Boundary-pushing R&B singer Dawn Richard recently signed to Merge and revealed that she'd be releasing a new album on the label this year, and now that album has been announced and the first single has been released. It's called Second Line and due April 30 via Merge (pre-order), and the announcement reads:

Much like the New Orleans–born artist who created it, Dawn Richard's Second Line is an unapologetic genre bender that pushes boundaries, expands possibilities, and shatters expectations. It’s more than just an album: Second Line is a cohesive sensory experience that questions traditional ideas of sound, production, and visual aesthetics as they relate to music. Its interlocking parts tell an epic story about the quest for artistic expression, with Dawn describing her project as “a movement to bring pioneering Black women in electronic music to the forefront.”

She elaborates further: “You never see women appreciated as producers and artists alike—especially Black women in the electronic space. The time is now for us to start recognizing their talent, not only in electronic music but in all genres. I wanna be the reason why a young Black girl from the South can be whoever she wants to be musically, visually, and artistically.” Second Line cuts to the chase with its opening suite of dancefloor bangers, immediately displaying Dawn’s mastery of layered production and melodic hooks. On the hypnotic “Nosta­lgia,” her pleas of “Do you love me anymore?” are answered on the following track “Boomerang.” “Bussifame” builds slowly and assuredly to become a feverish boogie before melting into the complex rhythms of “Pressure.” Second Line treats Louisiana Creole culture, New Orleans bounce, and Southern Swag as elemental, allowing Dawn to weave in and out of house, footwork, R&B, and more. As she says, “I am the genre.”

"Bussifame" is the first single, and you can definitely hear that collage of musical influences coming through on this one. She also spoke a little more about the song to Zane Lowe on Apple Music:

Yeah, you know what's crazy in New Orleans? A second line, we hear it outside. So, normally, when you're in the house, you don't have to be a part of the funeral or the celebrations, and just be like, you hear that. Usually we're in our house, you hear it, and you just walk outside and you join it. So, you can even not even know the person who passed away. You could even not even know what the party was, but if you hear it, feel it, you can join it. So, that's what this album and this record "Bussifame" really speaks to. If you hear it, no matter if you're inside, outside, wherever. You can join this party, you can join this parade. Yeah, it's a parade.

Join the party for yourself by watching the new song's self-directed video and the album's teaser video below...

1. King Creole (Intro)
2. Nostalgia
3. Boomerang
4. Bussifame
5. Pressure
6. Pilot (A Lude)
7. Jacuzzi
8. FiveOhFour (A lude)
9. Voodoo (Intermission)
10. Mornin Streetlights
11. La Petit Morte (A lude)
12. Radio Free
13. The Potter
14. Perfect Storm
15. Voodoo (Outermission)
15. SELFish (Outro)

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