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Anna B Savage: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Anna B Savage's new home these days is the west coast of Ireland near Mullaghmore, where this striking video was shot. Moss clings to a shoreline cove where seagulls circle in air so moist you could slice right through it.

Savage's songs, too, are thick with unfiltered feelings, self-interrogation and wry humor, raising the bar for any Joni Mitchell-inspired confessional songwriting. The three she performs here are pulled from different moments in her career and personal life but cohere around the theme of struggling in the darkness of a toxic relationship before emerging into self-confident sunshine. The songs might be self-referential, but like Mitchell's they speak in customized messages with a voice that whispers intimacies one moment and soars with operatic glory the next.

In "Corncrakes," Savage's beloved birds trigger mixed feelings for a lover, climaxing in the repeated line that itself could have been our collective mantra over the past year: "I don't know if this is even real. I don't feel things as keenly as I used to."

"Since We Broke Up," a new song premiered here, finds Savage rising from personal struggles to once again enjoy her own company, while the astounding "One," from her 2015 breakthrough EP, paints a painful bedroom scene of self-doubt and embarrassment that ultimately leads to an explosive epiphany.

Enamored of her new environs, Savage told NPR she chose the locale to "showcase some of my new, completely wild and amazing landscape." But what she truly offers here is the terrain inside the mind of one of today's most distinctive cartographers of human temperament.


  • "Corncrakes"
  • "Since We Broke Up"
  • "One"

  • Anna B Savage: vocals, guitar

  • Video: Ross McClean
  • Audio: Lee McMahon

  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Audio Mastering: Andy Huether
  • Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame, Josh Rogosin, Gabrielle Pierre
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.
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