Local hip-hop/spoken word artist and Doomtree co-founder Dessa has announced the rollout of her fourth solo studio album. A brand-new single has arrived, as well.
Marking her first full-length solo release since 2013's A Badly Broken Code, Dessa's Chime will drop on February 23, 2018, on Doomtree's in-house record label.
Following the project's stately, pop-leaning ballad "Good Grief," Dessa's new single "Fire Drills" finds the singer-songwriter returning to the deft hip-hop wordplay found on Doomtree's early False Hopes compilations.
Over a simmering beat from executive producer Lazerbeak, Dessa recounts her globe-trotting experiences as a female touring musician. In a press release, she explained some of the thematic work behind her new song.
"I rarely address identity politics head-on. 'Fire Drills' is one of the few times I’ve written explicitly about the experience of being a woman—in my case, a woman who often travels to faraway places alone. In the lyrics, I tried to include the bodily sensations, the logistical considerations, and the philosophical consequences of the daily vigilance that’s asked of women—to keep their bodies safe and reputations clean.”
The unusually long gap between albums from the normally prolific songwriter was punctuated by various side projects, including landing a feature on the Hamilton soundtrack and writing an episode of popular podcast Welcome to the Night Vale.
In her press release, Dessa elaborated on her brief sabbatical from solo work.
“My life has changed considerably since my last album, Parts of Speech. I now live half time in New York and I look confident enough walking down the street to be stopped by the occasional tourist for directions. I published my first travel piece for The New York Times Magazine. My grandma, Jeanette—an important voice in my adult life—died. 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 s***.”
Chime is available for preorder now via Doomtree's web store.