Dawn Richard Is A Galactic Goddess In 'Not Above That' Video At this point, Dawn Richard — known these days as D∆WN — is simply beyond pop music. The Machinedrum-produced track celebrates cosmic desire with a video that moves the galaxy.

Songs We Love: D∆WN, 'Not Above That'

D∆WN, 'Not Above That'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483237020/483375629" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
YouTube

At this point, Dawn Richard — known these days as D∆WN — is simply beyond pop music. That's not an easy place to be — her legitimately future-seeking sound is at once everything that's part of dance and R&B music and everything that isn't yet. She's already on the next level while everyone else catches up.

Originally released as a single in January, "Not Above That" comes from the forthcoming album RED*emp*tion a.k.a. The Red Era, closing out a trilogy that started with 2013's Goldenheart. Machinedrum is a producer sympathetic to the side of D∆WN that breaks the neon dance-floor into fractals; at the same time, she pulses heart into his sharp, clipped synths. "I want it all" becomes a mantra, her breathy voice glitched and rearranged in blocks of sound that dart in and out of beats.

Monty Marsh directs this video for "Not Above That," which first appeared in a different version as a virtual reality experience where D∆WN was our holographic captain on a club spaceship. (There's also a lyric video with stunning 3D visuals.) The VR is worth watching if you have the gear and know-how, but here the visuals have been turned into an abstract story, a dance of cosmic desire. D∆WN plays several characters, including a galactic goddess made of stardust and a leather-clad queen surrounded by techno-topographic mountains. But "Not Above That" always comes back to the club, as it is a song that was always meant for that space — which takes on new meaning in light of the recent events in Orlando.

"It's being unapologetic about the dance, [it] is a blatant stance in celebrating who you are," D∆WN tells NPR. "Even before Orlando, I stated The Red Era would be about dancing in the beauty of self, that whatever or whoever you are, be proud of it — that this would be our redemption. To go into this era hands up and heads high."

The "Not Above That" single is available now.