Pedro The Lion Tiny Desk Concert

“I’ve made music under many brand names. It was a dumb idea,”  David Bazan  jokes during his performance at the Tiny Desk, in his own particularly reflective and self-deprecating way. You can find that music filed under his previous “brands” or incarnations as Headphones,  Lo Tom  (with TW Walsh and members of  Starflyer 59) and his own name. But here Bazan returns to the one that first gave him voice:  Pedro the Lion, a name he now says he intends to keep.

No matter how dark or disastrous, there’s always been an undercurrent of grace to the music of David Bazan. Even in his most righteous anger, empathy seeps through. “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run” opens the Tiny Desk set with sparse instrumentation — Erik Walters on guitar, Bazan on bass, Sean Lane on brushes and snare — not unlike performances of yesteryear, when slyly clever-yet-quiet riffs put Bazan’s sardonic wit front and center. Twenty years after being released on Pedro the Lion’s debut album,  It’s Hard to Find a Friend, the cheeky song about hypocrisy (exposing the toxic male gaze through double standards of beauty) still rings painfully true.

Bazan then introduces “Yellow Bike,” from Pedro the Lion’s forthcoming  Phoenix, as “cheeky in a different way.” With a hiccuping rhythm that rolls like a Tom Petty joint down uncertain roads, Bazan recounts the thrill found in childhood bike rides, and the somewhat terrifying price of freedom that accompanies onset adulthood.

So what about all of those songs released as “David Bazan” from the past decade? Those are now Pedro the Lion songs! That includes “Kept Secrets,” originally released on 2016’s  Blanco.  Its slow, doleful sway closed out the Tiny Desk with a hidden hope washed in snow, “white with ocean foam.”

Phoenix  comes out Jan. 18 via  Polyvinyl Records.


  • “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run”
  • “Yellow Bike”
  • “Kept Secrets”


Producers: Lars Gotrich, Beck Harlan; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin;  Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Khun Minn Ohn, Beck Harlan; Production Assistant: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR

“It’s Hard To Find A Friend” 20th Anniversary Reissue. Limited Edition Red Vinyl.


Pedro The Lion’s 1998 debut album is available again after being out of print for years.


+ Remastered for vinyl in 2012 by TW Walsh from the original analog tapes with no digital limiting or compression.
+ Reissued in 2018 by Epitaph Records.
+  Pressed by Indpenepend Record Pressing.
+ High Quality 150g Black Vinyl.
+  High Quality Limited Edition 150g Transparent Red Vinyl.
+ Uncoated jacket and inner sleeve.
+ Each purchase comes with an instant MP3 download.

Upon its initial release in 1998, Pedro The Lion’s It’s Hard To Find a Friend was an instant hit, propelling singer/songwriter David Bazan into the consciousness of newfound fans around the globe, topping many critics’re lists and making it a must for any Pedro The Lion fan.


David Bazan On NPR’s All Things Considered

Pedro the Lion is known for its sometimes dreamy lyrics that take on internal conflict, often filled with religious angst.

Even as many of their songs tackled faith, the Seattle-based band, formed in 1995, quickly gathered a wide indie rock following.

A decade later, the band and its frontman David Bazan  reached a tipping point — as Bazan questioned his religious beliefs, the band dissolved when he embarked on a solo career.

Fast forward to 2017: Bazan announced that he would start touring again with a group of musicians under the familiar name, Pedro the Lion.

Bazan spoke with NPR’s Sarah McCammon about going back on tour and making new music under his old moniker.