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 her fourth full-length, CHIME.
“A few years ago, a friend told me, ‘The hardest thing to be is yourself.’ It seemed like such an unusual thing to say, but also rang at least partly true,” Dessa says. “By the time you’re an adult, it can be difficult even to identify which parts of yourself have been shaped by social pressures; which parts you might habitually exaggerate or play down; and which parts have changed since you last took a serious look behind the curtain. I’m a pretty candid songwriter—most of my lyrics are lived, personal stories—but I’ve also been a musician who went to great lengths to be taken seriously. When I first joined Doomtree, I didn’t want to sing too much, because I worried about being dismissed as the girl who only sang choruses. I’m goofy off stage, but on record I was writerly, deliberate. I wanted to seem smart, wanted to seem skillful. And thinking about how you’d like to be perceived is different than thinking about how to best express who or what you really are.
“Writing the lyrics for ‘Chime’ involved heading into territory I don’t usually go as a songwriter: there’s some humor, a rap song about my experiences traveling alone as a woman, one about my grandmother’s death, and one unapologetic pop song—because I love pop too, dammit. There are deliberate, writerly moments on this record, because I’m a writer and a neurotic. But nobody is just one thing. I’m also a daughter and a science nerd and a single woman in her thirties and an American freaked out by the stories on the news. And, in this particular moment, I am a person feeling excited, proud, and nervous to be a little more fully herself.”
Equipped with 11 songs—including “Good Grief,” “Fire Drills” and “5 out of 6“—CHIME can be heard below. Press play and be sure to add the album on your prefrerd streaming platform. Doomtree is also providing fans with exclusive bundle packages, as well.