Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves
Dev Hynes – Mr. Do It All, could never disappoint me.
Playing in Test Icicles and Lightspeed Champion really aided him musically, as his guitar licks and trills are the definition of butter, no animal product. Blood Orange represents a different direction, a different time in Dev Hynes’s life. This first album was the start of a postmodern product, that ripens with age.
Blood Orange’s first album – Coastal Grooves cannot be defined in one genre from start to finish, it is a classic of blended genres, too many to mention, however tinges of dream pop, post punk and 80’s dance shine through. While the record has heavy allusions to an 80s disco record, sonically, it speaks volumes of Dev Hynes as an artist, as he is able to produce a record showered in retro features, while still remaining modern, not a throwback record, but an homage.
Dev’s seductive voice rings through differently in each track. Whether it be the sincere falsetto of ‘I’m sorry we lied’ or the testing serenity of ‘Forget it’, in which his guitar screams louder than his voice, which in its own right remains luscious throughout the record.
One of the coolest features of the album comes not only sonically but also lyrically, where Dev doesn’t always sing from a males’ point of view. For example in ‘Can we go inside now’ Dev sings from the perspective of a female; “Oh, I was a lonely girl, I grew up fast,
I took my Tahoe to go somewhere where the boys lust”. This is not the only song written from a female perspective, however it is alluring and enticing, especially the way Dev sings, the voice structure he uses.
Coastal grooves serves as a good starting ground for greater things to come. Blood Orange has arrived on the scene with force, using his ability to draw influences from absolutely everything, succinctly, in creating a record that is not an imitation nor dated.
Essential listening: Forget It, I’m Sorry We Lied, Champagne Coast
So go ahead and give the record a listen, decide as to whether or not you enjoy it. Either like it, love it or hate it. Doesn’t matter, you gave it a go. You won’t know what you’re missing out on otherwise. I think you’ll like this one.
Author: Tommy Boutros
Tommy, is a 20 year old student, writer, viewer, foodie, musician and coach whose ultimate goal is to write for Rolling Stone. Classic cliche, when words fail, music speaks. Tommy writes words about the music that speaks, how it makes him feel, how it could make you feel and why you should listen.