Frank Ocean's mysterious, Tom Sachs-collaborative video stream is back up and running on his website boysdontcry.co. It still features construction visual vibes, but this time, actual music is playing — and it sounds really good.
Fans have been glued to their computers this evening, collecting any and every tidbit of information about the visual — a looped video art piece by Francisco Soriano — and sounds. It seems a spiral staircase is being constructed, and many in the fully turnt Frank Ocean subreddit thread believe the room itself is getting lighter.
Listening to the stream, Frank's new sound is already proving cinematic, richly melodic, and best of all, diverse. We've been treated to evocative guitar loops, lush layers of harmonies, and even a few fire rap bars from Ocean. It's presently difficult to tell which tracks feature what producers or co-vocalists. Some Twitter users believe they've already heard James Blake in the mix; based on evocative chord progressions, it's possible Ocean has again enlisted John Mayer. Though Lil B suggested the project has been blessed by the Based God, his distinctive flow has yet to surface. Of course, Frank's yet to abandon that drilling sound.
Little is known about when and how the record will be released, though the Apple watermark in the stream's corner is a strong indication it will — as the New York Times reported earlier this month — launch primarily through the tech giant's streaming service, Apple Music. Fans are fervently hoping it'll be made available tonight.
One thing's for sure: it was worth the wait.
UPDATE August 19, 1:01 AM EST: Shortly after this stream concluded, Ocean revealed Endless — a 45-mintue visual album — on Apple Music. Reps for the streaming service confirmed Endless and Boys Don't Cry are separate projects, and that BDC will be released this weekend.
Text Emily Manning
Photography Todd Cole
Photography assistance Alex Aristei
[i-D, The Royalty Issue, No. 318, Spring 12]