New Orleans-based music collective Thou are an endlessly shape-shifting crew, and their latest adventure in versatility comes in the form of an intimate, hushed three-song set for NPR's "Tiny Desk" series — the first "metal" performance on the show to date.
Squeezing seven of the outfit's members into the small space, the group open the set with "The Hammer," a melancholic ballad taken from 2018 album Inconsolable. Moving quickly into the eerie "Come Home You Are Missed," another cut from that record (one of their six releases in 2018 alone), they toy with a more Nineties alternative sound, full of noisy, rattling guitars and an ethereal yet doomy vocal approach. Rounding out the performance is another from Inconsolable, this time the gloomy grunge-tinged album opener "The Unspeakable Oath." With its heavy Alice in Chains influence and drowsy, minimalist arrangement, the number highlights the usually-metal band's ability to transcend genre expectations. Indeed, guitarist KC Stafford told NPR the set was "the softest I've ever played." Watch below.