Nearly 6,000 independent artists applied for this year’s Tiny Desk Contest, with high hopes of performing behind the same desks that artists such as Taylor Swift, Usher and Yo-Yo Ma have graced. today, morning paper The winner was announced as Little Moon, a band from Springville, Utah.
Much like the story behind it, the band’s award-winning ‘Wonder Eye’ has distinct stages. Beginning with artist Emma Hardiman playing her guitar quietly before she gets too loud, Emma Hardiman, bassist Nathan Hardiman, key player Bry Wallentine, harpist Bridget Jackson, and drummer The six-piece band, which includes Chris Shemwell and electric guitarist Grace Johnson, explodes as follows. power of sound.
“I was used to not winning,” Emma Hardiman told Ali Shapiro speaking with husband Nathan Hardiman hours after today’s announcement. Band members from Utah say they aren’t used to being the center of attention. And as a longtime Tiny Desk fan (the group has now entered the contest four years in a row), it feels like a whole new realm to see on NPR. “It’s like someone you like likes you,” jokes Nathan Hardiman.
Nathan and Emma Hardiman told Shapiro that they began writing “Wonder Eye” while Nathan Hardiman’s mother was in hospice care and wrote the lyrics shortly after she passed away. “‘Wonder Eye’ incorporates multiple ideas of death,” says Emma. “I think it took a physical death for us to realize that death actually happens all the time, whether it’s our past selves, old beliefs, old judgments. And in that respect, we are always sad.”
There was another big personal event that inspired Emma and Nathan to write this song. I mean, they were on their way out of the Mormon church they grew up in. “The tools I was taught to understand death were no longer what matters to me,” says Nathan Hardiman. “My belief system, once so clear, [what happens when you die] — I was no longer sure about it. So the lyrics of this song remind me to sit with that anxiety. “
“Is there knowledge you can find in what you don’t know?” Emma Hardiman sings in her winning entry. Nathan Hardiman says that admitting that she doesn’t have all the answers is “a step toward embracing life’s mysteries and finding peace.”
He also said, “My human instinct is to replace that uncertainty with something less upsetting. I think it’s really healing,” he said. to do. ” Perhaps there is something paradoxical about embracing uncertainty and grief and turning it into something that has been a decisive winner.
The band will soon be playing a Tiny Desk concert at NPR’s headquarters before headlining the Tiny Desk Contest on the Road Tour. Little Moon tour tickets are available at NPPRsents.org.