July 15, 20205:00 AM ET
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.
Considering how many of us have rearranged our lives to make the home-office lifestyle work, Diana Gordon’s setting for her Tiny Desk (home) concert frames her music in a curated chaos that’s all too relatable. Teetering towers of manilla folders, the Y2K kitsch of a slime green Apple iBook, clunky cardboard boxes and a Curb Your Enthusiasm coffee mug — it’s just the right amount of cramped, mundane confusion to aid her creativity.
Like the workplace props that flank her, an intriguing dose of neurotic mess makes Gordon’s latest EP, 2020’s Wasted Youth, feel so fitting for these unprecedented times. With her masked-up guitarist, Davin Givhan, helping to guide her, Gordon’s nihilistic invincibility on “Rollin” and sonic eyeroll-shrug on “Wasted Youth” offset the forlorn lilting yodel of “Wolverine” and her tear-jerking honesty on “Once A Friend.”
After years of writing hits for others and releasing music under the moniker Wynter Gordon, the Queens, N.Y., native has awakened new aspects of her artistry in recent years that she’s finally ready to share under her given name. But while her earlier work routed through the pop and dance worlds, Wasted Youth swerves between lanes of trap, R&B and alternative rock as Gordon swings her head out of the window. Balancing influences of Whitney Houston, Alanis Morissette and The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan in her runs, this singer-songwriter navigates each verse with poignant and reassuring solace. No matter where Gordon takes you, she’s in the driver’s seat.
- “Wasted Youth”
- “Once A Friend”
Diana Gordon: vocals; Davin Givhan: guitar
Video By: Troy Baker; Audio By: Troy Baker; Producer: Sidney Madden; Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann