Blood Orange

Dev Hynes’ new project

What’s in a name? Does it make you stand up and take interest? Or does it pass you by? Whatever your stance, from a marketing perspective it can be an invaluable tool – as Dev Hynes himself acknowledges – without it, his new project, Blood Orange, would have generated far less attention.

The new album, ‘Coastal Grooves’, which was never intended for release, was more about the Lightspeed Champion star making music for his own pleasure, rather than for anyone else’s benefit. And only after being cajoled into it by Domino’s boss did he agree to bring it out. Upon first listening, it’s clear that it occupies a very different space to that of LS, and is far more influenced by what Hynes listens to on a day-to-day basis. Interested? Read below to find out more.

Why did you start going in this direction?

The songs were written in 2009 so it isn’t so much a ‘new direction’ – they existed but I wasn’t going to put them out. I was coaxed into doing it. I was happy just doing it for myself and giving it to friends. I try to avoid connotations, whether they’re positive or negative, but some people need information in order to access the music, and if it’s been done before it taints the image somehow. Not as many people would have paid attention if I’d brought this out as Lightspeed Champion. It’s interesting to me that all I had to do was change the name but it’s still just me! There’s such a hunger and a thirst for new music.

So would you say it differs to your material under Lightspeed Champion?

It does but it’s more to do with how I’ve ended up writing songs – everything was written over a period of time a couple of years ago. It’s a lot more simple and direct – I think the main thing was that I was writing for myself too. I wasn’t ticking boxes for people; it was purely what I wanted to hear.

Would you say that Blood Orange is more fulfilling for you?

It’s definitely longer lasting. What I enjoy doesn’t really ever change and so with this it was something I felt like I could listen to time and time again and these songs have existed for quite a while now and there still aren’t things that I’d change, and I’m still not bored of them, which is rare for me. I’m producing this band right now called Bleeding Knees Club and when we were in the studio mixing they’d be quite relaxed about it but I told them that they need to be absolutely sure about the decisions they make. If there’s that one little bit of doubt, then in a couple of years that thing will eat you alive. Right now I’m trying not to have that – I want to have every aspect of what I do be something that I’m happy about. That way if anybody doesn’t like, or throws an insult at you, you can just reply that you meant it. They can’t harm you.

Lyrically, would you say there was a difference?

It probably is but I think it’s more to do with where my head was and is. It was more ‘against the world’ a couple of years ago. It certainly reflected where I was then.

Are you going to be touring with this at all?

I don’t think so. I’ve got no plans to at the moment anyway. I’ve got so many production and writing things to do that I don’t want to cancel for the sake of losing money and touring.

Do you prefer making music to touring?

Most definitely – times a million. I don’t care about touring in the slightest. It just doesn’t affect me. I’ve never dreamed about performing music, I’ve only ever cared about writing it. That’s why I’m not in a band: I don’t like practicing I hate it! I don’t understand it. If you know what you’re doing then you know.

What else are you to over the coming year?

I’m going to put out another Blood Orange album I think, hopefully next year. I’m going to slowly work on that, it’s part written. All there, somewhere.

Words by Sam Ballard

‘Coastal Grooves’ is out now.

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