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caroline: Tiny Desk Concert

London's caroline typically performs in a circle, a visual metaphor attuned to the connections made as members face each other. But in its Tiny Desk performance, the group adjusted its stage plot slightly for a new setting, still singing together of yearning, of fatigue, of kinship. Gusts of post-rock, emo, folk and minimalism sweep around the octet's sound, but the musical mish-mash isn't quite the point — caroline stresses a communal spirit, witnessed here in a beautiful set.

Over three songs performed from caroline's self-titled debut — one of NPR Music's 50 best albums of 2022 — strings skitter and swoon, guitars stutter and drum sticks roll atop the Tiny Desk itself. In sprawling arrangements and frenzied improvisations, this is impatient music that awaits patient ears. There's power and vulnerability in choral singing, where different kinds of voices aid and uplift the moment for something better. That's especially the case on "Dark blue," with a mournful-yet-triumphant chord progression you could sit inside forever, as the music shifts and shuffles over a bustling drone and the band offers a deceptively simple carpe diem: "I want it all."


  • "Good morning (red)" 
  • "Dark blue" 
  • "Skydiving onto the library roof" 

  • Jasper Llewellyn: acoustic guitar, cello, drums, vocals
  • Mike O'Malley: electric guitar, vocals
  • Casper Hughes: electric guitar, vocals
  • Oliver Hamilton: violin
  • Magdalena McLean: violin, vocals
  • Freddy Wordsworth: trumpet, bass
  • Alex McKenzie: clarinet, flute, saxophone
  • Hugh Aynsley: drums, percussion

  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Director/Editor: Kara Frame
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers:  Kara Frame, Sofia Seidel, Alanté Serene, Catie Dull
  • Audio Assistant: Hannah Gluvna
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Maia Stern, Joshua Bryant, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Pilar Galván, Jill Britton
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Lars Gotrich
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