Poetic Memory: Dessa (List)

When your first album has people favorably comparing you to Joni Mitchell and Roseanne Cash, you’re off to a good start. But when you update those influences with a hip-hop edge, you’re off to an even better one.

Such has been the case for the one-named Dessa, who released her debut, A Badly Broken Code, last year. The Minneapolis native’s unique combination of rapping and singing has earned her plenty of attention, and her current headlining tour should only add to the buzz.

Dessa will play the Casbah on Sunday, May 8, along with Doomtree label-mates Sims — whose latest album, Bad Time Zoo, is currently at the top of the CMJ hip-hop charts — and Lazerbeak. For a taste of what to expect, you can watch Dessa’s video for “Dixon’s Girl” above.

Tickets for the show can be purchased here. In anticipation of the event, Dessa was kind enough to share her top 5 influences, in order of appearance:


1. The sound of classical guitar, as played by my father, and muffled by the sewing room door.

2. My mother, pushing me to find a harmony to the songs on the car radio.

3. An undergraduate course in creative writing, instructed by Thomas Haley.

4. A Valentine’s Day poetry slam featuring my future (now ex-)boyfriend.

5. The collective, partnership, and family of Doomtree.


Dessa tour dates:
Thu May 05 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
Fri May 06 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
Sun May 08 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
Mon May 09 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Chasers
Tue May 10 – Albuquerque, NM @ Moonlight Lounge
Thu May 12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Thu May 12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Fri May 13 – Denver, CO @ The Marquis Theatre
Sat May 14 – Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
Sun May 15 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room



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