blood orange just released 'freetown sound,' a very important record
Let Dev Hynes brighten your miserable week with an incredible album full of features AND a new music video.
"SURPRISE!" Dev Hynes tweeted early this morning. "My new album Freetown Sound is OUT NOW across all formats. Please enjoy. ♥" Originally due for release this Friday, July 1, his first full-length Blood Orange release in three years is everything you hoped it would be. Sitting at 17 tracks long, it features Ava Raiin, Empress Of, Porches, Debbie Harry, Bea1991, Starchild, Ian Isiah, Nelly Furtado, Ta-Nehisi C, Kelsey Lu, Carly Rae Jepsen, Patrick Wimberly, Kindness, and Zuri Marley, as well as quotes from Vince Staples, Venus Xtravaganza, Ashlee Haze, and De La Soul.
Carrying over the jazzy 80s elements of 2013's Cupid Deluxe, Freetown Sound is a layered record full of samples and field recordings touching predominantly on black masculinity, religion, and rather topically, migration, coming together to form a touching and very important piece of social commentary.
Dev has compared the record to the Beastie Boys' experimental Paul's Boutique, adding that it runs like a mixtape, which it does. Easy on the ear enough for it to soundtrack your day, you could -- and absolutely should -- take a proper listen in order to hear everything he's trying to tell you about his life, his upbringing, "being black in England, being black in America… my movement to this country at the age of 21, the same age that my mother moved from Guyana to London, and my father from Sierra Leone to London." Though deeply personal, he describes it as "probably the most relatable thing I've ever done."
Along with the surprise release of the full album comes the video for Augustine, directed and edited by Hynes himself. Opening on the artist playing air piano on the back of a slow moving car, the visuals dance between shots of books on black queer studies, headlines about the Trayvon Martin tragedy, piano playing in an empty apartment, Julian Casablancas eating chicken, and actual dancers with a backdrop of New York rooftop sunsets. Truly beautiful.