Dessa - Chime Album Review

Story posted March 2, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment by Jenna Minnig.

In her most recent release, Margret Wander, best known by her stage name Dessa, spent time using science to analyze her brain and why it works the way it does. The artist, who is also a member of the indie hip hop collective Doomtree, released a solo record filled with songs of painful soul-searching. Chime is Dessa’s attempt to understand the reasoning behind her heartbreak and anguish.

The multi-talented artist is also a producer, record executive and has even worked as a writer for The New York Times. With all of this experience under her belt, there is no question behind her reasoning to craft a meaningful album. Rather than writing catchy mainstream music, Dessa spent an extensive amount of time feeling things. She then asked herself why she felt those things and eventually turned to science to help her gain insight. At the end of this process, an 11 track record was created.

Chime has potential to be the best full-length release from Dessa in her career just because of the amount of effort and patience she put into perfecting it. The process began after years of an on-off relationship finally ended. When describing her purpose for making new music, Dessa told The Verge that she was confused as to why she continued feeling upset and hopeful after months apart from her significant other. Her curiosity behind these feelings encouraged her to begin researching and experimenting.

Dessa is a firm believer that love is biological; these beliefs are what allowed her to move forward with the experiment. She worked with a group of scientists to conduct a test analyzing the parts of her brain that correlated with feelings of love. After looking at the results, she worked on letting go of those feelings filled with emotion and heartbreak.

This dedication and passion for meaning is the reason why Dessa has listeners. Whether she releases top hits or not, her desire for a purposeful album is what makes Chime an enjoyable listen. The love, heartbreak, research and experimentation Dessa spent years experiencing are the inspiration behind this release.

If the passion from this artist isn’t enough reason to listen, the record in itself is extremely moving and empowering. Dessa takes all of her suffering and heartache and turns that into 11 songs that describe this experience in detail. What makes it such an emotional listen is the reality that she sings about having to fall out of love with a man she knew she was still in love with. The fact that her love was scientifically proven made it even more difficult for her to cope with these feelings and that is evident in the mix of songs on this record. She varies from somber and gloomy to fierce and courageous throughout the tracks.

The commitment and amount of effort put into Chime are what makes it a standout record. If this was just another release for Dessa to remain relevant, it would not have held as much significance as it does. The musician’s willingness to share her heartbreak and her process of healing it are what makes this a special and moving release for listeners.

Rating: 7/10



Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email at

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chime , dessa