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After a viral heart infection nearly killed him in 2008, Chad Clark spent the next few years taking it slow; working to regain his health and writing music along the way. That music would be the skeletal blueprints for his band Beauty Pill’s tremendous record Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, which was released on Butterscotch Records in April.

The album—a densely layered exploration in sound, rhythm, and genre—doesn’t just signal Clark’s return to full health, but a musical rebirth of sorts. The five-piece band harnesses the traditional instruments of most rock-leaning bands—guitars, bass, drums—but it’s the members’ experimentation with electronic sounds that truly brings Beauty Pill’s music to life. You’d think that some elements of the band’s dynamic sound would be lost playing a stripped-down set at NPR’s Tiny Desk, but you’d be dead wrong. 

The band recently stopped by NPR for a short three-song set and, if anything, the constraints of playing at Bob Boilen‘s desk only challenged its members to find new ways to bring the music to life. Watch the stunning set below:

Photo by Stefano Giovannini.