dessa dessa

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Dessa  Musician + Writer. Doomtree + Dutton. New album CHIME out now. MY OWN DEVICES hardcover available for preorder now:

Borrowed a cap from the front row at @backyardwkndr yesterday. Same time same place today: main stage at 5:15.

This November I’ll be playing (what I hope will be) my biggest UK show yet: a headlining gig at @dometufnellpark. Tickets up now at


For everybody asking, "But what's the book ABOUT?," I’ve pasted the jacket copy below. (Genre names for this particular sort of writing are lame—literary essay, creative non-fiction, etc.—so I'll just say they're true stories. Told as beautifully as I know how.)
Dessa defies category--she is an intellectual with an international rap career and an inhaler in her backpack; a creative writer fascinated by philosophy and behavioral science; and a funny, charismatic performer dogged by blue moods and heartache. She's ferocious on stage and endearingly neurotic in the tour van. Her stunning literary debut memoir stitches together poignant insights on love, science, and language--a demonstration of just how far the mind can travel while the body is on a six-hour ride to the next gig.
In "The Fool That Bets Against Me," Dessa writes to Geico to request a commercial insurance policy for the broken heart that's helped her write so many sad songs. "A Ringing in the Ears" tells the story of her father building a wooden airplane in their backyard garage. In "Congratulations," she describes the challenge of recording a song for The Hamilton Mixtape in a Minneapolis basement, straining for a high note and hoping for a break. "Call off Your Ghost" chronicles the fascinating project she undertook with a team of neuroscientists to try and clinically excise romantic feelings for an old flame. Her writing is infused with scientific research, dry wit, a philosophical perspective, and an abiding tenderness for the people she tours with and the people she leaves behind to be on the road.

My Own Devices is an uncompromising and candid account of a life in motion, in music, and in love. Dessa is as compelling on the page as she is onstage, making My Own Devices the debut of a unique and deft literary voice.

Victoria, Canada. See you this weekend at @backyardwkndr.

‪The @fourfists6666 guys are back. Make way. ‪#6666
@yeahrightpos x @astronautalis

BROOKLYN, shot by @keeganburckhard at @WarsawConcerts. Featuring @karalaudon @heychamp @MatthewSantos @monakrofficial and @nessnite. (NYC, I'll see you next at @strandbookstore on September 18th—first stop on the BOOK TOUR.)

This Saturday at noon Central, we’ll be talking KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL on my FB page. (This week we’re reading through the end of the chapter called “Sous Chef.”) Joiners welcome. See you at the [book]clerb.

Thanks for the blonding, @theapiarysalon.

Our session @worldcafe is live today. The set: HALF OF YOU, FIRE DRILLS, 5 OUT OF 6, VELODROME. (And thanks, Talia, for the conversation.)

This is a picture of me, sitting in a New York literary agency, signing my book deal. For the occasion I donned fake glasses and a very real look of joy and panic. MY OWN DEVICES is my first hardcover collection and it'll hit shelves two months from tomorrow. It's available for preorder now, however. And, as you might suspect, preorders are as important in the literary world as they are in the musical universe. Authors (particularly new authors like me) usually have the attention of the industry for only a week or two after publication. During that time, a book's trajectory is plotted. Preorders, however, can help give the project a running start; they prove to the publisher and bookstores and reviewers that the author is working hard, and has forged real connections with people who are interested in her work. So. If this is a book that you're planning on checking out, I hope you'll consider preordering it. The early vote of confidence means a lot to the publisher—who's taken a risk on a relative unknown—and of course it means a lot to me. For everyone who's already locked in an early order, THANK YOU. Two months and a day.

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