Blood Orange – Negro Swan

Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) has a reassuring singing voice. His voice reminds me of a friendly Golden Retriever.

Hynes was raised in England and started in the band Test Icicles. Eventually, he released two orchestral acoustic records. In 2011, he released Coastal Grooves, the first of three solo albums under the name Blood Orange.

What I find interesting is that Hynes is sometimes compared to Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo for his own personal account of life as a black man in America.

The first song, “Orlando,” was very chill and relaxing. He talks about how he likes to keep his life busy and how he experienced depression. He often wonders what he should live for.

Somehow, Hynes developed a mixture of several styles. This includes funk and soul, and he incorporated themes of identity, sexuality, belonging, and spirituality among other issues that have the shaped his existence.

For Negro Swan, Hynes had this to say.

“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.” (Pitchfork).

Hits: “Nappy Wonder” “Orlando” “Saint”

Misses: “Runnin’”

Rate: 6.5

By: Tori Wiegers

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