Over 100 Colorado Artists Entered NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest. Here Are 10 Highlights

Photo: Tiny Desk Contest 2016 collage
(clockwise from top left): Asalott, The Gold Company, Whiskey Autumn, Tejon Street Corner Thieves, Celia Gary and Srey Davi.

Last month, NPR Music launched the second edition of its Tiny Desk Contest. Bob Boilen, host of the Tiny Desk series, asked musicians from around the country to submit videos of themselves performing an original song at some kind of desk for the chance to perform at NPR.

More than 100 artists from Colorado entered the 2016 contest before the Feb. 2 submission deadline. We knew some familiar names from OpenAir's playlist, but made many new discoveries.

We've highlighted 10 Colorado entries. Watch their submission videos and learn more about the artists below.

Listen to Alisha Sweeney's conversation with CPR News' Ryan Warner about the Colorado entries.

Update: NPR Music announced the winner of the contest today: Duluth, Minn., artist Gaelynn Lea.

The Milk Blossoms - "Greyhound"

Incorporating the ukulele into hip-hop music can't be easy, but Denver trio The Milk Blossoms figured out a way. The band also experiments with vocal beatboxing for the soulful pop of their recent "Worrier" EP.

Asalott - "Remedies"

Asalott is may make more sense on CPR Classical than OpenAir, but we can't help but be entranced by the percussion skills of this Boulder duo. Their entry features hammered dulcimer and cajon and is inspired by Middle Eastern and electronic music.

Rossonian - "Love In A Wasteland"

Rossonian is one of the Colorado bands we've enjoyed throughout OpenAir's existence. "Love In A Wasteland" is an '80s-style synth-pop song with smooth harmonies and computer beats.

The Gold Company - "Hard To Stay"

Denver band Calder's Revolvers recently changed its name to The Gold Company, but its soulful sound remains the same. The newly titled six-piece used the Tiny Desk contest to share its debut song, "Hard To Stay." The video finds the band cramming a horn section, percussionist, guitarist and two singers in front of one desk.

Rachael McCuaig - "Wolf"

One of the more modest videos from Colorado's Tiny Desk candidates comes from Rachael McCuaig. The young singer needed nothing more than a guitar and her gorgeous, haunting vocals to pique our interest.

Srey Davi - "Nina Was A Vampire"

Boulder artist Srey Davi introduces her video with the caveat that it may "creep you out," but it has the opposite effect. Armed with her omnichord, Davi crafts a dream-pop tune reminiscent of Beach House mixed with Joanna Newsom. (Update: Davi's video is no longer available.)

Whiskey Autumn - "Dog Days"

This Boulder band's video boasts some of the higher production values on our list, with multiple rotating camera angles. Whiskey Autumn supplies a catchy and satisfying electronic pop song to accompany the visuals.

Patrick Dethlefs - "Had I Known"

Another longtime OpenAir artist, singer-songwriter Patrick Dethlefs throws his hat in the Tiny Desk Contest ring for the second year in a row. "Had I Known" is a slow-burning, emotional folk song and Jeff Rady's pedal steel guitar adds poignancy to the tune.

Tejon Street Corner Thieves - "Whiskey"

The rollicking bluegrass-folk of this Colorado Springs group is hard to contain to a desk. The Louisiana bayou-inspired "Whiskey" doesn't leave much room for the dancing that it's likely to inspire.

Celia Gary - "I Am"

This acoustic submission from Georgia transplant Celia Gary evokes powerful indie rock singers like Sharon Van Etten and Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards. Gary writes, performs and records her folk records with little accompaniment.

Check out more Tiny Desk Contest entries at NPR Music's website.