Gracie and the So Beautifuls’ Tiny Desk Contest entry | still from video

The annual NPR Music #TinyDeskContest revealed its 2018 winner last month: Naia Izumi, a Georgia-born, Los Angeles-based busker who excels at swift guitar licks, live looping and fervent rock and soul vocals. While we’re certain to hear more from Izumi and team Tiny Desk in the coming weeks and months, let’s not get too far from this year’s competition without celebrating the plethora of impressive Philadelphia-based entries.

There was the haunting, moodily illuminated chamber pop of Philly’s Gracie and the So Beautifuls — the only local artist to get shouted out by the NPR contest team in their various “videos we loved” posts leading up to the big reveal. There were reliably awesome entries from return contestants ILL DOOTS and Joy Ike — both of whom appeared on past lineups of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert at World Cafe Live. The nine-piece hip-hop / R&B outfit &More leapt off the screen with their chemistry and a natural dynamic between vocalists Chill Moody and Donn T. The elegant Port Arthur brought Sufjan vibes to a small living room ensemble. Trap Rabbit absolutely destroyed and instrumental jam in their practice space. Madalean Gauze‘s performance of “The Fire” was a sinister and surreal short film, equal parts invigorating and unnerving. And that’s to say nothing of the artists who we were not familiar with before the contest began but who we have made a point to explore at greater depth: rapper A. Rob, electric soul ensemble Vinny x GypsyFunk, singer-songwriter Rachel Andie and her band The V Element, groovy bedroom producer HETZ, and composer artist William Colella (whose video awesomely features a cat peeking around under the hood of the baby grand piano).

Scroll down below and give a watch to every Philadelphia entry in the 2018 #TinyDeskContest.[nextpage title=”Page 1″ ]


Ang Bocca

Ashley Phillips & Co.


Gracie & The So Beautifuls


Madalean Gauze

Port Arthur

Rachel Andie & The V Element

Trap Rabbit

Velvet Crayon

Vinny x GypsyFunk

William Colella

A. Rob


Joy Ike

50 Cent Bin

Alex Murray

Andrew Galati

Andy Steamboat

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Auburn Row

Ben O’Neill

Black Horse Motel

Driftwood Soldier

Eddy Mann

Elijah Wild

Emily Drinker

Erin Cookman

Frarah Siraj

G.R. Stone Band

Huston West

Joe James

Kyle Sparkman and Frequent Flyers

Lauren Scott

Man About A Horse

Mean Wendy Band

Miss Fareira & Friends

Monica Lynne Chase

Not an Airplane

Pine Grooves

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Potential Gospel

Qiana and Caselli

Slow Mourning

Solomon Throne

Sophie Coran

Stella Ruze

Strawberry Underground

That Dream Was Our LIfe

The Carryons

The Last Generation on Film

The Naked Sun


Tucker Hill Band

Valerie Williams

Vessna Scheff


You and Your Whatever