Close your eyes, snap your fingers, and sway to the beat. But don’t make a sound (sorry, it’s contradicting) while Summer Walker and her band play while you watch her perform at NPR’s Tiny Desk series. You’re there in spirit, absorbing the warmth in the room. The vocals, the instruments, the presence, everything just borders on overwhelming your pleasure senses. Now, come back to reality. Walker’s five-set, fifteen-minute performance is instantly unforgettable. After watching it, don’t stand up too fast or you’ll get dizzy.
From the moment that the video starts, Walker looks like an absolute star. She wears these magnificent, diamond-encrusted glasses that draw all eyes to her. She kicks things off without discussion, strumming the guitar while she softly sings “Session 32” with equally talented backup singers. She then immediately went into “Wasted” and let her soulful vocals grow louder as the warmth of the sun bled through her words. “Girls Need Love” was next, sans Drake of course, that began with a sip of water to clear her throat and moisten her chords. An electric piano gave the oh so familiar starting point and then she raced into the slow-moving number, softly fitting in between the backup singers and simple drum patterns.
Afterward, the band introduced themselves before going into “Riot.” It was clear from Walker’s lack of words that she was focused intently on the music and ensuring the best possible listening experience for those in the room. After “Riot,” she wrapped things up with her current single, “Playing Games.” It was the softest moment yet, with the backup singers working with Summer for an epic, twisting finale. It put the finishing touches on one of the smoothest Tiny Desk installments yet.
Watch Walker’s mesmerizing performance up above.