Frank Ocean's New Track is a Jazzy Dreamscape

Frank Ocean's New Track is a Jazzy Dreamscape

The new track is a quiet, calm, and experimental follow-up to the soothing daze of "Blonde".

The new track is a quiet, calm, and experimental follow-up to the soothing daze of "Blonde".

Text: Justin Ragolia

Sunday night, Frank unexpectedly gifted his latest single "Provider" to fans on his Beats 1 Radio show, which aired on Apple Music during the Game of Thrones season finale and the VMAs. A bold move, yes, but one few artists could pull off without being read as egotistical. A new Frank Ocean drop is a big deal, considering how long we waited between Channel Orange and Endless/Blonde without even a mention of new music.

The new track is an ode to a nearly lost lover; it offers just enough hazy, sentimental imagery to piece together a story. While the lyricism is minimalistic, it shows off how Frank's writing prowess is continuing to adapt to his new flow, which quickly accelerates and halts, his rapid staccato morphing into dreamy baritone moans or soothing bass tones in an instant. A world is created within the atmosphere of the song, and the lyrics only give us a glimpse into it. They hint that his commitment to the lover he's singing about may bring about a major life change for the artist—he wistfully raps about the possibility of raising children in the second verse, "Packed the Astro van and brought my kids through/Prada tee on the eldest, throw the Gildan on the children/Hand-me-down fits."

The production's smooth keyboard lulls and echoing steelpan provide an unobtrusive backdrop for the artist's syncopated vocal rhythm—much like most of Blonde, Ocean strays from overusing beats to carry him along. This is a refreshing choice, considering the surplus of beat-reliant hip-hop artists gaining popularity in 2017.

Give the new track a listen below.

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