Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves


Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves
Domino Records
August 8, 2011

What It Sounds Like:  Catchy, sexy, danceable, and precise, Dev Hynes’ newest persona is a new-wavey, indie rock and pop one with some electronic and funk elements to it.  Think of what a one-man, more minimalistic Foals may sound like if he teamed up with TV On The Radio, and you’ll be halfway there.

Devonte Hynes is a man with many faces.  From his stint in the nutty dance-punk trio which was Test Icicles to his solo folk outings as Lightspeed Champion, he doesn’t stay in one place for too long, always looking for another creative outlet to add to his resume.  Blood Orange is the latest project he can add to his list, and personally, it’s my favorite thing he’s done so far.

This is music to light a fire between two people.

Sutphin Boulevard is a mid-tempo walk down a dark-lit path, full of lace, peering eyes, and bedroom ceiling tilted heads, while I’m Sorry We Lied ups the ante into a classic film noir setting, as Dev croons lines like Baby Love / Would you like to be my little girl for life / Take you on a cruise in my sweet Cadillac / Promise your papa to bring you home by nine / His watch not mine.  Most of the lyrics we find on Coastal Grooves are somewhat repetitive and not too varied, but still find their way into that special niche that each track requires that makes them essential.  The slick delivery of I am not your savior baby girl, which is repeated throughout the vast length of Forget Itis about as important to the track as its even slicker guitar line that turns into a full-on indie shred near the conclusion of the song.

Dev is no Marvin Gaye, and nor should he be – he’s not striving for Sexual Healing or Let’s Get It On, but these two artists are writing pages out of the same book; just simply different chapters.  There is unmistakable sexual tension in these songs; a restrained desire that wants to be set free, whether it comes in the form of the bass of Instantly Blank (The Goodness), secluded island beaches on S’Cooled, or another black hat meeting a femme fatale in a smoke-filled bar on Complete Failure.

He lets his colors fly on album closer Champagne Coast.

Come into my bedroom
Come into my bedroom
So tell me what’s the joy of giving if you’re never pleased
On my last strength against you
Baby tell me what you need.

The night is far from over.


If you had to listen to two tracks:  Forget It / Sutphin Boulevard


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