Has Frank Ocean finally teased a new album with these labels?
After waiting four years in between Channel Orange The double gift Endless And blondFrank Ocean fans have now spent six and a half years searching for a new album. It looked like he might be moving in that direction in 2019, when he released a series of singles and hosted a series of songs club nights in New York. That phase came and went, and ocean purists had little hope of any great creative output from the man after him Deluxe cock rings And so on. But now that Ocean’s long-awaited Coachella collection has apparently begun, he’s also putting cryptic messages out into the world hinting at the idea of a new full-length release.
On the back of the posters mailed in the latest Blonded merchandise sale is a somewhat cryptic message explaining what happened to that 2019 campaign, which yielded hit singles like “DHL” And “in my room. It involves a photo series with Succession Actor Jeremy Strong plays a record executive (hence the idea of Jeremy Strong included in the latest Blonded drop) and the prospect of expanding Ocean’s PrEP + club nights to include a string of raves around the world, plans that have apparently been sidelined by the pandemic. The letter concludes, “The recording artist has since changed his mind about the singles form, once again becoming more interested in longer bodies of work.” This isn’t exactly an album announcement, but as the Twitter account blonded.blog confirms, “It’s as close to an album announcement as we’ll get from Frank Ocean.”
Here is the full message:
In the summer of 2019, Blonded produced a photo series taken on Thursday, August 8, 2019, by photographer Michael Marcel. The photo series follows the story of a fictitious recording artist as he navigates the radio system.
In one scene, actor Jeremy Strong plays the president of a major record company. On the walls: clock, two framed records. Another figure surrounds the president. Both are dressed in suits, ties, and are positioned behind a long conference room table. They’re opposite a silhouetted figure in the foreground—the recording artist—who must populate the scenes’ subjective self.
The recording artist tries to explain to the major music label the singles distribution model rather than the long album model. The recording artist believes the latter is outdated, and that releasing singles is more appropriate to modern consumer habits as people curate their own playlists which are then shared within private circles. The meeting does not seem productive.
The photo series coincided with the planning of three live Blonded radio events that year. They were held three Thursday nights near the end of 2019, in the basement of the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York. On October 19, 24 and 31, 2019, doors opened at 10 p.m. A custom nightclub with antique lighting fixtures is installed for the duration of each party.
On the first night, Bouffant Bouffant played at 10:15pm, followed by Justice at midnight, Sango at 1:15am and Cheryl at 2:30am. Leeon, Arca, Papi Juice, Shyboi, Joey LaBeija, Last Japan, and DJ Heather all played sets on subsequent nights.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these events were intended to grow from small club events into the largest rave around the world.
Since then, the recording artist has changed his mind about the singles model, and is once again interested in more sustainable bodies of work.