About the artist
Castor, The Twin captures these new arrangements for ten of Dessa’s strongest previously released songs. It also includes “The Beekeeper,” the haunting advance single from Dessa’s new album, due in 2013. Vibraphone, piano, viola, and stand-up bass give the record a classical, sometimes orchestral sound for a beautiful and somber effect. The album is immediately identifiable as an intimate recording of live players, with fingers sliding on frets and raw, expressive vocals. The organic instrumentation pushes Dessa’s lyrics forward, showcasing the imagery and narratives that define her as a songwriter and an emcee.
The album title references the twin brothers Castor and Pollux of Roman mythology, the pair of bright stars in the Gemini constellation. Pollux was part god, a fighter with metal hands. Castor was the mortal of the pair, but the two were inseparable. After cutting her teeth with her Doomtree cohorts behind the boards, this is Dessa’s first record with a wholly organic sound—more tender, human versions of the best material she’s released so far.
Recently named one of Minnesota’s most influential people by Minnesota Monthly, Dessa is also a writer, speaker, and creative thinker who has won international acclaim. In 2012, she delivered the keynote address for the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and the commencement address the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts. She received the AWARE award for her promotion of gender equality, and has completed tours of North America and Europe. In academic settings, at non-profit events, or in front of a camera, Dessa presents her ideas with a combination of candor and wry charm.
She currently serves as artist-in-residence for McNally Smith College of Music and contributing blogger for the StarTribune.
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