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Sharon Van Etten reveals her Tiny Desk Contest favorites

We're getting very close to announcing this year's Tiny Desk Contest winner. Ahead of the big reveal, Contest judge and Tiny Desk alum Sharon Van Etten joined series creator Bob Boilen on the fourth episode of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf to share her favorite entries — and some advice for this year's winner.

Van Etten's selections feature artists whose music both moved her to tears and filled her with joy. She applauded the entrants for owning their vulnerability and spoke to the healing power of songwriting. She also appreciated the stripped-down nature of these entries — which is what Tiny Desk is all about.

Entries featured in the fourth episode of Top Shelf include:

  • Kelly Nickels, "Holy Affliction"
  • Crystal Rose, "Mad Black Woman"
  • Helmer Noel, "Start Again"
  • Kat Wolff, "All My Self"
  • Kina Zoré, "Covid 19"
  • Naia Lika, "Comforter"
  • Alexis Janae, "Foolish"
  • M'Lynn, "Safety Net"
  • You can watch previous Top Shelf episodes in this YouTube playlist. Boilen will host one final episode for the season with our Tiny Desk Contest winner soon. Subscribe to the Tiny Desk Contest newsletter for updates.

    Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Elle Mannion