"Charcoal Baby," Blood Orange
Dev Hynes can do light and heavy at the same time. "Charcoal Baby," the first single from his follow-up to 2016's excellent Blood Orange record Freetown Sound, was co-written with Aaron Maine of the New York synth-pop band Porches, but it walks a line of ambiguity that should be familiar to Blood Orange fans. Over a breezy guitar part, bleary synth flourishes, steady drums, and a jazzy horn, Hynes poses the same question multiple times, mulling it over and dwelling on its implications. "Can you break sometimes?" he asks. He never sounds like he's in a hurry, letting each syllable rest and reverberate, and the song around him simply floats, suspended in its own intoxicating aroma.