It’s that time of year again — no, not pumpkin spice season! Now that NPR Music has chosen the winner of its 2021 Tiny Desk Contest — a career-making honor for one lucky independent musician — it’s time to get down to the much more important business of anointing our favorite Massachusetts entry.
Over 150 musical artists (159 to be exact) from our fair commonwealth entered NPR’s contest this year. Five panelists are, as I write this, listening through the list, looking for their favorite from among many remarkable local entries.
Watch this space to find out who makes it to the semi-final round — and look out for an exclusive profile on the panel’s favorite.
This year's panelists are musicians and writers with deep ties to the New England music scene. Read more about them below.
Frances Forever is a Boston-area singer-songwriter whose song "Space Girl" earned them recognition as WBUR’s favorite Massachusetts Tiny Desk Contest entrant in 2019, and later became a viral hit on TikTok. Their latest EP, "paranoia party," was released this summer on Mom + Pop Music.
Peter Mulvey is a prolific Massachusetts-based singer-songwriter with more than 20 albums under his belt (and counting). His latest release, "Peter Mulvey with SistaStrings: Live at the Cafe Carpe," came out in 2020.
Dart Adams is a writer, podcaster and lifelong Bostonian. His music writing has appeared in Complex, NPR Music, Boston Magazine and other publications. His new book, "Instead We Became Evil," co-written with the Palestinian-Danish rapper Sleiman, is due out in April.
Mano Sundaresan is a DC-based music journalist who is currently a producer at NPR's All Things Considered. Born and raised in Massachusetts, he covers the local music scene for WBUR, writes for Pitchfork, NPR Music and Passion of the Weiss, and edits the independent music blog No Bells.
Amelia Mason is an arts reporter and critic for WBUR’s arts and culture team. She has lead the search for WBUR’s favorite Massachusetts entry to the Tiny Desk Contest since 2018.