The Free Nationals found their way back to the original homey venue, NPR’s Tiny Desk, for a groovy pre-recorded set fans can finally watch today (April 20).
Anderson .Paak‘s funky retro-soul band first visited NPR’s Washington, D.C. offices in 2016, which became “the most popular in the history of the series,” according to NPR. So it comes as no surprise that the mini-performance from March 4 packed a crowd full of staffers waiting for special guest Cheeky Andy to hop in with his talented bandmates.
India Shawn, .Paak’s former background singer and burgeoning soloist, took reign of Daniel Caesar‘s buttery smooth vocals on “Beauty & Essex,” the first song of the set, and complemented keyboardist Ron Avant, who channeled Zapp‘s Roger Troutman‘s signature talkbox to further accentuate the retro-funk feeling.
Once .Paak stepped back into the office for anything but a normal day at work, he expressed the irony of spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars on… big-budget videos just to have our biggest video be in front of a tiny desk,” before bunkering down for his vocal and percussion performance of “Gidget,” also off of the band’s eponymous debut album released last year.
Aside from giving artists a glimmer of hope while they produce entire music videos from the comforts of their homes during quarantine, the Grammy award-winning multi-instrumentalist whipped up a groovy number that’s all-too-perfect to two-step to. (especially with .Paak’s instructions).
But he wasn’t the only artist to arrive on the scene of a Free Nationals Tiny Desk Concert. Jamaican roots reggae singer Chronixx closed out the set with “Eternal Light,” which blazed a path to the light at the end of the tunnel with his good vibrations tidings.
Watch The Free Nationals’ latest Tiny Desk Concert below.