Last year, the world was gifted with the lovely and soulful album Negro Swan from Blood Orange. The album was one of the prettiest and most heart stirring releases of 2018, and proved that Dev Hynes has the ability to bring all the power of his voice to swoon all who heard it. On his new mixtape, Hynes changes things up and shows a different side with collaborations from Toro Y Moi, Tinashe, Arca, Kelsey Lu and more. Where Negro Swan was stirring, Angel’s Pulse is funky and light without losing any of the softness that his previous works have carried.
With only a handful of tracks hitting over the three minute mark, these songs are lighter and not as heavy handed as previous works from Hynes. “I Wanna C U” is a great example of this, opening the album with beautiful instrumentation but also short and no more than you may want. The standouts on this release are certainly in the collaborated tracks. “Dark & Handsome” with Toro Y Moi has plenty of free flow vocals where Toro Y Moi adds little touches that make the song sparkle. The Kelsey Lu vocals that open “Birmingham” have all of the weight that she can bring while still orchestrating a sound that Hynes has become known for. “Take It Back” featuring Arca also has a dreamy trip hop sound that adds to what the London artist has done in the past.
But with all of that, the songs that are straight Blood Orange are still soulful and help carry the mixtape to higher places. “Baby Florence(Figure)” has this eighties electronic sound that stirs in plenty of dark electronica to hone in on the soul that Blood Orange brings to music. “Happiness” has a chill and relaxed vibe but also is the biggest standout of the release, with Hynes keeping things light but not without weight. The snappy track brings together a hip hop and soul sound that give you a banger that’s also easy to just chill to. Angel’s Pulse is a lot of things, but it’s really just Hynes taking his sound to new places.
Angel’s Pulse is available to purchase in all digital music stores via Domino Recordings and it can be streamed on all streaming sites. Blood Orange is on tour starting tonight in Paris, France at Elysee Montmartre until October 26 in Houston, TX at NRG Arena. His complete tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Michael Lavine.