After this summer’s truly exceptional Channel ORANGE, it has been difficult to predict what Frank Ocean’s next musical step forward would look like, as it generally is with an artist who has clearly poured so much of their soul and talent into an album. After reportedly struggling vocally over the summer and canceling the European stretch of his tour with Coldplay, the blogosphere buzzed with rumors that Channel ORANGE would be Frank Ocean’s last release. It should come as no surprise, though, that Frank is back, slipping a new track quietly and unceremoniously onto his Tumblr last night before his FADER show in New York City. As usual, there was no fanfare, no Twitter countdown; he didn’t even supply a title to accompany the track (although sources are saying it is called “Blue Whale”). Just the music.
It might come as a surprise to some that there is no singing on “Blue Whale.” Those accustomed to Ocean’s crooning falsetto might be taken aback by his calm, nonchalant rap flow on this track, but their surprise will surely give way to satisfaction as the song progresses. “Blue Whale” is a discussion of the art of slowing down, re-assessing, and moving forward. Stream the track in its entirety below.
“Relaxing / I ain’t racing no fuckin’ rats / I’m relaxing / and if its wrong to yah / well life goes on brother, that’s one thing about it.”