Denver singer-songwriter Rachael McCuaig was one of thousands of artists around the country who submitted an original video to NPR’s second annual Tiny Desk Concert Contest earlier this year.

She used a simple setup in her contest submission -- just vocals and guitar -- but it was enough to make our list of 10 favorite Colorado entries from 2016

McCuaig hasn't recorded an official release, so we were thrilled to host her in the CPR Performance Studio recently and share her music with our audience for the first time.

The songwriter, who performed three original tunes, described her writing process as "puking out songs." 

"It's usually an overwhelming feeling that takes over me," McCuaig says. "I don't let myself leave the night without finishing the song, because I am so in tune with that emotion." 

She also spoke with OpenAir's Scott Carney about her love for Tiny Desk Concerts and her plans to record a debut EP later this year.

Stream the session and watch video of the song "City's Angels" above.

Songs performed:

  • "City's Angels"
  • "Whistles"
  • "Michael"

Watch footage of "Whistles" and "Michael" from McCuaig's session: