Photo credit: Michael Lavine
Dev Hynes is a musician known for keeping his fans on their toes. He has garnered critical acclaim through his experimental, and sometimes bizarre, projects involving nearly every major musical genre. After all, this is a man who wrote and recorded an entire EP in a single day. With his Blood Orange project, Hynes melded together the worlds of electronica and R&B to create a sound that combined airy synths with silky smooth vocals. Now, Hynes is ready to combine all of his musical sensibilities into his upcoming album Freetown Sound. The trailer can be viewed below.
The album will host the unrelenting political voice present in Hynes’ other projects. He is no stranger to invoking controversy through his discussion of sex, racism, gender discrimination, and religion. Hynes described these themes in a press release:
“I have just finished making an album about my life, my 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. Freetown Sound, the name of my album, is taken from Freetown where my father was born.”
Despite making proud political statements, this album is also a deeply personal project for Hynes. Seeking to make this project his magnum opus, Hynes is drawing from the most memorable parts of his versatile music library to create a theatrical story of struggle and triumph, told through the lens of Blood Orange’s flying ethereal beats. Blood Orange has been successful in distinguishing himself from both modern day R&B acts such as The Weeknd and historic ones like “I Wanna Be Your Lover” era Prince. A unique element that sets Blood Orange apart is his masterfully blended percussion. It’s punchy enough to stand out and carry a beat, but subtle open hi-hats allow for the percussion to melt right into the breezy synth melodies. Additionally, Blood Orange’s breathy vibrato and hardened lyrical themes offer a welcome edge to what is normally a very innocuous genre. An impressive showing at last year’s SXSW further generated buzz for Hynes’ new project.
Freetown Sound will be released on July 1st, 2016. Blood Orange will be on tour promoting the album on the following dates:
Blood Orange 2016 Tour Dates
Tickets can be bought here, and here.
06/07: Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
06/30: Copenhagen, DE- Roskilde
07/02: London, UK – Hyde Park
07/05: London, UK – Koko
07/07: Milan, IT – Festival Moderno, Circolo Magnolia
07/09: Turku, FI – Ruisrock
07/16: Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival, Union Park
07/23: New York, NY – Panorama Festival, Randall Island
08/27: Berkeley, CA – Greek Theater
08/28: Los Angeles, CA – FYF