Little Moon Wins NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest

A local favorite gets a much-deserved chance to shine.


By Mike Romero

On May 16, 2023, NPR Music made an announcement during Morning Edition revealing the winner of the ninth edition of their Tiny Desk Contest: Little Moon. The victorious band is composed of Provo locals. They’ll have the opportunity to perform at NPR’s Tiny Desk before embarking on the Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour.


The band consists of Emma Hardyman (lead vocals/guitar), Nathan Hardyman (bass/guitar), Bly Wallentine (keys/bass), Bridget Jackson (harp), Chris Shemwell (drums), and Grace Johnson (electric guitar/keys). Little Moon was chosen from an impressive pool of nearly 6,000 submissions representing all 50 states, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Their captivating performance of the song “Wonder Eye” caught the attention of this year’s Tiny Desk Contest judging panel, which included Tiny Desk creator and host of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen, Tiny Desk producer Bobby Carter, as well as Tiny Desk alums Sharon Van Etten, Baby Rose, Sudan Archives, and Albina Cabrera from NPR member station KEXP.

Little Moon. Art by Ty Davis.

Bob Boilen expressed his thoughts on the winning song, saying, “‘Wonder Eye’ was a clear and unanimous winner amongst our judges and for a good reason. It’s an explosive tune with a deeply emotional story. It’s a song of grieving and understanding with a dynamic performance.”

Emma Hardyman shared that the song delves into the idea of accepting the mysterious and shadowy nature of death, which can ultimately deepen one’s sense of humanity and transform how we perceive ourselves and others.

This marks Little Moon’s fourth time participating in the Tiny Desk Contest, as they have submitted a video every year since 2020. It’s a perfect example of how continually improving your craft and consistently applying yourself pays off – even after rejections.

“Winning Tiny Desk after four years is magical, mind-blowing, touching and threatening to my ego story, which finds comfort in being small,” Emma Hardyman says. “I got used to approaching the Tiny Desk competition as a way to simply play with my friends and practice whatever I wanted. Winning feels like being a little plant in a little pot, getting suddenly uprooted and repotted in a much, much bigger space than I am used to — unfamiliar and vast, but with plenty of nourishment and space to grow.”

Little Moon on the set of “Wonder Eye.”

The Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour will return in 2023. This victory tour, which has expanded to eight cities this year, provides an opportunity to witness Little Moon’s live performances alongside a showcase of vibrant local music. Additionally, two local Contest acts will join the lineup in most cities.

Tickets for the tour are currently available for purchase at Little Moon’s next local performance is June 2 with Lord Huron for the Twilight Concert Series in Salt Lake. The show is sold out. The will also perform at the firelight kickoff for Fork Fest on Friday, June 16, in American Fork.

Make sure to follow Little Moon on Instagram and check out “Wonder Eye” Below!


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