Sometimes smaller is way better. That’s definitely the case for the three-song set Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers played as their indie duo Better Oblivion Community Center for NPR’s Tiny Desk series.
The pair stripped it all the way back for the mesmerizing trip through songs from their self-titled debut, opening with Bridgers on acoustic and Oberst on electric for the swaying single “Dylan Thomas.”
Backed by bandmate Christian Lee Hutson on electric and Emily Retsas on the Omnichord, they brought the tempo down a bit more for the moody “Exception to the Rule,” with Oberst singing into a tiny microphone mounted on a chopstick as the two singers sat knee-to-knee pleadingly asking, “Why don’t you want it anymore?”
The set ended with host Bob Boilen swinging a whirring rubber toy hose over his head to create an eerie humming sound for the final track, the wistful acoustic ballad “My City.”
Watch the Tiny Desk show below.