Tonight I was a little nostalgic about when we were allowed to go outside, and found myself thinking back on Tyler‘s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in L.A. last November. While there were tons of great sets, Blood Orange‘s performance immediately springs to mind.
Up until the festival I had been sleeping on the sultry, relaxed tunes of British artist Dev Hynes, who launched the Blood Orange moniker in the early 2010s after initially kicking off as an indie rocker. As Blood Orange, Hynes has been turning heads with his evocative take on R&B, taking cues from ’80s pop, trip-hop, and more. I find that his music is personal, probing, and full of poise. I love the lush sound and instrumentation, the expressive confidence, and that low-key, fly-by-night vibe that tugs at my ear.
2016’s Freetown Sound brought Hynes a ton of new listeners, ending as one of most acclaimed records of that year. It’s been playing all evening for me, and “E.V.P” is one of my favorites. Launching with the chorus of strings and kicking into a great drum break and vampy synths, this listen feels like a ’90s catwalk affair (huh, second time I’ve described a song that way). It’s got a dramatic flair, and I love the guitar licks and Hynes’ whispery vocals. Also dig the backing vocals from legend Debbie Harry. This song is smooth as all hell, and lemme tell ya from experience, there’s nothing like this listen on a night drive through Miami.