"We were in the middle of finishing the album when the pandemic hit. I remember feeling like maybe it was a sign for me to stop the album and just stop music for a while. But my mom told me keep going. We started recording ourselves talking about life and she became the narrator of my album."
Dawn Richard, recounts the recording of new album Second Line, a cohesive sensory experience that questions traditional ideas of sound, production, and visual aesthetics as they relate to music, released on Merge Records on 30th April.
Second Line is an unapologetic genre bender, pushes boundaries, expands possibilities, and shatters expectations. The album’s 16 tracks is loosely based around an androgynous protagonist, King Creole, who’s half-android and half-human with a multifaceted sense of identity- aligning with how the world has come to see identity today.
Dawn describes her project as “a movement to bring pioneering Black women in electronic music to the forefront” and involves a very important woman in her life her mother Debbie, who serves as a uninhibited narrator through recorded snippets of their conversations.
"Being in New Orleans for the pandemic helped shaped the album. I was able to work with all local artists and make this project special and a locally curated body of work.
On creating this album, it was important to me as a producer, and as an artist to be able to collaborate with some of my favourite artists. And among them was Ila Orbis, a collaborator on this project and a producer who’s incredible, and what we managed too curate together to me was putting culture from New Orleans and the electronic sound together to create the electro revival, which is the sound that really was important to me.
I didn’t want this to just be about a genre, I wanted it to be about a sound, I want people of listen to this album and say that’s the Dawn sound, like they're familiar with the sequencing and the way in which I am putting out a message that electronic music can be delivered by Black women, but also that dance music comes from Black culture and really pushing that to the forefront.
Especially with the creative visually with this process so the sonic and the visual and how those two merge together. Down from the vinyl to the way in which the cover looks to the way we designed the trailer, everything is to push New Orleans culture into the future, afro futurism, to show Black culture as a progressive and innovative feature in music."
Buy now on LP/CD with gold shaped bonus 12".