Notes on News: The unexplained delay behind Frank Ocean’s new material

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A week has gone by since the latest episode in the life of Boys Don’t Cry began, and it’s sure been a frustrating one for Frank Ocean fans the world over.

After a mysterious live video feed appeared last Monday, featuring – presumably – Frank casually pottering about in his woodshed, speculation soared over when his new album Boys Don’t Cry would be released. Many came to the concrete conclusion that the much-delayed release date would be on Friday, however as that day came, and went with no movement from Camp Frank, we were all left bemusedly twiddling our thumbs.

When I tuned in to the broadcast on Monday afternoon, a mysterious figure was busily sawing away on various devices, with the occasional strain of ambient music floating into the proceedings. [A playlist of these instrumental snippets has been conveniently assembled by SoundClouder Mathaniel, and can be found below.] As the camera angle switched we saw a speaker deck looming large in one corner of the room, most probably the source of the infrequent musical bursts. According to blogger Constant Gardner, the speakers are in fact an art installation by Tom Sachs from 2002 called Troyan’s. Very arty of you Frank, but what the hell does it all mean?

The Apple Music logo curiously appeared alongside the feed, confirming that his album would be available exclusively from the music streaming service for two weeks – according to The New York Times – before being given a general release. The anonymous source who provided that information was, however, the very same that predicted the Friday release, and we know how that turned out. So can we really trust anything to do with this album anymore?

Don’t despair just yet though, there is one ray of hope remaining. On his cryptic teaser website boysdontcry.co there is a library card stamped with numerous dates, some of which are scribbled over, others of which remain visible. One date however sticks out as most important of all, that of November 13th 2016. It’s the only future date left, suggesting that we may be approaching the end of this long and confounding journey. Lo and behold, we may finally get to hear what he’s been working on; an album that collaborators James Blake and Chance The Rapper have called a “masterpiece”.

So will it all be worth the excruciating wait? Let’s hope so, and let’s hope also that all the hype and mythology surrounding Boys Don’t Cry doesn’t prove to have been greater than the music contained within it. No pressure Frank, no pressure…

Boys Don’t Cry is still not out… What The Frank?!? In the mean time, listen to the aforementioned soundclips below:

 

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A curmudgeonly Music student who likes to spend his days watching an obscene number of films whilst growing increasingly grumpy with the noise-mongers around him. He has on occasion also been sighted out and about performing with his band Nine Ace Deck, for whom he sings and writes songs. And when not doing either of the above, he takes great pleasure in composing music for the short films of the Wessex Films Society. Make sure to like his Facebook page (above right) to keep up with all the latest ramblings...

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