Madison’s own Raine Stern continues making waves nationwide. Earlier this year the 22 year old vocalist, guitarist and songwriter garnered enthusiastic fan and industry accolades as a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice.” Stern’s now a top contender for this round of National Public Radio’s “Tiny Desk Contest,” where creatives send in their own videos of live performances and compete to be featured in a full length live concert recording which is shared with NPR stations across the country. WORT had to keep the big news on the down low until contest entries closed, but we can now share with listeners that Raine‘s entry was recorded right here in our studios in the legendary vinyl library! Local A/V production company M.O.D. Media worked with WORT production manager Aaron Scholz and music director Sybil Augustine (seen in Sterne’s band photo along with Carlos Guzman of M.O.D.) to create the very best recording possible for her entry. Augustine says “Aaron and I were thrilled to work with Raine and M.O.D. on this project and we look forward to many more great collaborations. We agreed that the warm sound created by all the shelves of vinyl in our studio as well as the classic vintage look of the mid-century modern desk used in the video, which is required to be seen in all submissions, added just the right elements. We think they really make the track stand out and are hoping it helps her win this contest!”
Lately, we’ve been sharing some of our favorite entries to the 2021 Tiny Desk Contest, which closed for entries on June 7. We’ve heard songs from every state in the country, from big bands to solo artists, in a huge range of genres and styles — and now, our judges will start to comb through our entries to find a winner. Here are some of the best entries we’ve seen recently.
Pairs well with: Cancelling a date you didn’t want to go on in the first place
“Touchin’ Don’t Feel Right” has all the confidence and intimacy of a blues-funk love song, but with a respectful twist. This slow-burn from Raine Stern celebrates not wanting to be touched, whilst hitting all the right notes in all the right places. The recent contestant on NBC’s The Voice wrote and arranged everything we hear, but it’s the musicians who join her who pull it all off so effortlessly. And there’s just something empowering about a song that asserts strong personal boundaries in this moment, as we’re all trying to navigate this world we’re re-living in. Oh, and stick around for one show-stopping guitar solo. —Pilar Fitzgerald for npr.org