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Electronic - Released April 30, 2021 | Merge Records

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The fact that Dawn Richard's latest album is coming out on storied indie rock label Merge will undoubtedly turn some heads, but the multi-hyphenate artist has pushed the envelope of contemporary R&B and resisted both easy categorization and blind rule-following ever since her days in the Diddy-controlled Danity Kane. Having released three critically acclaimed albums on her own, Richard has more than established herself as one of the preeminent practitioners of modern soul music, firmly capable of maintaining a strong, independent creative streak while crafting radio-friendly tunes. Proving that one can be subtle and complex in their craft while also being accessible and modern, Richard's presence on the Merge roster instantly expands the label's sonic palette and appeal while Richard ... well, she just gets to keep on doing what she's doing without having to deal with so much paperwork. Second Line very much takes up where her last album, New Breed, left off, with Richard working through her roots in New Orleans. This time she explicitly connects it to her family, allowing a conversation with her mother to provide a thematic throughline for the songs. Working in a boomy, dance-friendly groove through the first half of the record, Second Line is darker, thicker, and sparser in its production than much of Richard's other work, but also more insistent in its focus on the strength of her voice. While she may not be the showiest of R&B singers, Richard is among the most powerful, and on tracks like slow-burn "Mornin | Streetlights" and the staccato funk of "Bussifame," her range and strength are more than evident. Notably, though, the album shifts gears around its final third, with the brief-but-expansive piano ballad "Le Petit Morte (a lude)" providing both a showcase for Richard's talent and a signal that Second Line has moved into an ethereal mood after the raucous uplift of its beginnings. With grandiose set pieces like "The Potter" and "Perfect Storm" establishing the mood, the album culminates in the seven-minute, multi-movement, electro-abstraction of "SELFish (Outro)," which is ambitious and intimate in its scope and approach, straddling tradition and futurism in an utterly unique way. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Ambient - Released November 18, 2016 | Local Action

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Electronic - Released February 16, 2021 | Merge Records

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

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R&B - Released January 15, 2013 | Our Dawn Entertainment

Dance - Released April 14, 2021 | Merge Records

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R&B - Released January 29, 2020 | Local Action

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

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R&B - Released May 6, 2016 | Fade to Mind

Electronic - Released March 22, 2021 | Merge Records

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R&B - Released September 5, 2018 | Local Action

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R&B - Released January 27, 2017 | Fade to Mind

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Ambient - Released November 18, 2016 | Local Action

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Electronic - Released March 4, 2021 | Merge Records

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Ambient - Released June 7, 2018 | Local Action

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Dance - Released January 29, 2016 | Local Action

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Dance - Released April 26, 2021 | Merge Records

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

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Ambient - Released May 4, 2018 | Local Action

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Electronic - Released October 27, 2017 | IAMSIAM

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