What we know about Frank Ocean’s third studio album

Frank's has wiped his Instagram. Lord I've seen what you've done for others...

Six years have passed since Frank Ocean dropped Blonde, a record that solidified his status as one of 21st century music’s icons. Ever since then, we’ve waited patiently for its follow-up: his third album and fifth full-length project. His music to date, from the R&B of Nostalgia, Ultra, via the wise, pop-leaning musings of Channel Orange to the abstract nature of Endless —  has been impossible to pin down sonically, the throughline being the genius of his production and the candour of his lyrics. We’re all waiting patiently to figure out exactly what he might have up his sleeve next. With the announcement of his new radio show and a limited edition zine, it seems like that coveted fresh material might come alongside it.

Last night, Frank unveiled the launch of Homer Radio, a new show for Apple Music dropping at 10 pm EST every Thursday. He won’t be hosting the show, instead enlisting a series of artist he admires to do the job. The debut episode, which you can stream below, features Crystallmess, and opens with a remix of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and Underworld’s “Born Slippy”. Frank calls it a one hour window into what plays around our office after hours”.

He also dropped a new poster zine as part of his luxury brand Homer, titled XXXL: When a Dog Comes to Stay. With all photography by Frank himself, and bearing a juicy 18+ rating, it’s bound to be another NSFW collector’s item in the same vein as Boy’s Don’t Cry.

With Frank set to headline Coachella in spring 2023, there’s a high possibility we will get new music from the artist within the coming few months. This isn’t the first time fans have been teased by the artist’s antics on Instagram though. Last month, Frank posted a photo wearing a wig and an orange hoodie printed with shooting stars from his lifestyle brand Homer. He explains in the caption the hoodie was actually meant for his cancelled 2020 world tour and ends by writing “love u see u”. See you… soon? At the time though, the only new release we got from Frank was a $25K diamanté Homer cock ring.

In September 2021 last year, it was reported that Frank was “shopping” his new record to labels, having released Blonde independently on his label Boy’s Don’t Cry. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s finished it — labels would happily fork out to have Frank on their roster without hearing a completed album — but it does at least suggest that he’s on his way to dropping something soon.

Then, new episodes of his OG Apple Music show Blonded Radio dropped, bringing with them Frank-produced songs as backdrops to long conversations on psychedelics and Qigong, making the possibility of a new record coming shortly not entirely implausible. In preparation for that moment, here’s everything we know (or don’t) about Frank Ocean’s third album.

Has Frank Ocean been in the studio?

In short: yes. We know this because one of our own cover stars, Rosalìa, told us so. In her spring 2022 cover feature, the Catalan artist revealed she’d been in the studio with Frank. There, he gave her a line of advice that she put into the Motomami single, “SAOKO”: “Frank tells me to open the world like a nut”.


Similarly, in the episode of Blonded Radio that dropped last night on psychedelics, he revealed he’d been on hallucinogens while “in the studio”. Finally, it seems like the music might be coming. 


What is Frank  Ocean’s new record about?

In the most recent episode of Blonded Radio, Frank runs a conversation with an expert on microdosing over a euphoric, electronic instrumental production he himself is responsible for. The microdosing expert waxes lyrical on the importance of selecting the right musical accompaniment for a psychedelic trip: no words, because the brain is running faster than usual. In that respect, it wouldn’t be surprising if Frank returned with a record that felt like a good accompaniment to psychedelics. He’s clearly interested in them; perhaps, like parts of Endless,  it’ll be a lyric-free soundtrack to a trip. After all, we’ve received a handful of singles over the past few years — from “Chanel” to “Biking” — that felt like traditional Frank songs.


Similarly, these tracks might be part of a soundtrack Frank could be forming for his rumoured A24 movie. 

What’s the next Frank Ocean album called?

Now this we don’t know. On Reddit, fans are hypothesising though. Frank updated his streaming service banner to a series of images of him grinning, which was similarly part of a limited-edition poster he printed for Channel Orange’s anniversary. One fan suggested Smiles, saying it might be related to the famous happy smile drug symbol (a riff on the hallucinogens discussion on Blonded). Another said it could be Starstruck.
All of these are reaches, though. In reality, we have no idea.


What is the next Frank Ocean album’s release date?

The only allusion to a potential release window we have for the new, third Frank Ocean album is the fact that he’s scheduled to play Coachella in April 2023. Surely, if he was to headline a whole damn festival, he would have rustled up a new album to play at it, right?



Source: I-D

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