Endless, it seems, was only the prelude. Elusive singer Frank Ocean has released (another) new album, Blond. The new project, long expected to be called Boys Don’t Cry, was posted on Apple Music around 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday evening. It spans 17 songs, including opener “Nikes,” which Ocean released as a video single early this morning. Also this afternoon, Ocean announced the locations of pop-up shops in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and London.
Ocean’s album rollout has been unusual, to say the least: In lieu of advance singles, interviews, or billboards, the singer opted for a protracted video stream of a woodworking project. The weeks-long process took “delayed gratification to a new level,” as the New York Times wryly observed. (The Times also reported at one point that Ocean’s latest project would drop on August 5, a date that, like so many Frank Ocean release dates before it, came and went.)
When the longform Endless video finally arrived on Friday, it seemed to be the main attraction. Now, it appears Ocean intended Endless as an overture, and a re-introduction from an artist whose previous LP, channel ORANGE, was released more than four years ago. Like Endless, Blond is currently exclusive to Apple Music. Subscribers can stream it below (or click here to open in iTunes); prepare to reorganize your year-end lists accordingly.
Update, 8:15 p.m. ET: Music journalist Steven J. Horowitz picked up a copy of Frank Ocean’s magazine, which is still called Boys Don’t Cry. He shared some photos of the magazine, which includes an alternate track list and a list of “album contributors” including Kanye West, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, James Blake, and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, as well as some more unlikely entries: David Bowie, Elliott Smith, and the Beatles.
Album contributors pic.twitter.com/XLNOXTZEIS
— steven j. horowitz (@speriod) 20 août 2016