to the Moon's most brooding ballads.

The result shines a spotlight squarely on Mvula's lovely voice and elegant songwriting — both of which are sturdy enough to withstand being stripped of accoutrements. Soak up this performance, then treat yourself to Sing to the Moon if you haven't already. It's one of the best debut albums in a year full of great ones.

Set List

  • "Father, Father"
  • "Diamonds"
  • "She"
  • Credits

    Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Marie McGrory; photo by Marie McGrory/NPR

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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