French singer, multi-instrumentalist and film composer Yann Tiersen isn't massively well-known, but he did craft the score for the beloved 2001 film Amelie, about which virtually everything is held in massively high regard. Since then, Tiersen has built a name for himself as a solo artist who gently stretches the boundaries of pop music.
He just released a new album called Skyline, which captures Tiersen's aesthetic perfectly: Its rich, buzzy, liltingly eccentric music is constructed from lots of sweet, intricate pieces. Tiersen plays many instruments (violin, piano, accordion), but he also loves to incorporate found sounds and other oddities.
For his Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices, Tiersen appears at the head of a four-man band; each member is capable of swapping instruments and singing sweetly in unison for a heart-warming choral effect. Tucked subtly into a short string of songs from Skyline, Tiersen and company include the traditional bluegrass devotional "Tribulations," and it speaks to their versatility and warmth that the song fits right in.
- "The Gutter"
- "The Trial"
Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor and Videographer: Michael Katzif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Doriane Raiman/NPR