Blood Orange
Freetown Sound

Domino

Formerly a punk-rocking Test Icicle and then the Lightspeed Cham­pion, British singer/composer/producer Dev Hynes is now on his third album as Blood Orange (set to be one of the highlights at Clockenflap), and Freetown Sound, the follow-up to 2013’s Cupid Deluxe, is possibly his most personal to date. A leap forward from the snotty garage dance racket that introduced him to the indie world more than a decade ago, the mixtape vibe of Hynes’ new long player, influenced by the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, blends hipster indie with smooth R&B and 80s soul. Hynes is unafraid to tackle today’s sociopolitical hot potatoes, but to call Freetown Sound simply a challenging, uncompro­mi­sing political record would be to detract from its musical accomplish­ments. While this is clearly a pet project (an album about “being black in England”), Hynes proves to be a musical magpie, willing to share the spotlight with Nelly Furtado (Hadron Collider), Debbie Harry (the deliciously funky EVP) and Carly Rae Jepsen (Better Than Me). This is fascinating genre-mashing pop disco full of identity.