Tiny Desk Intimate concerts, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen.

Australian Chamber Orchestra

The adventurous ensemble has been widely praised for its risk-taking attitude. Gathered around Bob Boilen's desk, a stripped-down incarnation of the group plays music by Ravel, then unpacks several Egyptian instruments for an original composition.

The charming London indie-folk band Fanfarlo performs a holiday-themed set in the NPR Music offices. hide caption

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Fanfarlo

After playing a pair of songs from Reservoir, the band closed with a cover of Low's 1999 song "Just Like Christmas." Fanfarlo's members had practiced it all the way from Baltimore to D.C., not exactly a trek across continents, but the result was, well, perfect.

Lightning Dust specializes in quiet moments, whether in a shared glance or a finely-knit harmony. Frannie Kelley/NPR hide caption

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Lightning Dust

With singer Amber Webber's quivering vibrato and Joshua Wells' warm piano accompaniment, the group specializes in quietly dark moments, whether in a shared glance or a finely knit harmony.

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Andrew W.K.

Sometimes, an idea is so perverse and bizarre that it needs to be carried out and followed to its logical end. So once we hatched the idea to bring long-haired, wild-eyed, keyboard-pounding, sublimely over-the-top party-rocker Andrew W.K. to perform an intimate concert at Bob Boilen's desk, there was no abandoning it. It simply had to happen.

Zee Avi. Frannie Kelley/NPR hide caption

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Zee Avi

The success of Malaysian-born singer-songwriter Zee Avi is an increasingly familiar but noteworthy story: Avi was discovered after she posted a few songs on YouTube. Within two months, she was signed to release her self-titled debut. Here in this intimate Tiny Desk Concert, Avi sings three hushed lullabies, including what has become one of her signature songs: a cover of Morrissey's "First of the Gang."

Bowerbirds' captivating set of handcrafted songs has a distinctively sparse, harmonious sound. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

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Bowerbirds

Bowerbirds' handcrafted songs creak and swell like wooden floorboards in an old house. With acoustic guitar, accordion and violin. Hear the group perform their captivating Tiny Desk Concert.

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K'naan

Though his appearance at the NPR Music office qualifies as the first-ever hip-hop Tiny Desk Concert, Somali-born rapper K'naan isn't one to adhere to a single genre.

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Sondre Lerche

Known as a varsity-level banterer on stage, Lerche puts his considerable magnetism to good use in this charming Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices. Performing three songs from his recent album >>Heartbeat Radio, he conveys all the lilting sweetness his fans have come to expect.

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Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros

At 10 members, this is the biggest band ever to play a Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices. But singers Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos still find a way to command attention.

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Ralph Stanley

Now 82, he sits atop a 60-year legacy of making music, both as the preeminent purveyor of clawhammer-style banjo picking and as a singer with one of the most widely imitated voices in country music.

Maggie Starbard

Rodrigo y Gabriela

A Mexican duo living in Dublin, Rodrigo y Gabriela just released an album called 11:11, which pays tribute to the pair's heroes — Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Astor Piazzolla and Pantera's Dimebag Darrell among them. See how in this amazing performance they gave at the Tiny Desk.

John Vanderslice

Vanderslice is a songwriter's songwriter. His music, a beautifully finessed mix of acoustic instruments, analog drum machines and digital textures, is invariably thoughtful, carefully crafted and affecting. He's prolific, too: Vanderslice has released an album nearly every year this decade, and his latest (Romanian Names) is his most inspired so far. See him perform acoustic versions of his newest songs in this Tiny Desk Concert.

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Raphael Saadiq

Looking sharp in his tailored suit, the Grammy-nominated R&B artist performed three acoustic interpretations of his soul-inspired tunes. He was joined by guitarist Rob Bacon in this intimate performance at Bob Boilen's desk.

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Telekinesis

Reduced to a duo for this charming session in the NPR Music offices, Telekinesis is all heart: Without the insistent crunch of electric guitars or drums, the band's performance radiates sweetly awkward warmth. After opening with the unreleased "Plankton," the abbreviated Telekinesis showcases three gorgeous songs from its debut: "Coast of Carolina," "I Saw Lightning" and "Rust."

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The Tallest Man On Earth

The young Swedish folksinger Kristian Matsson, a.k.a. The Tallest Man on Earth, is passionate, gruff, a great guitar picker and a damn good poet.