Today is the release of Richard Dawson’s new album The Ruby Cord via Weird World. It is the final part of a trilogy that started with the pre-medieval world of Peasant, was brought back to the present day with 2020 and - possibly - concludes in the future with Dawson’s seventh studio album. Having not shared any music in advance, the record is now available to stream in full. Stream The Ruby Cord here.
Dawson previously announced a live date at London’s Barbican Centre for May and is now pleased to confirm a full UK tour for next year. The tour announcement follows the recent cinema screenings of The Hermit, a music video directed by James Hankins of The Ruby Cord’s opening 41-minute track “The Hermit”. Bandcamp will be hosting a special online screening on Tuesday 22nd November. Tune in here.
After recent collaborations with Finnish metal innovators Circle and his work with Hen Ogledd, The Ruby Cord is a return to Dawson’s own world with seven tracks that plunge us into an unreal, fantastical and at times sinister future where social mores have mutated, ethical and physical boundaries have evaporated… a place where you no longer need to engage with anyone but yourself and your own imagination.
While 2020 dealt in social realism with explorations of testy football matches, the fallacy of work-life balance and therapeutic forms of repetitive exercise, The Ruby Cord shakes off the limitations of so-called real life and delves headlong into a (sort of) sci-fi world where human society has collapsed and morphed into something distinctly less solid. “So many of us are moving into these fantasy worlds,” says Dawson. “Whether it's actual constructed virtual realities, computer worlds, or retreating into even more fantastical realms…. conspiracy theories, nationalism, amateur football punditry. People construct their own world because this one is so flawed.”
Despite its futuristic setting, Dawson is still tackling contemporary issues - in this near-future, the fantasy world that some people live in looks incredibly like Old England or mythic Albion. But what happens if there’s a glitch in this virtual world that turns a pastoral scene into one of dread? Dawson explains further whilst indicating some of the inspirations behind the album: “Like when you play video games, sometimes something glitches and it makes something happen that’s really bizarre and disturbing.”
As with Peasant and 2020, The Ruby Cord was recorded with Pigs x7’s Sam Grant at Blank Studios in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the mantra that emerged with The Hermit was“what happens if we push on a bit further?”. Joined by regular collaborators Rhodri Davies, Angharad Davies, and drummer Andrew Cheetham the answer to the question is: possibly Dawson’s best songwriting yet