It’s been known that Freetown Sound, the new album from Dev Hynes’ Blood Orange moniker, would be out on July 1. But Hynes surprised everyone by releasing his album late Monday evening. The album is true to its title – with Hynes using his third Blood Orange release to showcase his warmest, most diverse collection of songs yet. There’s a fluidity to Freetown Sound that can be heard once every other blue moon. The songs on the album seem to just pour out of Dev Hynes, and they’re either the most triumphant or most dejected Hynes has sounded on record, all depending on what you bring to the table. While the album is Hynes at his most political – the opening “By Ourselves” and “Hands Up” most explicitly address current social and political issues – it’s also the multi-faceted artist at his most comfortable. With his own voice, his own words, his own skin. Yet when the album ends with a brief snippet of last year’s “Sandra’s Smile,” Hynes makes it clear that as confident and triumphant as Freetown Sound is, that confidence and triumph can be taken away at any moment. That’s what is most radical about Freetown Sound. In the face of horrible injustices to people in his community, instead of running away, Hynes and his friends – including Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kelsey Lu, Vince Staples, Ashlee Haze and others – stand tall and proud. Freetown Sound is a wish, a dream, an ideal. And now, thanks to Devonté Hynes, it’s now a reality.
Listen to Freetown Sound now via the streaming service of your choice.