When I think of Blood Orange, there are few, if any, comparisons that come to mind. He’s an indie songwriter with a flair for pop collaborations, a man who makes every musician he works with better, and an artist writing about race and America in ways that are both original and illuminating. As many good reviews he gets and outstanding performances he delivers, it never feels like his popularity matches the esteem he is held. And every new bit of music feels like the moment that might change all that.
On August 24, Blood Orange will follow-up 2016’s excellent Freetown Sound with his latest collection, Negro Swan. He’s now offered up the first song from that upcoming set in the form of “Charcoal Baby.” The song is full of rich melodic harmonies and hooks at every turn, instantly placing it as another great moment from a consistently great artist. For the video, we get a split screen view of two different family gatherings, where Dev Hynes performs, food is eaten, and celebration ensues.
Hynes had this to say about the upcoming collection:
“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.”
Check out the video for Blood Orange’s “Charcoal Baby” above. He followed it up with a second video just hours later, this one for the song “Jewelry.” Check that out below.