Since its inception in 2008 the chance to appear on NPR’s web series, Tiny Desk Concerts, has been a dream for many musicians. While still a difficult goal to achieve, since 2015 NPR has offered upcoming musicians a chance to appear on the web series. As a result, every year musicians around the country film their own one song tiny desk concert for a chance to win the opportunity to appear on the web series. Because we love the Tiny Desk Concerts so much we have put together a list of our favorite submissions to this year’s contest from Dayton area musicians.
The first of this year’s submissions to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest that we loved comes from Paige Beller. For those not familiar with her music, there are few who are can create such a complex and meaningful song while still keeping things simple in the way that Paige Beller can. In fact, if you aren’t familiar with her music, her entry is a great place to start. In addition to being an excellent song, “So Much Water” is a perfect example of how Paige Beller can write and perform such a powerful song with only a few elements.
Shannon Clark and the Sugar
The next entry into NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest we loved by a Dayton area musician comes from Shannon Clark & The Sugar. In this submission, Shannon Clark is joined by his daughter Navie Clark to perform their original song “The Burden”. Specifically what we loved about their entry is just how good their singing voices sound together.
The Nautical Theme
Given that The Nautical Theme is coming off a recent successful album release it should surprise no one that this Dayton based folk duo has submitted an excellent entry into this year’s tiny desk contest. In fact, their submission is sure to be one of the contest’s most creative entries. While most musicians chose to perform behind a tiny desk, thanks to the magic of editing The Nautical Theme was able to perform on their tiny desk. If you enjoy their entry be sure to also check out their recently released album Lows and Highs.
Next on our list is the entry from Dayton based singer-songwriter, Kevin Heider. With just a guitar and a harmonica, Kevin Heider performs his song “Make An Honest Stand” in the traditional singer-songwriter style. Additionally, we loved this submission because in times as trying as the current COVID-19 pandemic it’s hard not to find comfort in a heartful song about trying to be a better person.
Another great submission to this year’s NPR Tiny Desk Contest is one by Dayton area musician, David Bays. In his submission, David is joined by Adam Clark and Eric Thompson to perform his original, “Another Chance to Breathe”. In addition to being featured in his contest entry, this song also comes off his debut album, Aspects of Adjustment. Furthermore, the album was released on April 12th and can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp.
Bonus: Entries From Ohio Musicians Outside of Dayton We Loved!
Because NPR’s annual Tiny Desk Contest is such a great chance for up and coming musicians to show people what their music is all about here are some other entries we loved from Ohio based musicians.
Lauren Eylise – Cincinnati, Ohio
The first of the entries from Ohio based musicians we loved is “Peaks and Valleys” by Lauren Eylise. If you are going to only watch one video featured on this list, make it this one. In addition to Lauren Eylise’s incredible voice, “Peaks and Valleys” is a powerful song you are sure not to forget anytime soon.
No Stars – Athens, Ohio
Next up on the entries from Ohio based musicians that we loved comes from No Stars. In their submission, this Athens, Ohio based band performs their indie rock original “The Thing to Do”. In general, we loved this submission because after watching it, it was very clear to us that No Stars would be a great fit to play in many of Dayton’s great small venues.
Dave Buker & The Historians – Columbus, Ohio
Last on our list is from the Columbus, Ohio based band Dave Buker & The Historians. In addition to simply being a good song, we loved their submission because of their ability to adapt amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the current public health restrictions in place, they were unable to record their entry in a traditional way. Instead, the band expertly recorded their submission remotely. In spite of the challenges, they still were able to record a great entry which is why we loved it.