And the winner of this year’s Tiny Desk Contest is … Little Moon.
NPR announced on Monday that the Utah band — consisting of singer Emma Hardyman, bassist Nathan Hardyman, keyboardist Bly Wallentine, harpist Bridget Jackson, drummer Chris Shemwell and guitarist Grace Johnson — has finally won the media organization’s annual star search after four attempts.
More than 6,000 acts entered the contest this year in hopes of getting featured in NPR Music’s Tiny Desk concert series — which has boosted the careers of Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo, Lizzo, Karol G and other major artists.
In addition to playing a Tiny Desk concert at NPR’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, Little Moon will headline the upcoming Tiny Desk Contest on the Road tour featuring local contestants from various cities. Earlier this week, Tiny Desk series producer Bobby Carter praised Little Moon’s contest-winning song, “Wonder Eye.”
“Emma’s deceptively strong voice, and the band’s ability to take the music to places completely unexpected, catapulted ‘Wonder Eye’ to the top of the heap of wonderful entries,” Carter said in a statement.
Hardyman told NPR that “Wonder Eye” was written during a difficult time, when her mother-in-law was in poor health and she and husband Nathan Hardyman had decided to leave the Mormon church.
“Perhaps this song was written because we realized we have been mourning various deaths our whole lives,” Emma Hardyman said.
“Perhaps it took a major, physical death of a loved one to see that death is happening all the time — that we are always grieving something, that accepting the mysterious, shadowy nature of death can deepen one’s sense of humanity and soften the ways we see ourselves and each other.”
Rounding out the 2023 Tiny Desk contest finalists were Oh He Dead (“More Time”), Nakupenda (“Kuongoza”), Alegrías (“Mariposa”), Varsha (“Woman”), Lizbeth Roman (“Agua Que Vuelve”), La Fonda (“Living in the Amazon”) and Juno Lev (“I Had Gay Sex with God ([t Could’ve Gone Better”]). NPR noted in its announcement that the judges unanimously agreed to crown Little Moon as this year’s champion.
The sextet is set to play the Resident in downtown Los Angeles on June 20 as part of the Tiny Desk Contest tour. Tickets for the show are available on the NPR Presents website.
“Mormonism believes in life after death, resurrection and eternal families,” Emma Hardyman told NPR.
“There is beauty and comfort in our former beliefs of certainty, light and life; we honor and respect such teachings. But we also find deep beauty in uncertainty, darkness, chaos and death. Perhaps it’s all one and the same.”
This story originally appeared on LA Times