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Strictly Albums Of The Year: Coastal Grooves

Released 8th August 2011 on Domino Records

Chart Performance: Blood Orange failed to chart in UK.

What The Critics Said: “On paper, its influences – surf punk, Prince, oriental pop, minimalist dance – smack of hipster posturing, but on record, they blend beautifully” The Observer

Devonte Hynes is the brainstormer behind dance punkers Test Icicles and the folk-pop Lightspeed Champion, this time he’s started allover again with Blood Orange, recording under yet another name, in his new hometown New York. Their sound is rhythmic different and weirdly unbelievable sexy. Coastal Grooves has these amazing 80’s sexual underground grooves captured and inspired by the streets of New York after sunsets – when the real characters come out to play. I am thinking transvestites; genitals tucked away, glittery disco balls, big hair and lots of layered eye make-up. Dev took inspiration from the documentary film Paris Is Burning by Jennie Livingston and wrote songs fit for a drag queen to sing at a disco. This took his sound to a whole new level of love deprivation and loneliness.

After Dev had a throat operation he learnt to sing the way he does on Coastal Grooves, it seemed the perfect combination, the whole sexually charged album is sung from a women’s perspective.

Seductive ‘Sutphin Boulevard’ is slyly blessed with quirky soulful guitars, Prince would be wetting his leather pants off, this track is impossible not to listen to over and over again, the beat gets stitched within you for life.  ’Forget It’’ is repeated in such a lightly headed tone, with lyrics like ‘I am not your savour’ being the main fraction of the song, you cannot help but wonder, what the hell Dev is taking part in in New York. ”I was a lonely girl’ gets chanted over ‘S’cooled,’ once again you need to wonder what kind of world this stuff is taking place in. Songs like ‘Can We Go Inside Now?’ ‘Complete Failure’ and Japanese haunting ‘The Complete Knock‘ could not be any more J-pop sex if Japanese sex pop smacked you in the face with a bloodied rollerblade while meeting Foals in Oxford.

The flowing melodies on ‘Champagne Coast’ are enough for anyone to say goodbye to life, pack a bag and runaway to the other side of the Atlantic and join Dev. ‘Champagne Coast’ is the only song on Coastal Grooves that alludes to LA, sun, sand and champagne. Coastal Grooves is effortlessly too cool for school, shaken with nothing more than evocative lyrics and retro guitars, making this one of 2011′s best lesser known albums. Simone F

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Author: david

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