Dawn Cadence – odyssey



Dawn Cadence

Dawn Cadence – odyssey

Today, Vanessa Richardson, aka Dawn Cadence released her debut album odyssey. Her music demands attention: the skillful electronic tracks are sonic sculptures as much as pop songs and often leave you in astonishment after they fade. Fortunately, Vanessa is here to help and tell us some of the stories behind the music.

Track 1 – forbidden fruit 

“‘forbidden fruit’ marks the beginning of my musical journey on this album. It was the first song I composed after deciding to dive back into creating music in December 2022. This track set the tone for the entire album, embracing a retro-futuristic vibe. Imagine it as the opening credits, giving listeners a roadmap for the sonic expedition ahead. Starting with the lively staccato synth, transitioning to heartfelt strings, and ending with the melancholy solo cello, it encapsulates the album’s emotional range. Initially planned as an instrumental, a sudden inspiration led me to add vocals just before mastering the tracks.”

Track 2 – Dream Dancer

“I vividly remember the night I wrote ‘Dream Dancer.’ I opened my DAW, hoping to find that spark for a new tune. Sometimes, when ideas elude me, I experiment with MIDI sounds. The moment I heard ‘Dream Dancer,’ it was like love at first sound. I envisioned an entire movie in my mind after creating the main synth line. So, I wrote the lyrics subsequent to composing the instrumental track, dedicated to the allure of that specific sound.”`

Track 3 – Speaking In Tongues

“‘Speaking In Tongues’ became my first unofficial single released in April. It’s a sultry track, an unabashed expression of pleasure. For me, it’s crucial for women to be able to embrace their sensuality freely. Artists like Lana Del Rey, Eartheater, and Tanerelle have been my inspiration, challenging the conventional narratives around female sexuality.”

Track 4 – Siren’s Song

“‘Siren’s Song’ came to life unexpectedly. In August, I felt something was missing from the album, so I decided to create another track. One night, an almost manic state washed over me, and I ended up producing the entire track—lyrics, vocals, and production—in just a couple of hours. It was so compelling that it completely shifted my plans. Originally, I intended to shoot the music video for ‘Phoenix,’ but right after producing this, I knew, ‘Nope, this is the one.’”

Track 5 – hand

“‘hand’ serves as a short interlude in the album’s narrative. It complements the story I had in mind for ‘Siren’s Song.’ “He pulls me, he takes me by the hand”. After successfully seducing the object of my desire, the dynamic  unexpectedly shifts, setting the stage for the next track, ‘Maybe That’s Why.’ It’s a moment of transition, adding depth to the unfolding story.”

Track 6 – Maybe That’s Why

“‘Maybe That’s Why’ is simply a raw, unfiltered venting session. It’s a rant, an outlet for my frustration about feeling used and vulnerable in relationships. Did a complete 180 in my usual production with this one because as you know I’m too chaotic to stick to one genre”

Track 7 – Wish I Could

“‘Wish I Could’ is a musical rollercoaster, blending trip hop elements with orchestral strings. There’s something irresistible about this combination. I don’t know about everyone else but when I’m going through heartache I really like to allow myself to feel those emotions and address them directly with the music I listen to. I don’t distract myself with happy tunes – I will cry and yell-sing along to Fiona Apple at the top of my lungs. Hopefully, people will find this song useful for sad twerking in the shower when they can’t get over someone.”

Track 8 – You Can Never Run Too Far

“We’ve reached the depressing part of the album – sonically inspired by artists like Weyes Blood and Ethel Cain. This song, born from my own struggles, is deeply personal. YCNRTF and Phoenix were both originally poems that I wrote during the peak of Montreal winter — and my seasonal depression is intense. Also, being at the tailend of my philosophy degree, I was having several existential crises per day. You Can Never Run Too Far addressed that feeling of hopelessness when you feel like you want to take a break from existence but also don’t want this break to be permanent – you’re sort of stuck thinking “okay what if I run away and start a new life elsewhere” but deep down you know the feeling will always be there with you. The guitar solo in this track comes straight from the heart, making it my favorite composition in my entire discography.”

Track 9 – Phoenix

“‘Phoenix’ is a meditation on the highs and lows of the creative journey. Some days, I’m filled with hope and inspiration, reminiscent of the pure joy I felt making music in my childhood. Yet, growing older exposes us to the harsh realities of the creative industry: competition, judgments, and fears of failure. At the time I wrote this, I found myself revisiting the anxieties of my teenage years. Despite being aware of my creative spirit, there was this underlying pressure to pursue a traditional and safe career. I initially enrolled in university with dreams of becoming a lawyer. However, as my degree neared its end, I confronted the reality that I was fooling myself. Music had always been my driving force, my escape. In a spontaneous move to take my musical aspirations seriously, I applied to NYU’s Master of Music program for Vocal Performance, defying the conventional path set by my Bachelor of Arts degree.  I got accepted. Everything seemed set for a move to New York until the harsh truth hit me—international tuition fees at a private institution are sky-high. ‘Phoenix’ encapsulates the mix of emotions during that time—a tug-of-war between my aspirations and financial constraints, a sincere attempt to chart the uncertain course of my career and music.”

Track 10 – Phoenix (Radio Edit)

“I initially planned a music video for ‘Phoenix,’ but its length posed a challenge. The track, over 5 minutes long, led to the creation of this radio edit. Despite the absence of the planned video, I chose to retain the essence of the song. Who knows, maybe that music video will come to life in the future.”

Track 11 – greatest mysteries

“‘greatest mysteries’ is an energetic instrumental track that I hesitated to embrace fully at first. Being a young woman in the industry, I’ve experienced my fair share of condescension and mansplaining. I was always afraid to call myself a producer because of this. I’ve been told how my music should sound, which tools to use, and what principles to follow. Yet, I create from my intuition, my ear, and ultimately, my heart. This track sort of represents my perseverance in a way. Shoutout to Patrick Dunphy, who contributed his guitar skills. Catch us live at the Album Release Show in Montreal on November 19th at Casa Del Popolo!”

Track 12 – flight to mars (demo)

“‘flight to mars’ was written months before I even thought of this album. I never got around to finishing an instrumental track for it, as I moved on to other projects. Given the state of the world, I felt it was crucial to include, even as a demo.’ The song was born from my deep frustration with the reality we live in and how quick we are to ‘other’ each other.  I find it disheartening to witness a lack of empathy in the face of senseless acts of hostility and violence. It’s a stark reminder of our shared humanity, a call to break down the barriers that divide us. In this song, I express my longing for a world where we embrace our interconnectedness and coexist harmoniously. We are not isolated individuals; we are one people, connected to one another and the natural world. I dream of a planet where we treat each other and all forms of life with the compassion and understanding that reflect our shared existence. 

Track 13 – fare thee well

“As I approached the final stages of odyssey, I felt the need for closure. ‘fare thee well’ became an impromptu conclusion, recorded just days before finishing the master tracks for the album. I improvised a melody and kept it a cappella. It’s a heartfelt goodbye to the emotional rollercoaster this album represents, a quiet farewell to the stories and experiences that have shaped this musical adventure.”

Thank you, Vanessa revealing the stories behind the tracks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *