Aside from frequently voicing support for social-justice and feminist causes, Dessa has not been a musician that has delved heavily into political themes in her music over the years. But as we all know, this year is like no other.
The Twin Cities-based rapper/singer/author/poet/whiskey-distiller/ice-cream-maker/etc. addresses some of the issues on the ballot in Tuesday’s election with a very heavy tone on a new single “Tyranny,” which she surprise-released Wednesday to encourage voting. All downloads of the song via Bandcamp through Saturday will benefit HeadCount.org.
Her first new single in over a year, “Tyranny” reunites Dessa with Doomtree producer Lazerbeak and arranger Andy Thompson, each of whom also had a hand in last year’s acclaimed album “Sound the Bells: Recorded Live at Orchestra Hall.”
To undoubtedly no one’s surprise, the lyrics of the song — prominently displayed in an accompanying video by animator Adam Dunn — are rather blunt and leave little doubt who’s accused of being tyrannical: “You’re short on mirrors long on smoke / All that Hydroxychloroquine cut with Diet Coke / Under oath and unprovoked / I think your dog whistle broke, ’cuz we can all hear it / Post a white power clip claim you missed what they were cheering.”
“Tyranny” is a standalone single, and there’s no album news yet. Dessa has been staying creative on other fronts in lieu of her usually busy tour schedule. She's due to perform for the “Night Vale” podcast’s ghost stories episode on Thursday at 7 pm CT.