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Gracie and Rachel: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series rarely provides me with useful fodder for the site, but I love it as an introduction to new artists. I've watched them all. I still remember my joyous intrigue from watching the first. Listening to artists strip down their performances to the essentials is an excellent exercise in minimalism.

Some upcoming stars shine brightest in these conditions. Gracie and Rachel are the most impressive example of this. I don't think I've seen any artists so perfectly play to their strengths to the extent that these ladies do. Their harmonies are a perfect match for their Alt. Rock infused Minimal Folk, and the Tiny Desk style.

Video Description:

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.

Bob Boilen | October 19, 2020
Gracie and Rachel are perfect musical mates. Their styles conjure contrast, with Gracie Coates' more pop-leaning keyboard melodies alongside Rachel Ruggles' classical background. They've been honing their orchestral pop sound since high school. These days they share space in a NYC apartment and are grateful to be able to "commute from their bedrooms" at a time when so many collaborators can't be together.

The duo made one of my favorite records of 2017, and they've just released their second album, Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong. The title of the album reflects their positive attitude despite angst. The lyrics to "Ideas" highlights that attitude by encouraging us to dig inside ourselves and discover our creative spirit" "So take your little ideas / Make them a little bit stronger / Throw out the ones you can't / You don't need them any longer."

The duo made much of this music in the past year and a half, in the very room they're performing this Tiny Desk (home) concert. It's a beautiful portrait in black and white and — if you're new to Gracie and Rachel — a welcoming introduction. I've seen them in concert, including alongside Ani DiFranco, who released this album on her label Righteous Babe. I look forward to the day they can leave their space and perform these songs in a venue; for now, put on a good set of headphones and listen to their message of positivity.

SET LIST
"Stranger"
"Ideas"
"Sidelines"
"Underneath"

MUSICIANS
Gracie Coates: keyboard, vocals
Rachel Ruggles: violin, SPD-SX sampling pad, vocals

CREDITS
Video By: Gracie and Rachel
Audio By: Gracie and Rachel, Ariel Loh
Producer: Bob Boilen
Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin
Video Producer: Maia Stern
Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

Reader Comments 1

Very good girl duet! nice voice and music harmony. Glad to know them
Thanks to share Tim
October 19, 2020  | person abi
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