Dessa Is A “Force of Nature”; New Album ‘Chime’ Out Today
“She just has this incredible gravitas and presence and humanity to her. There’s just so much intelligence to everything she does.” – NPR All Songs Considered
Today Dessa drops her new album ‘Chime’ (via Doomtree Records) marking the next step for an artist that for years has taken rap, spoken word, literature, soulful pop and now science and blended them together into a one-of-a-kind sound and experience.
Sound Opinions praised Dessa as a “force of nature” while The A.V. Club described her as “an artist who’s forever striving to punch her way out from whatever box she currently finds herself in.” ‘Chime’ was also spotlighted on NPR All Songs Considered today who said “she just has this incredible gravitas and presence and humanity to her. There’s just so much intelligence to everything she does.”
Dessa teamed up with GRAMMY-nominated composer/arranger Andy Thompson and Doomtree producer/CEO Lazerbeak to create an 11-track collection that defies easy categorization. The album volleys hardball rap bangers like the triumphant “5 out of 6” and “Fire Drills” (based on snippet of an iPhone field recording the singer/rapper made in Turkey) with vulnerable pop gems like harmonic “Boy Crazy” and “Good Grief” with the existential reflections found on “Velodrome” and “Half of You.”
The latter of which was largely inspired by Dessa’s ambitious collaboration with neurofeedback clinician Penijean Gracefire and a team of neuroscientists from the University of Minnesota to try to create a protocol for falling out of love by changing her emotions via modifying her brainwaves. The inspiration for the experiment, the details of the scientific process, and Dessa’s ending results are chronicled in this exploratory piece on The Verge.
You can also watch the short art film music video for “Good Grief” where Dessa and a past love literally set fire to their failing relationship [via Billboard].
Also today, Dessa has announced four additional shows, two of which include stops in Portland, OR and Salt Lake City, UT as part of her ‘Chime’ World Tour. And as a special treat for her fans, Dessa will be performing at two intimate pop-up shows in New York (March 4th, Rockwood Music Hall) and Minneapolis (February 26th, Dakota Jazz Club). Her run of US and European tour dates kicks off tonight with a sold-out show at Sound in Duluth. Full tour dates below, with additional dates to follow.
In addition to ‘Chime,’ this year will see Dessa release her first hardcover collection of essays; “My Own Devices: True Stores from The Road on Music, Science and Senseless Love”, via Dutton Books (Penguin/Random House) on September 18.
These are the latest additions to an already extraordinary resume which includes three albums, numerous recordings as part of the Doomtree collective; a philosophy degree; a run on the slam poet circuit; the song “Congratulations” from ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’ (a #1 LP on Billboard’s Top 200); writing and performing in the fictional podcast “Welcome To Night Vale,” an article published in The New York Times Magazine; two literary collections; countless speaking engagements around the country; and praise from NPR, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Pitchfork, and more.
DESSA TOUR DATES
February 26 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club*
March 4 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall*
CHIME’ WORD TOUR DATES (additional dates to follow)
February 23 – Duluth, MN – SOUND* – SOLD OUT
March 29 – La Crosse, WI – Cavalier Theater*
March 30 – Madison, WI- Majestic Theatre*
March 31 – Chicago, IL- Subterranean*
April 1 – Detroit, MI – El Club*
April 3 – Iowa City, IA – Mission Creek Festival*
April 4 – Rochester, MN – Rochester Arts Center *
April 6 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave*
April 27 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre*
April 28 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom*
April 30 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge*
May 2 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater*
May 6 – San Fransisco, CA – Independent*
April 9 – Amsterdam NL – Paradiso
April 10 – Hamburg DE – Nochtwache
April 11 – Berlin DE – Musik & Frieden
April 12 – Brno CZ – Kabinet Muz
April 13 – Bratislava SK – Hopkirk Club
April 14 – Prague CZ – Futurum
April 16 – München DE – Hansa 39
April 19 – London UK – Birthdays
April 20 – Manchester UK – Soup Kitchen