Photo by Joshua Mellin
After collaborating with Nelly Furtado, scoring a film, and dropping a trio of singles, Dev Hynes is finally ready to release a new LP as Blood Orange. Expected out later this spring and entitled Freetown Sound, the record will serve as the long-awaited follow-up to 2013’s Cupid Deluxe.
“It’s inspired by old Dust Brothers records, very cut and paste,” Hynes said of the new effort in an interview with V Magazine. “It’s like my version of Paul’s Boutique. It kind of plays like a long mix tape.”
He went on to say that while the record focuses more on himself than past efforts, it’s only as a contextual starting point for further topics. “It talks a lot about sexuality and displacement and life in the city — so it’s definitely very personal, but in doing that I think it’s probably the most relatable thing I’ve ever done. So who knows? Maybe I’ll actually read the reviews this time.”
“This is a very layered and very deep record for me. There’s a lot of meaning behind all of the choices I’ve made for this one. It looks into my childhood and examines who I am at this point in my life. There are so many crazy layers to it that it’s actually quite hard to talk about it, but the record is very reflective of how my brain works. This is gonna sound terrifying, but there is a strong theme of Christianity on the record. When I was growing up, Christianity was drilled into my head so intensely, to the point where, as a child, I was meant to be left-handed but was forced to use my right instead. Left-handedness was seen as a sign of darkness. Freetown Sound also has a lot to do with Freetown—the capital of Sierra Leone—which is where my dad is from. The record addresses the way Christianity was brought to West Africa and the way black households held on very tightly to Christianity because it was this beacon of hope…and how eventually this somehow led to someone in a school telling me not to use my left hand. It’s been very interesting for me trying to understand and tie all of these things together. It’s been a way of working through it. There’s also a lot of stuff about race and specifically things that have happened to me.”
Read the full interview at V, and see Hynes’ Instagram announcement of Freetown Sound below. Also, revisit Blood Orange’s latest single, “Sandra’s Smile”.
Update — Thursday, June 2nd at 12:20 p.m. CT: Hynes has shared the artwork for Freetown Sound via Twitter.