It looks like 2010 will go down as the year of Dessa Darling. When Doomtree's lady MC unveiled her first solo LP, A Badly Broken Code, the local media hailed it with expected praise, but the national rags also caught on. Robert Christgau, a notoriously harsh critic, reviewed her work on National Public Radio like a fanboy: "In a time when most lyricists, especially outside hip hop, purvey impenetrable poetry, Dessa is generally very clear, which isn't to say she avoids metaphor or feels obliged to nail down every detail," he writes. "She recalls an old-fashioned, high-quality singer-songwriter like Joni Mitchell or Rosanne Cash—just one who's decided that hip-hop beats, tolerantly and inclusively conceived, are a modern lyricist's most effective delivery system." Darling embarked on an ungodly full tour last spring to promote the record and made folks from as far away as Maine hum her words. Doomtree has a new alpha.