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Laufey: Tiny Desk Concert

"I grew up playing classical music and it's so special to get to play my songs almost in this chamber-like setting," Laufey says in her performance. Accompanied by a string quartet, the singer-songwriter's modern jazz-pop love songs soared at the Tiny Desk, the intimacy of our little corner only heightened its impact.

Laufey's music undeniably bridges the gap between jazz and younger, mainstream audiences coming to the genre. Her sophomore album, Bewitched, broke Spotify's all-time streaming record for a jazz debut ever in the platform's history and resulted in her first Grammy nomination. She opens the set with "From The Start," a bouncy, whimsical tune about unrequited love with a friend, connecting Chet Baker-like scats with charming and playful lyrics. Taking a more melancholic turn into 2021's "Let You Break My Heart Again" and "Promise," her velvety vocals rich with vulnerability dance elegantly with the strings, creating a symphony of emotions. Laufey concludes the set with "California and Me," which she explains was heavily influenced by her receiving her first baby grand and compositions by Liszt and Chopin. This mesmerizing performance is a captivating testament to the power of collaboration and music's ability to evoke raw, unfiltered emotion.

SET LIST

  • "From The Start"
  • "Let You Break My Heart Again"
  • "Promise"
  • "California and Me"


MUSICIANS

  • Laufey Jónsdóttir: piano, guitar, vocals
  • Sherri Zhang: violin
  • Josh Henderson: violin
  • Aria Cheregosha: viola
  • Ken Kubota: cello


TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Ashley Pointer
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter 
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Maia Stern
  • Audio Assistant: Neil Tevault
  • Production Assistant: Elle Mannion
  • Photographer: Estefania Mitre
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Hazel Cills
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

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

Ashley Pointer