Album of the Week: Dessa and the Minnesota Orchestra, 'Sound the Bells'


Dessa and the Minnesota Orchestra
Dessa and the Minnesota Orchestra - Sound the Bells: Recorded Live at Orchestra Hall (Doomtree Records)
Andrea Swensson - Album of the Week: Dessa and the Minnesota Orchestra, 'Sound the Bells'
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There are so many things to love about this album - like the fact that the Grammy-winning Minnesota Orchestra can now say they have a record out on Doomtree Records, and that Andy Thompson's intricate, nuanced orchestral arrangements of Dessa's songs have now been captured for us all to revisit again and again.

It shouldn't be surprising that a multidisciplinary talent like Dessa would conceive of such an ambitious, large-scale collaboration, but listening to Sound the Bells, recorded live at Orchestra Hall earlier this year, it's clear that by taking on challenges like this one, she's pushed her artistry to new heights.

Her voice has rarely sounded so mature and expressive, and hearing her catalog performed by an orchestra reveals just how thoughtful and complex her songs have always been.

In addition to the over 75 classical musicians in the orchestra, the compositions are enhanced even further by the addition of a dream team of singers: Matthew Santos, Cameron Kinghorn, Ashley DuBose, and Dessa's longtime collaborator Aby Wolf. When the five of them sing together, it's like a ray of sunlight through a prism.

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