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Entries We Love: Jackfruit, 'Lou'

Hometown: New York, N.Y.

Pairs well with: Tears blurring diary pages

Jack Braun, the singer-songwriter who performs as Jackfruit, opens their Tiny Desk Contest entry narrating an act of defiance: "I asked you to grow your hair out / So you slept with a girl from your book club," they sing. "Lou" was inspired by Lou Sullivan, the gay and transgender author and activist who died from AIDS-related complications. "If I can't live like you / I'll die like you instead," Braun repeats achingly over melancholy chords. Braun told us they wrote the song as a final project for a school class – but even without the educational context, it's easy to feel moved by the tender songwriting of "Lou." "I tried to grow a beard / You said it didn't look right," Braun sings, their raspy, gorgeous voice breaking with emotion. "Don't you think I know?"

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elle Mannion
[Copyright 2024 NPR]