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R&B - Released January 25, 2019 | Local Action

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A trilogy of expansive albums plus a crop of intermediary releases and featured appearances did not deplete Dawn Richard's reserve. On New Breed, her first major release since Redemption, the label-defiant marvel again switches up her supporting co-producers and cooks up another half-hour of authoritative progressive pop. Cosmopolitan as ever and adaptive to each backdrop, whether it includes percolating Germanic synthesizers, elastic disco-funk basslines, or window-shaking drums, Richard also keeps her New Orleans hometown at the fore, honoring her Washitaw Nation heritage, indulging in flashbacks, and incorporating musical references that are either understated or happenstance. She rejects any expectation and tag that is not self-assigned. The title track contains a verse that begins with "F*ck the heels and dress" and ends with a dismissive "I'm the motherf*cking king, yeah," and later uses as punctuation a vintage soundbite from artistic antecedent Grace Jones. The lack of inhibition transfers into the several romantic escapades, like when her partner is urged to "Live flagrant, make people nervous," or to "Keep it comin' 'til I can't move." Although Richard is resolutely combatant, only strengthened by each being or systemic force in her way, she's not above writing about her envy and insecurity -- as an impenitent wanting "petty to win tonight" as she is when she's fighting for the upliftment of black women. Even when the subtle power of Richard's voice is diminished slightly by trouble or distress, it's advisable to be on the singer's side or out of the way. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released September 5, 2018 | Local Action

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Ambient - Released November 18, 2016 | Local Action

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Dawn Richard's "heart" trilogy began with Goldenheart (2013), continued with Blackheart (2015), and ends with Redemption (2016). Between the second and third volumes, Richard issued a batch of non-album singles and an EP, and was featured on tracks by Machinedrum and Star Slinger. Each release provided further evidence that Richard remained among the most compelling, progressive, classification-evasive artists of her time -- all the more fascinating given that she had previously topped the Billboard 200 twice as a member of the pop group Danity Kane. Like Nona Hendryx and Grace Jones before her, Richard busted out of the genre with which she began to follow her expectation-defying creative impulses. Yet another artful and modern amalgamation of machine soul and left-field pop, Redemption is similar to the earlier parts of the trilogy in that it gives the listener a sense of being swept up, though there's little in the way of fantasy or escape here. The album could just as sensibly be titled Defiance or Resilience. A lion's share of the album contends with the most thrilling moments of Goldenheart and Blackheart. "LA" is on a different plane and simultaneously representative of what surrounds it. A woozy, churning mini-epic regarding survival, it's prog rock as much as it is hip-hop, capped by a street-scene coda from fellow New Orleans native Trombone Shorty. Richard makes a direct connection to Los Angeles ("in the Chevy goin' 90 down LaBrea") while alluding to her home state of Louisiana with a reference to Lil Wayne. When she sings "These LA streets are killin' me," she could be referring to the West Coast and the South at once, or maybe the entire U.S.A. There's certainly no misinterpreting the meaning in "We just wanna know if we really matter." The songs that seek and embrace companionship sound as defiant and are almost as powerful. In the battering "Renegades," she affirms "I'm coast to coast, they know they fucking with a real one, but when it's two of us, we rockin' like an anthem." "Vines," a PJ Morton collaboration unfortunately deemphasized with its "interlude" designation, is a complete soul ballad, where she proclaims "I'm too dope to walk this earth lonely." There is no proof to the contrary here. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released January 15, 2013 | Our Dawn Entertainment

Goldenheart is a major culmination for Dawn Richard. After Hurricane Katrina left the New Orleans native without a home, the singer and songwriter's career took numerous turns. She released an independent album as Dawn Angelique, made (and even named) Diddy's band (Danity Kane), and co-starred in Diddy-Dirty Money. Too impatient to wait for her creativity to bloom at Bad Boy, she parted amicably from the label and plotted a rebirth as an independent solo artist. After a mixtape in 2011 and an album-length EP in 2012, there's this, a sumptuous and grand album in which Richard develops her conceptual vision to theatrical, hour-plus scope. Beside production partner Druski, Richard casts herself as an embattled queen who "faced the beast with both hands" and seeks her father "to ask him for favor to take down this monster." Even if all the majestic imagery throughout -- wrapped in depictions of guarding, fighting, surrendering, conquering, and so forth -- is taken merely as metaphorical code for everyday personal strife, the album can be overwhelming in its artistic indulgence and intensity. However, Richard and Druski are extraordinarily focused with a deep arsenal of high-quality songs that segues with nonstop suite-like smoothness. It's remarkable that it was made without a major-label budget, as it's deeply rich and advanced-sounding with a wide array of gleaming synthesizers and percussion sounds, from chest-thumping bass drums to handclaps to timpanis. Like Last Train to Paris and Armor On, the album is largely pop-oriented contemporary R&B, ranging from the breathy and pulsating balladry of "Frequency" to the steely yet open-hearted electro-funk of "Ode to You," with a little inspiration from European dance-pop. There's neither a false nor awkward move to be heard; even the references to Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" and Frank Miller's 300 seem natural and perfectly placed. Complete and correct, Goldenheart is a triumph. ~ Andy Kellman
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Ambient - Released June 7, 2018 | Local Action

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R&B - Released November 7, 2018 | Local Action

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Ambient - Released November 18, 2016 | Local Action

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Electro - Released May 6, 2016 | Fade to Mind

"Dawn Richard offers a diorama for love’s life cycle, encompassing everything from death defying adoration and righteous anger to, best of all, forgiveness."
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Ambient - Released May 4, 2018 | Local Action

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Electro - Released April 20, 2018 | Big Beat Records

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R&B - Released September 14, 2018 | Lightyear - NuLite Media, LLC

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Ambient - Released March 9, 2016 | Local Action

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Dance - Released January 29, 2016 | Local Action

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Electro - Released April 27, 2016 | Fade to Mind

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Electro - Released September 30, 2016 | MBK - Sony - RAL

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Electro - Released June 1, 2018 | Big Beat Records

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Dance - Released August 25, 2017 | Local Action

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Ambient - Released April 4, 2017 | Local Action

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Electro - Released August 19, 2016 | MBK - Sony - RAL

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Electro - Released May 13, 2016 | MBK - Sony - RAL

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