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

Steve Gunn performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on July 1, 2013. Erica Yoon/Erica Yoon/NPR hide caption

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Steve Gunn

Gunn's music stems from a bushy, overgrown definition of what we often call "Americana." But mostly, his hypnotic long-form jams are perfect for taking it easy. Watch Gunn's trio perform a mesmerizing set at the NPR Music offices.

The Buika performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013. Hayley Bartels/Hayley Bartels/NPR hide caption

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Buika

Concha Buika's voice doesn't come from inside her petite body: It comes from Africa, and from the past. There are obvious traces of flamenco, itself a historical mash-up of the Moors and various transitory cultures in southern Spain and north Africa. Watch Buika perform in the NPR Music offices.

The Front Bottoms performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in July 2013. Chloe Coleman/Chloe Coleman/NPR hide caption

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The Front Bottoms

The community that's formed around The Front Bottoms' songs — as total strangers purge deep emotions in a public space — is a beautiful phenomenon, as well as a testament to the passion and compassion the band radiates.

Mother Falcon performs a Tiny Desk Concert in July 2013. Hayley Bartels/NPR hide caption

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Mother Falcon

What makes the 17-member chamber-rock collective so alluring isn't its size, but rather the way it uses all its members in the service of great, snappy, stirring, frequently uplifting songs.

Alpine performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013. Chloe Coleman/Chloe Coleman/NPR hide caption

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Alpine

The Australian sextet crafts busily impeccable pop music with a danceable sway, prominent synths and the charming shared lead vocals of Phoebe Baker and Lou James. But the band does a tremendous job translating its sound to the spare confines of the NPR Music offices.

Musician Jim Guthrie performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 31, 2013. NPR hide caption

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Jim Guthrie

Guthrie and his band drove 18 hours round-trip from Ontario just to perform three songs behind the desk of NPR Music's Bob Boilen. Watch them perform some of the wistful and infectious highlights from Guthrie's new album, Takes Time.

Keaton Henson performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Friday, May 24, 2013 at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. Gabriella Demczuk/NPR hide caption

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Keaton Henson

Henson's voice is so fragile and hushed, if you were 10 feet away from him you'd barely hear a peep. But what the London singer's music lacks in volume, it more than makes up for in feeling. Watch Henson perform three songs from his new album, Birthdays.

Dana Falconberry performs a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Music in Washington, D.C., on May 12, 2013. Gabriella Demczuk/NPR hide caption

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Dana Falconberry

Falconberry's songs are gentle, almost invariably delicate, sometimes mysterious and frequently feather-light. But her music's sweet, intricate softness never stands in for strength. Watch her and five bandmates perform three songs from her recent album Leelanau.

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Time For Three

In person, the members of Time for Three come off as just three dudes in a band. But with their staggering technique and freewheeling genre-crossing, it's hard not to be swept up in the force of their contagious energy. Hear the "classically trained garage band" perform in the NPR Music offices.

Guards performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013. Denise DeBelius/NPR hide caption

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Guards

Guards' music captures the pop sound of the late '50s and early '60s, but with more power and polish. Hear three sturdy pop songs from the band's first album, In Guards We Trust, performed live at the NPR Music offices.

Cheyenne Mize performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 16, 2013. Marie McGrory/NPR hide caption

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Cheyenne Mize

The multi-talented singer, instrumentalist and music therapist showcases some of the quieter, moodier moments from Among the Grey (the slinky "Raymaker," the dreamy "Whole Heart") before closing with the more forceful "Wait for It." Along the way, Mize's voice rings out assertively in every style and setting.

Alice Russell performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 9, 2013. Marie McGrory/NPR hide caption

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Alice Russell

There's nothing restrained about an Alice Russell performance: It's emotionally fiery from the start and just gets hotter and grittier — especially when she's singing "To Dust," the title track from her new album. Watch the British singer perform three songs live in the NPR Music offices.

Frank Turner performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in June. Hayley Bartels/NPR hide caption

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Frank Turner

The U.K. singer-songwriter and a bandmate are just two men with unplugged instruments, but they still convey the bawdy rowdiness of a full band. Performing three songs in the NPR Music offices, Turner shines in what may well be the most brightly lit performance space he's ever graced.

Skinny Lister performs a Tiny Desk Concert. Lizzie Chen/NPR hide caption

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Skinny Lister

The rowdy English folk-punk band shows up at the NPR Music offices bearing lots of beer, some mysterious alcohol in an even-more-mysterious jug, and an assortment of instruments. Barely controlled mayhem ensues.

Cheick Hamala Diabate performs a Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices. NPR hide caption

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Cheick Hamala Diabate

Malian tradition lies at the heart and foot-stomping soul of Cheick Hamala Diabate and his band, but their melodies and undeniable rhythms cut across age and ethnicity. Their music often tells a story about Mali and its people as part of the sway and shake.