Last year, D∆WN (aka Dawn Richard) floated into the music scene like a beautiful specter. She started releasing stunningly ornate videos and covers—all seemingly out of nowhere—before the blogosphere's proverbial jaw dropped over her masterpiece, Blackheart.
It looks like Dawn is riding that wave into 2016. Her latest EP, Infrared, is a surprise, four-track collaboration with L.A. producer Kingdom, proving that she hasn't lost her mysterious touch since Blackheart's wild success. Far from it. The gold-gilded vibe goddess apparently just has warm R&B flowing out of her every pore, because this release gels together with otherworldly beauty and ease, as if she's been possessed by a deeply sensual alien-angel and is simply conveying the message.
Kingdom lent his brand of forward-thinking percussion to Infrared, giving each track a futuristic pulse that disrupts Dawn's buttery vocals at even and precise moments. The result is a fascinating blend of glitch and atmospheria that allows for a slow, careful revelation of melody. Infrared offers both immediate gratification (the earworm hooks on "Honest;" the darkly tropical chorus on "Paint It Blue") and gradual rewards for the repeat tracker. Throw this into a playlist with the week's earlier Drake, Radiohead, and James Blake releases, and you'll have quite the sultry soundtrack to your weekend space-outs.
D∆WN's follow-up album, RED*emp*tion, doesn't yet have a release date. But whenever she decides to grace us with her next batch of pitch-perfect spook jams, we'll be ready.