Blood Orange – “Do You See My Skin Through The Flames?”

Dev Hynes has shared a new one-off Blood Orange track called “Do You See My Skin Through The Flames?,” which he says is not part of his upcoming album and is “just some things on [his] mind.” It’s a 11-minute suite of stitched together ideas: freeform jazz, voicemails, field recordings, a long musing from Hynes talking about the origin of his last name and his motivation for making music, some bits and pieces of a more traditional song. There’s a lot to unpack here, but it’s a kaleidoscope of different ideas and concepts from one of the brightest minds in the music world. It’s beautiful throughout — take it in below.

Here’s a selection of the lyrics that Hynes has provided:

frustration and depression breaks me down
descending like they wanted underground
the further our journey the less you care
that’s why you laugh at Kanye when he’s talking in a chair
but the same conversation but replaced,
is good enough for laughs or a smile on your face,
happy to be singing all our songs to survive,
but when we need help, you don’t get off til 5.
it’s powerful to feel so alone in a group

let me break this down for you and tell you how we feel again,
your fear is all you hold on to, so when you see me it’s not fair
i have nothing left to give when you don’t notice what is wrong,
Charleston left me broken down but it’s just another day to you

i ain’t got nothing left to give you
and i’m too tired, to even talk about it
while watching the fire,

tasting pain coming from a place of truth

to be another in a messy world
to feel like giving in another turn?
you wouldn’t listen if i told you

so how can i become anyone?

And here’s a Facebook post from Hynes from earlier today:

America is in the middle of an act of terrorism right now, and black people are being attacked and killed every day. Every day I wake up and it becomes harder for me to interact with my friends and the world around me. I am scared, scared for myself, for my family, for my brothers & for my sisters. You may see me write on this page or playing music and see me as Blood Orange or Dev Hynes, but I turn the corner and I am just another black man, a black man that can’t get a cab, a black man that has to be careful how i walk if i want to overtake a young white woman so that she doesn’t feel scared, a black man that has to sit down and be silent when a police car circles the basketball court I play at, a black man that could be shot down at any time in my life, and as I’m dying know full well, that even if they were to catch who killed me, he will get off free. It is an incredible sadness & heaviness. Being told that we do not matter on and on and on day to day to day. America likes to act like a super human yet continues to blame human error for these horrific acts. I don’t know what to do anymore.