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One Wytch, Unplugged In A Sunny Backyard

The Wytches' furious, hair-flinging psych-rock isn't the stuff of back-porch acoustic sessions: Both live and on the English band's singles, the energy is so intense, it can barely be contained. But when NPR Music arranged a Wytches session during SXSW — held in the charming backyard setting of Friends & Neighbors in east Austin — singer-guitarist Kristian Bell stood in for the whole band, with just his voice and an acoustic guitar.

In these three songs from the forthcoming Annabel Dream Reader — due out this summer — Bell splits the difference between The Wytches' wiry raggedness and the gentler side dictated by both the setting and his instrument. Surrounded by a small throng of locals and their kids, Bell proved worthy of the most bucolic setting he's likely to play this year.

Set List

  • "Wide At Midnight"
  • "Crying Clown"
  • "All Of My Skin"
  • Credits

    Producers: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Becky Harlan, Olivia Merrion, A.J. Wilhelm; Production Coordinator: Kate Kittredge; Special Thanks: Friends & Neighbors; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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