Honestly, seeing Tiny Desk Contest entries from DC bands popping up in my YouTube feed is giving me post-pandemic life. Indie folk band Near Northeast‘s annual submissions are always top notch videos thanks to long time video collaborator Kip Radt. This year he captures the zeitgeist with a guest appearance from Brood X on the song “Window” from Near Northeast’s forthcoming album. Great to see you again NNE, we hope the fine judges at NPR Music take note!
We’re one week before the extended deadline falls on NPR Music’s 2020 Tiny Desk Contest, so it’s time for Hometown Sounds to focus on the worthy entries from the DC area. Indie folk band Near Northeast has led our coverage for thelastfouryears, and their ambitious 2020 entry makes good use of the limitations of our current situation. Their most recent album Cabin Sessions is a collaboration with Nashville resident Takunda M. Since the DC-based band members can’t get together right now to record a song in person, they used videoconferencing to bring in Takunda’s voice for the haunting song “Flowers”. We’ve watched a lot of musical livestreams in the last month on YouTube, FB Live, IG and Zoom, and this one really shows what’s possible with some organization and teamwork.
After a successful run in his Lost Origins Gallery solo art show Milk Relics, Tom Kim‘s short animated film “Greta” is now ready for a worldwide audience. Dedicated to the world-famous 16 year old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, “Greta” is composed of over 1000 painstaking hand drawings, accompanied by the instrumental song “Cenote” from the 2015 debut album Curios by experimental folk group Near Northeast.
Hometown Sounds emailed with Kim and Avy Malik of Near Northeast to find out more about this collaboration. Continue reading →
To craft a new album with their Nashville-based musical friend Takunda M., indie folk band Near Northeast retreated to two cabins in the Blue Ridge Mountains for focus and inspiration. The resulting album Cabin Sessions comes out August 23rd, and in advance you can and should fill your ears with the advance single “Dardanelles”. Near Northeast were smart to bring along their regular visual collaborator Kip Radt to film the sessions, as the setting is so damn gorgeous in this music video that you’ll need to get out of town and book a weekend there ASAP. Not THIS weekend though, because then you’d miss out on the album release show at new arts hotspot Cheshire in AdMo this Saturday. Hosted by arts event boosters PAKKE, the event features an art exhibit from Working Artists, a DC collective of visual artists who have created unique works of art based on a song of their choosing from the album. Come early to hear a discussion of the collaboration between visual and auditory artists led by Hometown Sounds podcast co-host & the guy who writes all the posts here, Paul Vodra. Get advance tix while you still can!
For four years now NPR Music has sponsored the Tiny Desk Contest, inspiring bands all over the world to film themselves playing a song live in front of a desk to win a chance to play Bob Boilen’s legendary space. Every year Hometown Sounds rounds up our faves of the entrants from the DC area, hoping that one of our own worthy bands will win the nod. Today’s feature is Near Northeast, the gorgeous experimental chamber folk band supported by Etxe Records. They spent the winter behind closed doors crafting new songs like “Shelter”, their 2019 Tiny Desk Contest entry shot and edited by longtime video collaborator Kip Radt. Mark your calendars to hear Near Northeast’s new jams Sunday May 5th at the Pie Shop with fellow DC band Swoll and Philly’s Son Step.
In case you’re new to this game, every year Bob Boilen and his NPR Music crew invite submissions of live performances (behind a small desk, of course) for the immensely popular Tiny Desk Contest. Since we love music videos so much at Hometown Sounds, we dig deep and highlight the best submissions created by the DC music community. This is the third entry from indie folk band Near Northeast, and their first submission “What To Say” in the midst of 2016’s epic Snowzilla remains tops in our hearts. “Mostly Just Sand” comes from Near Northeast’s 2015 debut album Curios, and this live rooftop version includes an unexpected and yet very DC contribution at the end. Boss move to use this take.
True Mirror, the long-awaited sophomore album by indie folk group Near Northeast, is now available for purchase through the adventurous local label Etxe Records. The album release show is this Friday May 5th at St. Stephen’s, and like all good shows in 2017 part of the proceeds go to support those in need. The band incorporated tabla and sarod, traditional Indian instruments, on the album and especially its beautiful and whimsical debut single “Indali”. Waves are the impossible-to-miss theme and connective tissue of the single’s music video, connecting found footage of frolicking on a beach vacation to immense terror and devastation wrought by tsunamis in the Indian Ocean and Japan. This band knows well how to bridge the delightful and serious into powerful art.