New Music: Dawn Richard – ‘‘86’

Dawn Richard weathers the storm on “’86,” the first single off her full-length debut GoldenHeart, the first in a trilogy. The ’80s-inspired synth ballad, produced by Druski, is a sonic departure from the material found on her chart-topping EP Armor On.

“For ”86,’ my producer Drew and I really went back to the basics,” the former Dirty Money member told Interview. “I also grew up listening to Prince, Genesis, Cyndi [Lauper], Peter Gabriel, and Phil Collins, which you hear a lot of in ’86.’ Their sound resonated in my life and my childhood, so, it’s really in a sense the beginning of my story.”

“’86’ is really the most naked single I’ve ever had,” she explained. “’86’ is actually a slang term—it means to get rid of something. For me, I’ve put up so many walls that I forgot if I was going to do this, that I can’t play the victim, I have to play the survivor. The song’s about ridding yourself of all those barriers so that you can be free and fight for love. That’s what everything I do now is about. The fight for love—what I love, and that’s the music.”

GoldenHeart is due October 16. Listen to “’86” below and download it on iTunes.