It’s almost too obvious now to point to Dev Hynes’ versatility as an artist. Starting out with the abrasive, borderline-parodic Test Icicles and moving through to his delicate solo work as Lightspeed Champion, the London-born, New York-based artist had already demonstrated that he could turn his hand to anything he chose.
But it’s as Blood Orange that he’s truly found his voice, channeling soul, funk, hip-hop, R&B, and an overwhelming tendency towards flawless pop in his art. Three years on from 2013’s Cupid Deluxe, Hynes has now announced details of Freetown Sound, his third LP under the Blood Orange moniker, and the teaser video suggests something truly exciting.
It’s still unclear what all this means specifically. The teaser video is a wonderfully constructed run through radical black and alternative music over the past four decades and we’ve been told that some of the artists featured in the video will be collaborating with Hynes on the record. Given his track record with collaborations—Carly Rae Jepsen, FKA Twigs, Solange—that’s tantalizing in itself.
Announcing the album this morning, Hynes gave some context for the album’s backdrop: “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.”
Freetown Sound is out July 1 on Domino Records. You can pre-order the album through iTunes here.