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BLOOD ORANGE

Blood Orange’s latest critically acclaimed mixtape, ‘Angel’s Pulse’. Released on the heels of Negro Swan, this album is the overflowing aftermath of that incredible album – the more Dev Hynes the better in my opinion.

‘Dark and Handsome’ encapsulates everything I love about Hynes’ music, those drops of recognizable Blood Orange trademarks which are so prominent throughout all his albums. Something that sets the album apart for me is the heartbreaking track ‘Birmingham’ which is referencing the church bombing in Alabama by white nationalists in 1963. Kelsey Lu and Ian Isiah vocals are incredibly emotive and cut through the soul.

The album includes collaborations with Toro Y Moi, Kelsey Lu, Arca, Porches, Ian Isiah, Justine Skye and many more. The tracks are short in quick succession, it’s easy to glide through the album and want to hear it all over again for the parts you missed the first time around.


STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Dev Hynes bringing us this incredible mixtape, Angel’s Pulse filled with emotional, raw material. Blood Oranges distinct sound flows throughout with glimpses of his trademark echoes, the album flows seamlessly from start to finish but holds his most diverse mixture of songs to date. Absolutely love this and can’t wait for the next.

TRACK LISTING

I Wanna C U
Something To Do
Dark & Handsome Ft Toro Y Moi
Benzo
Birmingham Ft Kelsey Lu & Ian Isiah
Good For You Ft Justine Skye
Baby Florence (Figure)
Gold Teeth Ft Project Pat, Gangsta Boo & Tinashe
Berlin Ft Porches & Ian Isiah
Tuesday Feeling (Choose To Stay) Ft Tinashe
Seven Hours Part 1 Ft BennY RevivaL
Take It Back Ft Arca, Joba & Justine Skye
Happiness
Today

Raised in England, Hynes started out as a teenage punk in the UK band Test Icicles before releasing two orchestral acoustic pop records as Lightspeed Champion. In 2011, he released Coastal Grooves, the first of three solo albums under the moniker Blood Orange. His last album, Freetown Sound, was released to critical acclaim in 2016, and saw Hynes defined as one of the foremost musical voices of his time, receiving comparisons to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo for his own searing and soothing personal document of life as a black man in America. He has collaborated with Solange Knowles, Skepta, fka twigs, Carly Rae Jepsen, A$AP Rocky, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Blondie, and many other artists, and was recently one of four artists invited to the Kennedy Center to perform alongside Philip Glass. In addition to his production work, he scored the film Palo Alto, directed by Gia Coppola.

Negro Swan was written and produced by Hynes. Says Hynes:

“My newest album is an exploration into my own and many types of black depression, an honest look at the corners of black existence, and the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color. A reach back into childhood and modern traumas, and the things we do to get through it all. The underlying thread through each piece on the album is the idea of HOPE, and the lights we can try to turn on within ourselves with a hopefully positive outcome of helping others out of their darkness.”

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: The return of the incredible Dev Hynes brings us Negro Swan, his music continues to be the most innovative and original sound out there at the moment. Hynes explores themes of struggles from people of colour and sexuality in this album, and brings a message of hope. Blood Orange has a powerful voice and his work remains to be worlds apart from everyone else, big love.

Blood Orange

Freetown Sound

Written and produced by Devonté Hynes, Blood Orange’s highly anticipated new album, ‘Freetown Sound’ features musical contributions from Nelly Furtado, Carly Rae Jepsen, BEA1991, Debbie Harry, Adam Bainbridge (AKA Kindness), Empress Of, Ian Isiah, Kelsey Lu, Jason Arce, Ava Raiin, Aaron Maine (AKA Porches), Bryndon Cook (AKA Starchild) and Patrick Wimberly.

‘Freetown Sound’ is a tour de force, a confluence of Hynes’ past, present and future that melds his influences with his own established musical voice.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: I saw Test Icicles in 2005 and thought they were a right load of bollocks (wahey!). I've flirted with Devonté's output since without taking it past first base, before finally calling it a day after 'Cupid Deluxe'. When 'Freetown Sound' hit the shelves I avoided eye contact and kept walking, almost missing out on one of my records of the year. Politicised, soulful and culturally aware songwriting expressed through the most forward thinking synthwave sounds.

Barry says: A soulful mix of ultra-silky synthwave textures, Hynes' trademark vocal delivery (as well as a who's who of guests) and silky hip-hop percussion. Though the production throughout is impeccable, it manages to retain an element of surprise, ranging from heartfelt soul to a percussive instrumental breakdown in a few short minutes. Brilliantly innovative, but eminently listenable, this is another tour-de-force from Hynes et al and sure to become a favourite for lovers of (almost) any genre. As exceptional as it is revolutionary.

Millie says: Freetown Sound is such a prominent album for me, resounding politically and emotionally charged, it holds a lot of important messages. The album seems more progressive from his previous albums, it is confident and distinct. The songs Chance, Love Ya and Hadron Collider are a handful of my favourites off the album.

TRACK LISTING

By Ourselves
Augustine
Chance
Best To You
With Him
EVP
Love Ya
But You
Desirée
Hands Up
Hadron Collider
Squash Squash
Juicy 1-4
Better Than Me
Thank You
I Know
Better Numb

Blood Orange

Cupid Deluxe

    Dev Hynes has so far given us trashy punk as Test Icicles, intimate confessionals as Lightspeed Champion and synth-heavy 80s pop influenced electro-funk as Blood Orange on previous long player ‘Coastal Grooves’. Sandwiched between that debut and this sophomore however was his production on Solange ‘Sister Of Beyonce’ Knowles smash hit ‘Losing You’. The smooth R&B soul of that track now informs the sound of ‘Cupid Deluxe’. A modern take on 1980s Prince ballads given an outsider pop twist perhaps. Lyrically to the album takes on the outsider theme as well, with tracks like ‘Uncle Ace’ highlighting the plight of Manhattan’s LGBT rough sleepers riding the ACE subway line at night.

    Friends frontwoman Samantha Urbani, Adam Bainbridge of Kindness (whose work has a similar teary intimacy), Dirty Projectors' David Longstreth and Chairlift's Caroline Polachek all guest on vocals, Queens' Despot and London's Skepta drop raps and producer Clams Casino contributes light, skittering drums to "No Right Thing".

    Dev Hynes takes New York’s LGBT scene out of the ballroom and into the bedroom for some post-Paris Is Burning contemplation.


    Blood Orange

    Coastal Grooves

      Devonté Hynes has produced a lot of music. Some for himself: Testicicles, Lightspeed Champion and some for others: Basement Jaxx, Florence & The Machine, Theophilus London, Solange Knowles, Cassie, Diana Vickers. Somewhere in between all of this, Blood Orange was created.

      Hynes has been living in New York City for the past three years where he has been concentrating on writing and producing for other artists. He simultaneously worked on songs in his bedroom, compiling them onto mixtapes that he would listen to while traveling around the city at night, letting the city’s nocturnal ecosystem seep into the music in his headphones.

      Informed by the equally neon atmosphere of Chris Isaak, Billy Idol, 80s Japanese pop such as Yellow magic Orchestra and French singer FR David, Hynes took the songs that form ‘Coastal Grooves’ on a trip to the West Coast where he started turning the ideas into an album with producer Ariel Rechtshaid in LA. Alongside the music he heard playing in after-hours bars, Hynes drew inspiration from the identity blurring work of transgender icons such as Octavia St Laurent and the playful high-gloss nihilsm of Gregg Araki movies. Blood Orange is the music of a seedy yet inspirational New York night time.


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