Speaking after he and Matthew Stone debuted their jarring audiovisual performance piece, Other Worlds, during Miami Art Week, he told us that giving away the new album by hand, on cassette, wasn’t just a gimmick. “It’s not as precious – in terms of, like, an artist being precious – as it seems,” the producer and vibemaster insisted.
Make no mistake: though it doesn’t really have a title and you may or may not ever get to listen to it, this is very much Blood Orange’s new album. “I have three other albums worth of music,” Hynes revealed, “but this just fits the weird collage aspect of the cassette.” The album – which has evolved from about 10 minutes of music to 65 or 70 during the time that Hynes has been passing out the tapes – is a mélange of new songs, street recordings, tape dubs, dialogue, and speeches like the TED Talk he gave about hearing colors.“I just really don’t like the idea of releasing songs right now because I feel like everyone’s overly judgmental,” he continued. “I just want people to take it as it is — which is, here’s me just handing you some music, you can do what you want with that. You can listen to it, you can give it to your friend. I just want to make it what it actually is, which is a human being creating music.”
But what if someone sells it on eBay or digitizes it for YouTube? “There’s an element of trust in it,” said Hynes, “but also if they break the trust then it’s also like they’ve broken the trust and I gave it to them.”
Over at Dazed, B+B contributor Kirsty Ann Muniz, who scored a copy of the tape, writes, “The new material stays true to Hynes’ signature sound of 80s-inspired pop music – but with a strong focus on piano, it’s arguably more romantic than his prior releases and it’s some of his best work yet.”
Hynes — who also writes and produces for artists like Florence and the Machine, Sky Ferreira, and Solange Knowles — told us he was going to be spending a lot of time in Miami this year for reasons he didn’t go into. During his time away from his home in the East Village, having the material stacked up on cassettes has already proven useful. “I was doing all kinds of crazy things in my apartment but some of them, the roots of them, were started on my computer and my computer got stolen the fist day I got to Miami,” Hynes said. “So now these songs literally only exist on tape. It’s almost serendipitous or something that I even started making them on tapes because now that’s the only way they exist.”