It’s been four years since we’ve gotten an album from Dessa (2013’s Parts of Speech), but the talented emcee, singer, and (newfound) producer is back in action with Chime, dropping February 23.
To help kick off the campaign, the Doomtree representative provides fans with “Fire Drills,” an empowering song about the issues of being a woman in today’s society.
You can’t be too broke to break
As a woman
Always something left to take
So you shouldn’t
Try to stay too late or talk to strangers
Look too long, go too far out of range cause
Angels can’t watch everybody all the time
Stay close, hems low, safe inside;
That formula works if you can live it
But it works by putting half the world off limits
Press play on “Fire Drills” below, pre-order Chime, and keep scrolling for a personal message from Dessa herself.
My life has changed considerably since my last album, Parts of Speech. I live half time in New York now and I look confident enough walking down the street to be stopped by the occasional tourist for directions. (I do not, however, have even a basic understanding of the F train’s weekend schedule—and am not sure how many years of reading the signage it will take to learn it.) I published my first travel piece for The New York Times Magazine and got to fill out my very own expense report, just like in the movies. My grandma Jeannette—an important voice in my adult life—died. I was invited to record a song for The Hamilton Mixtape. I got steamrolled by a pretty rough break-up. I bought myself a Maschine Mikro drum machine, read the first half of the manual three times, and banged out my very first beat—which ended up as a song called “Jumprope” on the new record. (As a former copyeditor, I understand “jump rope” to be two words. As a songwriter, my friends, I do not care.)
I’m lucky to have connected with a listenership that’s been willing to support my work across disciplines—to read my essays that have nothing to do with music, or attend a science lecture, or check out a poetry reading. I’ve been able to venture into some new territory these past few years, learn some new skills, and now I’m enormously excited to return to releasing music. This album, like those past, will come out on Doomtree Records–the group of artists with whom I’ve worked for all of my adult life.
Industry norms dictate that a pop musician should release a full-length record every year and a half, lest she risk losing the interest of her listeners. Thanks for the patience while I finished this shit. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think 2018 is gonna be a hell of a year.