Every Record I Own: Dawn Richard – Second Line
I discovered Dawn Richard (or DΔWN or DAWN) when I was doing a daytime radio show on Radio Active in 2015/2016. There were a couple of singles she released through the adult swim singles series, which always was worth listening to when creating my playlist for the week, that I really loved.
Since then I’ve kept up with her releases. I’ve never been a mega fan, and nothing of hers went into my regular rotation, but I was always interested in what she was up to.
She never releases anything boring. She collaborates with artists quite far out of the pop/r&b/electronic/hip hop genre that she usually releases work herself in. She is able to bend genres into each other really organically. Her work is always interesting and innovating but never in a way that makes it more interesting than fun.
I listened to this when it first came out, but I can’t remember if I listened the whole way through. I was probably listening on headphones on the bus, or at my computer. I felt the way I do about all of her music which is ‘it’s good’. But then I never went back to it.
This record came up on sale over summer and I bought it on a whim. One thing that I like about records is that it makes you spend time with an album. I have listened to it loud in a room while hanging out, while making dinner, with friends and flatmates, alone.
When I write these blog posts I usually listen to an album a couple of times, more closely than I usually do (especially if it hasn’t been a long time favourite that I have listened to a million times), and this is one of the ones that has impressed me the most at a closer listen.
Second Line is I guess an electro-pop record, but blends in hip hop drums, r&b guitar, harsher synth sounds than you would expect, manipulated, distorted and pitch shifted vocals as well as the pop-r&b vocals that sometimes almost mold into rap.
Although genre in pop music is well and truly dead at this stage where anything can and does work. Dawn Richard does that better than almost anyone else.
Her career began with a reality tv show, then as a girl group signs to Bad Boy records. I don’t know how someone who is so charismatic and talented didn’t explode as a pop star, but the level of control she is allowed with an indie label gave us this album.
fave tracks: Mornin | Streetlights, The Potter, Bussifame, Jacuzzi