Close your eyes, snap your fingers, and sway to the beat — but don’t make a sound while Summer Walker and her band play. They all stopped by to perform for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk series, and 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, 15-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 also kicks things off without discussion, strumming the guitar while she softly sings “Session 32” with equally talented backup singers. She then immediately goes into “Wasted” and lets her soulful vocals grow louder as the warmth of the sun bled through her words.
“Girls Need Love” is up next, sans Drake of course, and it begins with a sip of water to clear her throat. An electric piano gives the oh-so-familiar starting point, and she races into the slow-moving number, softly fitting in between the backup singers and simple drum patterns.
Afterward, the band introduces themselves before going into “Riot.” It’s clear from Walker’s lack of words that she’s focused intently on the music and ensuring the best possible listening experience for those in the room. After “Riot,” she wraps things up with her current single, “Playing Games,” the softest moment yet, with the backup singers working with her for an epic, twisting finale.
Watch Walker’s mesmerizing performance — one of the smoothest Tiny Desk installments yet — up above.