Frank Ocean breaks radio silence with new singles
April 29, 2020
Frank Ocean, an artist known for waiting years in between releasing music, along with disappearing from social media, has once again released new music unexpectedly. On April 3, Ocean dropped two new acoustic singles: Cayendo (Side A – Acoustic) and Dear April (Side A – Acoustic).
These two tracks had been previewed on Ocean’s Beats 1 radio show on Apple Music in October of 2019 and were also being offered up for preorder on 7” vinyls.
“If there is any pop star that is perfectly suited to our current moment — someone who works in isolation, rarely appears in large public spaces and communicates mostly through occasionally cryptic social media posts — it’s Frank Ocean,” National Public Radio (NPR) reported on April 3.
The first song, “Canyendo,” is a sad love ballad sung almost entirely in Spanish. According to Genius, the song is Ocean describing an unrequited love. The translation of Canyendo is the present form of Spanish verb “caer”, or in English “to fall”.
The somber feel of the reverberated guitar and layered vocals that have an echoing effect brings a simple yet impactful feel to the melancholic lyrics.
One line in the chorus translated to English reads “If this hasn’t broken me yet, I will never break,” paired with the verse line “I still really, really love you, yes I do” emphasizes the heartbreak felt by Ocean. He still clearly has feelings for this person, yet they don’t feel the same way or they do, just not to the same extent.
“Dear April,” another R&B ballad has the same existential feeling that Cayendo brought. The song is similar to Cayendo in the way that it’s another sad love song, but instead of the love being unrequited, it’s about a relationship that will be changed forever because of an unmentioned incident. This song, considering the time we’re in, also feels like a bit of a plea to the month of April. The organ instrumental that’s backing the track gives the song a sad springtime feel, just like the month of April: not exactly winter, but still cold, rainy, and depressive.
The release of these new singles ended up getting Ocean trending on Twitter with the speculation of a new album, and on Spotify, almost 4,000,000 plays per song.
“The new tracks are spiritual successors to songs like ‘Skyline To’ and ‘Self Control from Blonde,’ in which Ocean strips away most of the instrumentation and lets you sit with the melancholy of his voice,” NPR compared.
Cayendo and Dear April are both perfect examples of what Frank Ocean is known for: evoking emotion through raw, stripped-down instrumentals. These elements executed with his sultry voice is the reason why so many of his fans connect with his music so well.
Ocean’s two studio releases and multitude of singles including Cayendo and Dear April are available for download on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and any other streaming service.