Blood Orange

« Coastal Grooves » (Domino)

多彩かつユニークな音楽活動を続けているDevonté Hynesによる最新プロジェクトBlood Orange。80年代のポップスとニューウェィブ、インディ・エレクトロが見事に融合。

Blood Orange is the latest project from Devonté Hynes, a musical polymath whose work to date has ranged from dance-punk to folk, taking in pop along the way. Beneath its eighties keyboard sheen, Coastal Grooves is poised gracefully between androgynous new wave and indie electro.


Born in Houston, Texas in 1985, at the age of 2 Devonté Hynes was transplanted to Essex, a county to the north-east of London. Before long he was bored: exasperated with the narrow mindset of those around him, all he could dream of was getting out. His adolescent years were spent listening to punk and the Smashing Pumpkins, playing guitar, skateboarding and reading comics, which were to have a lasting influence on him.

At the age of 18, he arrived in London. Here he promptly struck up friendships with fellow musicians Sam Merhan and Rory Attwell, soon becoming the third member of their wild, experimental dance-punk band Test Icicles.
But New York beckoned: a long-time devotee of its vibrant music scene, eventually he took the plunge and moved there. With Test Icicles officially defunct, he gave full rein to his love of folk in a new solo project under the name Lightspeed Champion.

His first album was Falling off the Lavender Bridge (2008). This striking and elaborate blend of folk and psychedelia made waves aplenty, and established him as a promising young spark who was well worth watching. But throat problems robbed him of his voice for several months, during which he wrote for others including Theophilus London, Diana Vickers and Florence & The Machine. Finally breaking the long silence, he regained his voice and threw himself into the luxuriant, finely-honed orchestrations of the 2010 album Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You, his second under the Lightspeed Champion moniker.

But Dev Hynes is a man with an incessant urge to reinvent himself, which is why 2010 also saw him decamp for Los Angeles. Working alone and singing in a voice that was now much higher in the wake of a throat operation, he played bass, guitar and keyboards on the material that would become Coastal Grooves. By his own admission, a major influence during this stage was Chris Isaak. Judging the results too different from Lightspeed Champion and shying away from celebrity, he selected a fresh pseudonym: Blood Orange. He was now ready to develop the distinctive aesthetic of this debut album – an aesthetic that draws on the glorious, decadent eighties, on the Factory and Studio 54. And one that is also firmly gay-friendly, even though Hynes himself is heterosexual. As if further proof were needed of his versatility, Hynes is also a comics writer and has released several small illustrated volumes – to say nothing of indulging these gifts to the full in his design for the visual identity of his new release.


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