Geordie troubadour Richard Dawson and Finnish genre-straddlers Circle have today announced a full-length collaborative record: it’s called Henki and comes out on November 22 through Weird World. Speaking on the album’s title, Dawson says:
“The word ‘henki’ roughly translates as ‘spirit’. It’s a very rich word, supple in its meaning in the same way as the Geordie ‘canny’; difficult to pin down.”
The first song to be shared from the collaboration is “Lily”, which finds Dawson embodying his mother in her years when she worked as a nurse in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary – and experienced unsettling visions. Longstanding fans of Richard Dawson might be worried that the inclusion of Circle, a metal-adjacent seven-piece, might mean that overwhelming sounds get in the way of his unique storytelling – but fear not, the combination only works to enhance this tale of spectres in dark hallways, unwell patients and lights in the distance. In fact, in combination, Richard Dawson and Circle spiral around each other into an almost operatic retelling of life in the bowels of an ancient hospital – demonic shrieks and commanding Finnish incantations included. It’s a riot.
Making “Lily” even more unusual is the video, which features DJ and snooker legend Steve Davis. Take a look below or listen to the song on streaming platforms.
Richard Dawson & Circle’s Henki comes out on November 26 through Weird World (pre-order).