Dawn Richard knows the future cannot exist without the past. She knows we can only begin to contemplate what’s next by making peace with what was and what was never meant to be. “That early part of you is the future you,” says the singer-songwriter. “What I started with is the reason I am what I am now, and that self-acceptance is true resurrection.”
This future, enlightened version of herself is the one reflected in Richard’s new album, Redemption,the final installment of the sweeping trilogy she introduced in 2013 with Goldenheart, an audacious collection of atmospheric R&B that came cloaked in battle metaphors and medieval imagery. If that project was the sound of a fearless warrior determined to forge her own path, its propulsive follow-up, Blackheart, was the expression of her frantic search through the wilderness, the tale of the warrior unraveling.
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