Cyrena Touros

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As the weather cools off, Mariah Carey's powers are only rising.


2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march, in recognition of the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Since then, Pride has evolved: from that small commemoration to community gatherings in progressive enclaves like New York and San Francisco to corporate-sponsored parades and ticketed events across all 50 states; from a space where people on the margins created fragile alliances to a mainstream festivity.

Phoebe Bridgers is the first to admit that she's not reinventing herself on her new album. "There's nothing avant-garde about it," she says of Punisher, her second solo record and fourth major musical project in the last three years. Even so, there's a quiet, assertive power to Punisher.

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.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Cyrena Touros
Where: Washington, D.C.
Recommendation: Re-reading a beloved book

Tomorrow Perfume Genius, the band led by singer, songwriter and movement artist Mike Hadreas, releases its fifth studio album, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. With an eclectic palette of Baroque pop, burbling rock and grunge, combined with a dance-focused visual treatment, the album is being greeted as a benchmark in Hadreas' career. NPR Music writers Marissa Lorusso and Cyrena Touros consider its impact, and the importance of Hadreas' career in setting a new standard for exploration of gender, sexuality and identity in rock, in the following exchange.

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Rihanna quietly made her first non-sampled vocal appearance since 2017

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"I wanted to be part of a family, you know?" Hayley Williams told the New York Times

There's an old writing exercise that involves describing a color without naming it; it challenges the writer to evoke the emotional primacy of a concept we often take for granted.

Throughout the next few months, we'll be sharing some of the many 2020 Tiny Desk Contest entries that have caught our eyes and ears. There's still time to enter: We're accepting videos until 11:59 p.m. ET on March 30. You can watch a playlist of all the entries we've featured on the blog on YouTube.

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In the sense that Phoebe Bridgers has released music in a near-constant stream of projects since her 2017 debut,

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Chris has always cataloged the shades of melancholy, including the exquisite baby blues of "5 Dollars," but there is something evocative in the straightforward title of

Rambling along the sidewalk on the way to a party, body alight, something catches the eye. "Bugs in the streetlight," Ella O'Connor Williams sings. "Our time is over soon."

Conventional wisdom says that this is not the sort of maxim typically uttered by a 23-year-old; nevertheless, this acute pang of mortality anchors "Streetlight Blues" and I Was Born Swimming, Ella O'Connor Williams' debut record as Squirrel Flower.

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Today, Rosalía is back with her first release of 2020.

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Sinister and piercing, with a heavy lilt of Puberty 2 grunge — if you need a "gui

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Happy birthday to the man of many names.

If music has a transportive power, able to send us back in time with a just a few notes, then no type is as powerful as the holiday variety.

Pete Townshend: Not only is he the major creative force behind The Who, but he's also released several of his own solo records, prompted the first-known use of the term "rock opera" (for 1969's Tommy) and he's even credited with being the first person to smash a guitar on stage.

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No one reimagines baroque pop in the 21st century better than Perfume Genius.

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If the forces of the universe wreak havoc in threes, then Aldous Harding follows tradition with her co-directed visual treatment for "Zoo Eyes," the third off-kilter video from her lat

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As if someone with their foot on the gas of the collective madness meter heard "Punch it!," we've slammed full-speed ahead into political uncertainty as we enter the last stretch of th

This year's Tiny Desk Contest judges are excited to finally be getting ready to pick the 2019 winner. In the meantime, there's a lot going on in the Tiny Desk Contest community.

It's not enough to make list after list. The Turning the Tables project seeks to suggest alternatives to the traditional popular music canon, and to do more than that, too: to stimulate conversation about how hierarchies emerge and endure. This year, Turning the Tables considers how women and non-binary artists are shaping music in our moment, from the pop mainstream to the sinecures of jazz and contemporary classical music. Our list of the 200 Greatest Songs By Women+ offers a soundtrack to a new century. This series of essays takes on another task.

Update: You voted, we listened. This week's fan-favorite Dog of the Tiny Desk Contest is: Juice and her human, Crys Matthews.

Matthews' shuffling acoustic tune with its campfire sing-along chorus captured your hearts as it put into words the life-changing learning experience that is loving a dog: "Won't you teach me how to be a little more like you / How to always see the best in people no matter what they do," Matthews sings.

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