Dessa, the Minneapolis rapper, singer, author, entrepreneur and all-around polymath known for “breaking the rules of rap” (NPR), today releases “Call Off Your Ghost,” the first single from her upcoming live album recorded with the GRAMMY-winning Minnesota Orchestra. The heartbreak-and-repair anthem is elevated to powerful, dramatic new heights by soaring strings, roiling percussion, and an impassioned live performance. The full album, titled Sound the Bells: Recorded Live at Orchestra Hall, is due November 8th from Doomtree Records.
Listen to “Call Off Your Ghost” HERE.
Sound the Bells is the culmination of Dessa’s ongoing work with the Minnesota Orchestra, which has included six sold-out performances (two thousand attendees each) and a trip to South Africa, where Dessa documented the orchestra’s historic tour on behalf of Classical Minnesota Public Radio. Read HERE.
As is evidenced by “Call Off Your Ghost,” arranger Andy Thompson has ambitiously reimagined Dessa’s catalog for performance with a world-class symphonic orchestra. The new album includes the full range of her work, from full-throttle rap bangers to literary ballads to infectious pop songs—all transformed and expanded into larger-than-life reincarnations designed to take advantage of the virtuosic talents collected on one stage. Led by Sarah Hicks (Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall), the Minnesota Orchestra’s performance allows Dessa’s voice and lyrics to blaze with new intensity.
To celebrate the release of the record, Dessa will perform several concerts joined by a string quartet and the members of her touring band (who also perform as the deep-pop outfit MONAKR). Tickets for those shows will go on sale at 11am Eastern this Friday.
Pre-order the new album from Doomtree Records HERE. Track listing and full dates below.
Dessa is a rapper, writer, and public speaker whose extraordinary career spans many genres. She has toured North America, Europe, Australia, China, and South Africa, both as a solo artist and as a proud member of the Doomtree hip-hop collective.
As a writer, Dessa has contributed to The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler,the Star Tribune, the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and literary journals around the country. She’s hosted radio and TV events, delivered keynote speeches around the country, and tried every dessert that was ever offered to her. The paperback version of her memoir-in-essays, My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love (listed as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2018) is on shelves now.
In August of 2019, TED.com featured a talk on heartbreak and neuroscience that Dessa delivered in Hong Kong. In the weeks since, her speech, titled Can We Choose to Fall Out of Love, has accrued almost a million views. Other recent career accomplishments include 2018’s acclaimed album Chime, a Super Bowl 2018 performance, and several musical collaborations with her friend Lin-Manuel Miranda.
About the Minnesota Orchestra
The Minnesota Orchestra, has recorded more than 450 works in a recording history that dates back more than ninety years (winning the 2014 GRAMMY award for Best Orchestral Performance). Most recently, the Orchestra has recorded acclaimed complete cycles of symphonies by Sibelius, Beethoven and, now in progress, Mahler, with its Music Director Osmo Vänskä. The ensemble has a reputation for creative programming, broad-based education and engagement work, and innovative touring.
2. Good Grief
3. Boy Crazy
5. 5 Out Of 6
6. Dixon's Girl
7. Grade School Games
8. Call Off Your Ghost
9. The Chaconne
11. The Beekeeper
12. Fire Drills
13. Fighting Fish
14. The Bullpen
16. Sound the Bells
17. Flyer is a Verb
18. Skeleton Key
Unless otherwise noted, Dessa will perform with a string quartet and members of the Chicago-based group MONAKR at the events listed below.
Sept 21 - Orlando, FL - Heavy & Light 2019 (accompanied by Matthew Santos)
Nov 7 - Cardiff, Wales, Millennium Center (w/ full BBC National Orchestra of Wales)
Nov 20 – NYC, The Greene Space, hosted by John Schaefer
Nov 21 – DC, Sixth & I
Nov 22 – Brooklyn, National Sawdust
Nov 23 – Boston, City Winery
Nov 24 – Philadelphia, City Winery
BOOK READINGS & SPEAKING EVENTS
Sept 26 - Brooklyn, NY - Word Bookstore (Book tour appearance)
Oct 3-4 - Los Angeles, CA - Werk It Podcast Conference (Dessa will be hosting)
Oct 8 - Brookline, MA - Conversation with Michael Pollan
Jan 23 - Boulder, CO - Chautauqua Institute (speaking event)