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Haley Bonar: Tiny Desk Concert

The first time I saw Haley Bonar in concert, she and her band were performing at the base of a 54-foot Doritos vending machine — a dehumanizing corporate venue of the variety that occasionally surfaces at SXSW. Somehow, though, her wry, spiky spark found a way to shine through.

A few years later, we found a slightly cozier spot for Bonar to perform three new songs, all drawn from the Minnesotan's terrific new album Impossible Dream. Along the way, she achieves an impressive range of sounds and storytelling, taking a little more than 10 minutes to pack in a melancholy look at the past's inescapability ("Hometown"), a brooding slow-burn about temptation and trust ("Jealous Girls"), and a stomping rager about doomed love ("Called You Queen"). All three achieve a nifty balance, sounding just stripped-down enough to suit the space, yet still immaculately polished at every turn.

Impossible Dream is available now (iTunes) (Amazon).

Set List

  • "Hometown"
  • "Jealous Girls"
  • "Called You Queen"
  • Credits

    Producers: Stephen Thompson, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, CJ Riculan, Ryan Kellman; Production Assistant: Bronson Arcuri; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.

    For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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