DAWN – “New Breed”
Written by JARVIS LEROUGE on November 7, 2018
R&B experimenter and Danity Kane alum Dawn Richard released her first music since 2016 in early September, the smooth jam “Jealousy.” Since then she successfully covered the Cranberries, embarked on a reunion tour with Danity Kane, released an Adult Swim single, and appeared on Insecure.
Today, she has announced that “Jealousy” was our first taste of her fifth solo album New Breed, which is out in January. The album focuses on Richard’s upbringing in New Orleans. As in the “Jealousy” video, the cover art depicts her in the traditional headdress of the Washitaw Nation, a group of black Americans that claim to be a sovereign Native American tribe.
She’s also offered up the album’s title track: a stripped-back but bass-heavy slow-burner, full of flickering synths, fierce spitting beats, and feminist futurism. It appears to be her album manifesto: “I am a lion/ I am a woman/ Nothing can stop me/ I do what I want to/ I am, I am, I am, I am, I am.” Richard imagines an Amazonian female world which women have remade on their own terms: “I am the new breed/ But your crown don’t fit me,” switching between a woozy rap flow and reverberating vocal climbs.
Richard shared this about New Breed in a press release:
I never saw myself as a victim but have survived assault and I thought hiding it made me strong. But as I’ve watched all these amazing strong women speak on their experiences I found courage in speaking on my story. This record is for all of us. We are the new breed. We are strong, unapologetic and the future is female.
1 “The Nine (Intro)”
2 “New Breed”
4 “Dreams And Converse”
8 “Vultures | Wolves”
9 “We, Diamonds”
10 “Ketchup And Po Boys (Outro)”
11/16 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall (Danity Kane)
11/30 Los Angeles, CA @ Aratani Japan America Theatre (w/ Kimbra)
12/06 Washington, DC @ Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (w/ Kimbra)
12/08 New York, NY @ Murmrr Theatre (w/ Kimbra)
New Breed is out 1/25 on Local Action Records. Pre-order it here.