A few days ago, with very little advance notice, Blood Orange released the new mixtape Angel’s Pulse, a sort of companion piece to his 2018 album Negro Swan. The tape works as an extended mood piece, and it features collaborations with a wild range of artists — Toro Y Moi and Project Pat and Tinashe and Arca, all on the same record. Today, Devonté Hynes has shared his video for the glimmering, bubbling “Benzo,” one of the few tracks on the mixtape that doesn’t feature any big-name collaborators.
Hynes directed the “Benzo” video himself, and it looks like he took inspiration on the aesthetic sensibilities of Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and on the lacy opulence of pre-Revolutionary French nobility, so memorably captured in that video. But Hynes plays with those aesthetics, imagining a post-gender royal court filled with black faces.
In the clip, Hynes plays a cellist performing before this royal court. His regular collaborator Ian Isiah also stars. Every Blood Orange video is worth watching, and this one has some images that should linger in your head. Check it out below.
Angel’s Pulse is out now on Domino.