New music from Frank Ocean is always a big deal, both because Blonde was really good and because he really makes us work for them. He joked in 2017 that he was sitting on a completed third album, having already dropped a few new singles, but then he started teasing some kind of surprise new release that ended up just being a cover of “Moon River”—it was good, sure, but it was not a new album. Now, Ocean is once again talking about the new music he’s totally going to release someday, mentioning in a lengthy W Magazine profile (via Pitchfork) that he’s working on an album influenced by “Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic” and various other “iterations of nightlife” that exist out in the world.
Ocean didn’t give a window for when this might come out (so somewhere between “never” and “surprise midnight release tonight”), but he did tell W that he’ll once again be independently releasing it—as he has done since ditching his label immediately before releasing Blonde—joking that he’s got “amazing credit,” so he’ll just go to a bank if he needs more money for the album. He also teased that he might have some kind format shake-ups in mind, saying that technology has always limited what artists are able to do (be it with cassettes or CDs or whatever), but not enough people take advantage of how “elastic” things can be these days since they’re often limited by contracts that demand a certain amount of albums. We don’t really know what he’s planning (of if he’s even planning anything), but the next Frank Ocean album might take some unexpected form... whenever it comes out.