Image Source: Getty / Theo Wargo
Frank Ocean Broke all the rules in 2016. Marked by its heart-wrenching vocals, “Blonde” was an intimate and expressive second album that received critical acclaim and continued devotion from fans. From “Nikes” to “Godspeed,” the sad songs had us hooked, but before the steady-wading note of “Futura Free” took over, it was gone. Now, seven years later, the ocean hiatus may finally be coming to an end. During the weekend one of Coachella, Ocean appeared as a headliner at the 2023 ceremony alongside Bad Bunny and Blackpink, where he addressed rumors that a new album is in the works.
According to the video footage, “It’s been a long time. Everyone talks about how long it’s been.” shared on twitter, “It’s been so long but I’ve missed you. I want to talk about why I’m here because it’s not because of the new album. It’s not like there isn’t a new album or anything.” Amidst an uproar from the cheering crowd, he added, “But not now. No, chill chill chill. It’s not now.”
He continued to fondly remember the time he spent at Coachella with his younger brother, Ryan Breaux, who died in a car accident in 2020. “In these last few years, my life changed a lot,” he said. “My brother and I, we came to this festival a lot, and I feel like I was dragged here half the time because I hated the dust in here. I always wound up with respiratory infections or what have you . So I’ll, like, avoid coming but I’ll always end up here.” Ocean said that one of his fondest memories of Coachella was listening to Rae Sremmurd with his brother. “I know [Ryan] Would have been so excited to be here with all of us,” he said. “I want to take this time to say thank you for the support and ear and love.”
Ocean’s personal brand of mystery, while enigmatic, has fans on edge as we scour his social media accounts for anything new. After countless scans of their profiles for cryptic hints at a new project, no album title, tracklist, or release date has been confirmed. Pratyasha has also created fan accounts such as Twitter user @DidOceanDrop, which provides daily updates on whether or not Ocean has released a new album. While tweets to date since 2018 have been a dizzying mix of “no,” “nahh,” and “absolutely not,” Ocean fans prepare to leap at the news as soon as he completes the album .
Ocean’s songs have become the soundtrack to moments of solitude and late-night social media scrolls after heartbreak. Even after all these years, Twitter is still flooded with lyrics to “White Ferrari” paired with crying gifs. It’s clear that the influence of Ocean’s music is evident, but it’s equally hard not to find anything new from the artist.
Ocean hasn’t been completely quiet, though: since “Blonde,” he’s sporadically released singles and made feature appearances. In 2017, he appeared on JAY-Z’s “Caught There Eyes”. He also collaborated with Calvin Harris on “Slide,” A$AP Mob on “Raff,” and with Tyler, the Creator on “911/Mr. Lonely.” She also had a cover of “Moon River” released on Valentine’s Day in 2018, and most recently, she shared the tracks “Dear April” and “Kendo” in 2020.
new album by frank ocean
In September 2022, the singer cleared his Instagram, fueling speculation and anticipation about his new musical era. However, half a year has passed, there have been almost no additional updates. In July, on the 10th anniversary of her debut album, “Channel Orange”, the singer released a 35-minute instrumental with psychedelic undertones in an episode of her Apple Music series, “Blonded Radio”. Ocean updated their website with new merchandise including “Blonded Radio” T-shirts and “Channel Orange” posters.
In January, Ocean released another poster telling the story of a “fictional recording artist” who prefers singles over the “old” album distribution model prevalent in the recording industry. At the end of the text, the passage hints at the idea that Ocean may have decided to work on a new album. “The recording artist has since changed his mind about the solo model, and is again interested in more periodical bodies of work,” the poster read.
The singer added fuel to the fire on April 13 when ASCAP, a membership association that licenses public performance rights to songs for more than 900,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, revealed that the singer may have registered two new songs. A new track titled “Myself to Blame” was co-written by Christopher Breaux and James Christopher Lyons and will be released under the Song of Universal Inc. Music label, according to One. Tweet shared by Complex, A separate song titled “Little Demon” was co-written by Brax and Michael Chinosamso Uzovuru.
While Ocean’s legal name is Christopher Francis Ocean, née Christopher Edwin Breaux, it is unclear whether the IPI number assigned to Ocean matches that of the artist who registered the song. Additionally, Ocean has no prior association with Universal Inc.’s Songs. While the legality of the new Ocean-related song remains up for interpretation, fans are hoping it’s just a tiny hint of what’s to come.