Embrace the wonders (and horrors) of augmented reality and prepare to travel 500 years into the future as modern-day folk troubadour Richard Dawson performs his new album The Ruby Cord.
The new album is a return to Dawson’s own world with 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. It’s a leap into a future that is well within reach, in some cases already here.
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.”
Written during 2019, throughout 2020 and finished in 2021 – the lyrics to most of the record were conceived throughout the various Covid-19 lockdowns, as the side effects of isolation and state-imposed inwardness affected millions around the world. In that setting, tensions in the UK rose, people showed both altruism and selfishness, and the world got a whole lot more difficult to comprehend. Dawson wanted to move away from the “on-the-nose” directness of 2020 and bring down a layer of “fog” over proceedings, masking meanings that are there for those who care to delve just a bit deeper.