Remember Dev Hynes? Him of dance punk trio Test Icicles, later to go solo as indie folkster Lightspeed Champion (you must remember the large fur hat). He’s currently operating under the moniker Blood Orange, and is delivering yet another style of music. It would seem that young Dev, like (far, far too many) other seasoned musicians of late, has been struck by an acute attack of 1980s dance pop. Symptoms include a sudden penchant for ambient synths, a pronounced sense of melodrama and beats that are best danced to without moving… much. Lyrically, the songs are searching and reflective, delivered in Hyne’s smooth croon, backed by aerated keys and bee-stung guitar. The effect is both brooding and vaguely seedy, from the handclap beats of ‘S’cooled’ to the winding, hypnotic layers of slinking melody on ‘Instantly Blank (The Goodness)’. There’s also more than a whiff of influence from the Japanese pop of the era, which adds a fresh spin to an otherwise weary genre.

By Polly Rappaport

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