Tiny Desk Live performance : NPR

“We’re gonna play you a narrative,” the Oregon-based singer-songwriter Anna Tivel says, introducing “Black Umbrella,” her searing ballad about police violence in an American comfort retailer, throughout this quiet and riveting efficiency on the Tiny Desk. Because the keyboardist Galen Clark provides grace notes supporting gently unyielding guitar, Tivel sings of a younger bystander who, due to the way in which he appears, is transfigured from witness to a criminal offense to alleged perpetrator and, lastly, its most tragic sufferer. “Black Umbrella” is the epic on the damaged coronary heart of Tivel’s beautiful 2022 album Outsiders, which like all of her music chronicles the lives of the missed, misunderstood and weak. As at all times, Tivel’s outstanding empathy elevates her folk-based, jazz-touched compositions from mere tales to secular prayers.

Generally Tivel is the weak one. “What if flying would not take, and we’re alive solely to ache?” she sings within the nearer “Royal Blue,” a tune to a greatest good friend that is as unguarded as it’s hopeful. Her ease right here with Clark and the drummer Micah Hummel, whose light elaborations complement Tivel’s modest methods, comes from a lot time of their van, crossing continents. Inside their swirling preparations, Tivel’s portraits of ache and resilience grow to be hypnotic, like desires, like actuality as we deal with it, at all times unfolding. “Is there one thing that you simply need to say?” she intones within the new and unreleased tune “Fluorescence within the Future.” Factor is, Anna’s already mentioned it.


  • “Fluorescence within the Future”
  • “Black Umbrella”
  • “Heroes”
  • “Royal Blue”


  • Anna Tivel: vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Galen Clark: keyboards 
  • Micah Hummel: drums


  • Producer: Bob Boilen 
  • Director/Editor: Sofia Seidel 
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin 
  • Sequence Producer: Bobby Carter 
  • Videographers: Sofia Seidel, Maia Stern, Michael Zamora 
  • Audio Assistant: Neil Tevault
  • Tiny Desk Crew: Suraya Mohamed, Kara Body, Joshua Bryant, Hazel Cills, Marissa Lorusso, Ashley Pointer, Pilar Galván, Jill Britton

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