Tag Archives: Frank Ocean

9 of the best – sounds of twenty-tens

It keeps coming… the end of a decade of sound. It would seem that 2014 was peak twenty-tens to these ears. I give you the best of the decade in chronological order:

Beach House – Walk In The Park (2010)

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (2010)

Frank Ocean – Pyramids (2012)

Liam Hayes – Rock & Roll (2013)

Spoon – Do You (2014)

Future Islands – Seasons (2014)

The War On Drugs – Eyes To The Wind (2014)

Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales (2016)

Sharon Van Etten ‎- Seventeen (2019)


Honourable mentions also go to: A Great Big Pile Of Leaves for ‘We Don’t Need Our Heads‘ (2010); Lana Del Rey for ‘Video Games‘ (2011); Chance The Rapper for ‘Everything’s Good‘ (2013); Daft Punk for ‘Get Lucky‘ (2013); Floating Points for ‘Silhouettes‘ (2015); Kurt Vile for ‘Pretty Pimpin‘ (2015); Julia Holter for ‘Feel You‘ (2015); The Avalanches for ‘Because I’m Me‘ (2016); Kamasi Washington for ‘Truth (2017); Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for ‘Mainland‘ (2017); King Krule for ‘Dum Surfer‘ (2017); Let’s Eat Grandma for ‘Donnie Darko‘ (2018); Father John Misty for ‘Just Dumb Enough to Try‘ (2018); Snail Mail for ‘Pristine‘ (2018); Weyes Blood for ‘Everyday‘ (2019); and Fontaines D.C. for ‘Roy’s Tune‘ (2019)

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Rex Orange County – Edition (2017)

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19-year-old Alex O’Connor is also known by his stage name Rex Orange County. The singer-songwriter was born in Haslemere, a-far-from-gritty corner of Surrey. From there, he took the influences and Thundercat, Toro Y Moi and Frank Ocean and divined his path. This white man has found his jazzy R&B chi; Surrey’s answer to Jon Bellion.

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Dornik – God Knows (2017)

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Dornik is back, two years after the release of his well-received, self-titled debut. The evolution from Jessie Ware’s touring drummer to standalone R&B star has been so startling that his arty sound has been compared to that of Frank Ocean, Miguel and Raury. With ‘God Knows’, I am thinking more Croydon’s answer to Anderson .Paak. Long may it continue.

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love (2015)


Unknown Mortal Orchestra 2015

What you can hear in the title track of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third album is that Ruban Nielson is full of polyamory. The Kiwi singer-songwriter sings in a falsetto at the Prince-end of the scale to what sounds like the psychedelic overtures of Kevin Parker. The result is a sound that Frank Ocean might have released: “Multi-love got me on my knee/ We were one then become three/ Mama, what have you done to poor me/ Now I’m half-crazy.”

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9 of the best – sounds of 2012

In no particular order …

Major Lazer – ‘Get Free’ feat. Amber

Jim James – Know Til Now

Dinosaur Jr. – Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know

Foals – Inhaler

Frank Ocean – Pyramids

Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Beach House – Myth

Chromatics – Lady

Blur – Under The Westway


Honourable mentions also go to:  Burial for ‘Ashtray Wasp‘; Bat For Lashes for ‘Laura‘; Chromatics for ‘Lady‘; TNGHT for ‘Higher Ground‘; Field Report for ‘Taking Alcatraz‘; Lulu James for ‘Be Safe‘; Family Of The Year for ‘Hero‘; Grizzly Bear for ‘Sleeping Ute‘; San Cisco for ‘Wild Things‘; RY X & Frank Wiedemann for ‘Howling‘; Chrome Sparks for ‘Send The Pain On‘; TR13 for ‘Fly‘; Bobby Womack for ‘Please Forgive My Heart‘; Parquet Courts for ‘Master Of My Craft‘; and Grimes for ‘Oblivion‘.

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Frank Ocean – Pyramids (2012)


Frank Ocean 2012

When I first heard the greatly anticipated track ‘Pyramids’, I was suitably impressed. It’s often described as as an R&B opus, but that overlooks the transcending force of what Frank Ocean tapping into. I have tagged the track as soul and electronica, but I need not stop there. There’s psychedelia in there, funk and a John Mayer guitar solo. It was the first single on his celebrated 2012 album Channel Orange. It was an audacious statement.

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Raury – Superfly (2014)

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Youth is no boundary to hip hop stardom if you have something new to add. KiD CuDi and Chance The Rapper being recent examples. Hailing from André 3000’s Atlanta (Stone Mountain actually), Raury certainly has something. The 18-year-old’s busy year has made waves with tracks ‘God’s Whisper’ and ‘Cigarette Song’, and a collaboration with Aaron Jerome’s SBTRKT.  Off his Indigo Child mixtape, ‘Superfly’ is something else altogether. Part Lightspeed Champion, part Local Natives, part Frank Ocean – his self-taught guitar is backed by the vocal rhythms of Vancouver Sleep Clinic while he raps over a KiD CuDi melody. Take that. Have a great week.

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Frank Ocean – Pink Matter (Remix) (2013)

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Frank Ocean

Not quite an Outkast reunion, this remix does however bring together the output of André 3000 and Big Boi for the first time in a while. ‘Pink Matter’ is off last year’s groundbreaking album Channel Orange from Frank Ocean. The original version already featured André 3000; for the remix earlier this year, Big Boi delivered a separate verse of his own. The pair were invited to input into the original track together, but declined. It may be a lengthy rest before we hear Outkast again; Ocean’s waves will help the wait.

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