Frank Ocean, singer-songwriter and artistic recluse sends fans into frenzy with minute-long extract of new material.
Three-and-a-half years on from his latest release, influential R&B crooner Frank Ocean recently shared a snippet of unreleased music via his Instagram story, likely hinting at an upcoming project. The minute-long screen recording caused quite a stir over a weekend with fans elated over the prospect of new material.
The excerpt places Ocean over a soft bed of vintage synths, addressing a lover whose heart has “been tangled in barbed wires”; “you can hand it to me – I can handle it. If I hide with you and face it, then it’ll come back ‘round and it’ll affect your respect for me.”
FIRST FRANK OCEAN SNIPPET IN YEARS WHATTT pic.twitter.com/WL4DOg91ro
— Frank Ocean Updates (@blahnded) November 9, 2023
To similar fanfare, Frank headlined Coachella this April – his first live show in three years – but performed a disorderly set that was obscured by unfavourable video screens and cut short.
He also suffered a leg injury which prompted him to pull out of the festival’s second weekend. During the set, he hinted that an album was coming – but “not right now”.
Ocean’s sophomore album Blonde – his most recent – has been deemed among the greatest of the new millennium by numerous publications, including Pitchfork who declared it the best album of the twenty-tens in an end-of-decade retrospective.
Since the release of Blonde in 2016, Ocean has sporadically put out a string of standalone singles, as well as featured on the tracks of a few other musicians such as Calvin Harris and Tyler, the Creator.
In recent times, subtle allusions have been made to new music from Frank Ocean; Spanish pop superstar Rosalía revealed that she and Ocean had been in the studio together in 2022, and current official posters (when placed side by side) bear a paragraph ending with the sentence “The Recording Artist has since changed his mind about the singles model, and is again interested in more durational bodies of work”.
i-D magazine also tweeted a photo of Frank this August at a keyboard, reportedly in London.
Listen to the unreleased snippet here.
Words By Harrison Jones.