When Dev Hynes isn’t making music as Blood Orange, he’s writing bonafide hit singles for Sky Ferreira (“Everything Is Embarrassing”), Solange (“Losing You”), and others. Hynes also worked with Britney Spears on her 2013 record, Britney Jean, though his contributions ultimately failed to make the final tracklist. However, thanks to an anonymous SoundCloud user, two of Hynes’ demos for Spears have now made their way online (via Pigeons and Planes).
Not quite as catchy as Spears’ latter-day hit “Work Bitch”, both tracks aim more for the sentimental and saccharine quality of her earlier material. “Demo 1” pairs up moody and glitchy synths with skittering drum machines. Featuring falsetto cries of “Leave us alone,” it’s a slow-burning number which Spears’ could have probably nailed with the right kind of guidance. Meanwhile, “Demo 2” is more of a lovelorn piano ballad.
Last year, Hynes spoke to the Guardian about the ill-fated collaboration, hinting at bad blood between him and Britney’s camp and expressing dismay at their decision to name the commercially safe Will.I.Am as the album’s Executive Producer. “They’d always come back with why they didn’t like it and it wouldn’t make any sense. I’d almost prefer them to say: ‘We’re scared we’re not going to make any money so we’re just going to use Will.i.am.'” He added, “It’s funny – the people in charge of a lot of these artists … I don’t want to say they’re not real people, but it’s not a fan sensibility. I feel like that’s what makes the best music, when people are a fan of the person they’re working with.”
Listen/download both demos below.
Bonus: A demo that would later become Sky Ferreira’s “Everything Is Embarrassing” has also surfaced. Check that out below.