DEVONTÉ HYNES IS Burning
Rachel, T. Cole, Out
THE EVEREVOLVING MUSICIAN STRIKES HIS LATEST POSE, AS A GENDERBLURRING FUNK ESCAPIST.
Does Devonté Hynes ever play himself? As the driving force behind midaughts experimentalists Test Icicles and, more recently, the sanguine indie-pop of Lightspeed Champion, he's proven to be a musical chameleon. Now, Hynes has reinvented himself once again, this time as the mellow, oneman new-wave machine Blood Orange. "I was trying to make music that wasn't personal at all, music suited for long walks around the city at night," he says. "Yet somehow Blood Orange turned into the most me-sounding thing I've everdone."
On Coastal Grooves, Blood Orange's full-length debut, the 25-year-old British ex-pat imagines his Brooklyn neighborhood asa romantic wonderland, infused with endless possibility and sexual confusion. Most of the album's 10 bedroom transmissions are written from a feminine point of view, which is no accident. Having spent the better part of the last year writing songs for Solange Knowles and Florence and the Machine, Hynes can comfortably assume what he calls a "melodramatic female perspective" - in fact, it suits him perfectly. He's never played by the rules.
"Growingup, all of my best friends were gay," says Hynes. "In my childhood home of Romford, England, I experienced a lot of homophobia simply because of how I looked and the music I liked and who my friends were. …