The best 2021 Tiny Desk contest entries we’ve seen this week: Volume 3

Recently, we shared some of our favorite entries from the 2021 Tiny Desk contest, which closed on June 7th. , our judges will start combing through our entries to find a winner. Here are some of the best entrees we’ve seen recently.


Raine Stern, “Touchin ‘Dont Feel Right”

Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin.
Goes well with: Canceling a date you didn’t want to go in the first place

“Touchin ‘Don’t Feel Right” has all the confidence and intimacy of a blues-funk love song, but with a respectful twist. This Raine Stern slow-burn celebrates not wanting to be hit, while hitting all the right notes in the right places. The recent competitor on NBC The voice wrote and arranged everything we hear, but it’s the musicians who join her who pull it off effortlessly. And there’s just something uplifting about a song that asserts strong personal boundaries right now, as we all try to navigate this world we are reliving in. Oh, and stick around for a mind-blowing guitar solo. –Pilar fitzgerald


Mackenzie Shrieve, “I Didn’t Tell You”

Hometown: Alamo, California
Goes well with: The final scene of Chip bag

When I first opened “Didn’t I Tell Ya” I was a fanatic of the scene: friends in wicker chairs on a porch, their guitars to the soft sound of the rain. I was intrigued and loved by the sound style: the way songwriter Mackenzie Shrieve waltzes between song and speech. But what really stood out to me about this entry was the honest and intelligent lyricism: “You think I didn’t want you / when I couldn’t keep up / I never worked hard / only good luck” , Shrieve admits. “Another midnight talk / where you say go to hell / I think I deserve it / I play the bad guy very well.” –Elle Mannion


Oh, Hooray, “Torment the butterfly”

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Goes well with: Restart; contemplate one’s life looking out of a cafe window

“Torment the Butterfly” is a sweet ode to self-esteem – becoming your own person and not letting someone else define you. Singer Jamie McDonald begins the song slowly and relaxed. It’s just him and his ukulele remembering a past relationship. When the rest of the group join in, they increase the tempo and urgency and cut off just as Jamie declares he is leaving. “Torment the Butterfly”, with its engaging storytelling and playful instrumentals, is both thoughtful and joyful. The group describes the song as a celebration of freedom and free will, which is best exemplified when McDonald’s sings, “Maybe I can learn to love myself / stop learning it from someone else. ” –Jill britton


talkative, “suck Up”

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Goes well with: Learn to skate to impress your crush

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Celeste Tauchar calls her music as a loveseat “indie rock emo with glitter all over”. And while there was no real glitter involved in her entry video, filmed in a Los Angeles backyard, Tauchar and his band performed a well-executed version of “Suck Up” – a song that ‘she says is trying to maintain your identity in the midst of anxiety – which shines with charm and personality. –Marissa Lorusso


Nan Macmillan, “How many kilometers”

Hometown: Charlottesville, Virginia.
Goes well with: Walk in the woods and stop to admire the view

Nan Macmillan studied poetry in college before earning her MA in Performance and Production – and it shows. In her video for “How Many Miles”, performed at a Charlottesville artisanal cider house, Macmillan’s clear and luminous voice cradles listeners as she recites three poetic lines.

“Love is not always tender, I tried, I know / The bitterness of a broken heart / From a life before / And I know a refuge, it feels like home / How many kilometers should I travel? / How many kilometers should I travel? / How many kilometers? ” –Elle Mannion


Mi $ HNRZ, “Delorean”

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Goes well with: Flirt with second chances

Latin Trap has dominated the charts for a few years, but it is rarely represented in the Competition. Enter Mi $ HNRZ. Like the time machine of Back to the future, his song “Delorean” offers a nostalgic escape: a last chance at love once lost. Amid swirling pinks and purples, the group crams a ton of talent into a tiny space (a skill that we, the Tiny Desk Contest team) very seriously). This summer song portrays a hopeful vision of “una noche mas”, one more night to right the wrongs of the past. It is a will or not for the Bad Bunny generation. –Pilar fitzgerald


Jake Lloyd, “Cold Summer”

Hometown: Austin, Texas
Goes well with: Checking your ex’s Instagram when your friends specifically tell you not to

If you weren’t paying attention to the lyrics to “Cold Summer” you’d never think the song was about wanting someone you’re no longer with, even if you realize they’ve treated you badly. However, it’s hard not to be drawn to every word that comes out of Jake Lloyd’s mouth. Her voice is incredibly soft, each word leading perfectly to the next. The emotion he feels towards the person he is talking about is palpable, evident through his facial expressions and his articulation. Poignant lyrics aside, the song is fun – perfect for a summer party with your friends. –Jill britton

About Raymond Lang

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