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Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean's album will be released alongside a magvia

Five things to expect from Frank Ocean’s new album

Sex songs, Abbey Road and Lil B collabs? We've dug up the info on #BOYSDONTCRY

This year has already surpassed itself with some fire music releases, and there are plenty more that are about to drop onto our heads like a storm of musical hailstones – that much we already know. But there’s one name we can't stop saying, which begs the question: Frank Ocean, where’s that second album already? We’ve been playing Channel ORANGE on repeat for three years now. 

The R&Ber prefers to let his music speak for itself, having deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts two years ago and only ever offering the odd, spaced-out morsel of information via his cryptic Tumblr posts. A few months ago, however, Ocean published a sharp, colour-splashed image of himself on his Tumblr next to a stack of self-currated mags with the Cure-channelling title “Boys Don’t Cry”. Next to the image were the words: "I got two versions. I got twoooo versions" and the hashtags #ISSUE1 #ALBUM3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRY. As we’ve now reached the mid-point of #JULY2015, we thought we’d lay down what we already know about the most anticipated release of the year (sorry, Kanye).


A few days after Christmas, the Based Overlord and VegEMOJI app inventor Lil B posted a photo of himself and Frank Ocean sitting beside each other on a sofa with their faces down and hats on. “RARE photo of LIL B x FRANK OCEAN IN THE STUDIO TOGETHER!! NEW MUSIC COMING SOON! Collect this!” were the words that sat below it in a sea of exclamation marks. Whilst it’s still unclear whether the musical collab will surface, director Nabil Elderkin confirmed in a tweet to The Fader in May that Lil B would appear in Ocean’s new mag, saying: “we did a fresh photo shoot for Frank Ocean's new Magazine with interview by Frank.” *pray hands emoji*


Frank Ocean’s absurdly brilliant, string-soaked debut Channel ORANGE was awash with concepts, from drowning in the throes of unrequited love to the empty decadence of 21st century L.A. If we rewind back to what he told BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe in 2013, his second album is set to be equally as thematically tied. “It’s another cohesive thing, bordering on a concept record again,” he said, adding: “At the end of Channel ORANGE, there's 'Golden Girl,' and it's this beach scene. And I kind of want it to extend that feel into the next record all together, kind of make it that theme." So beaches, eh? Although if we look really closely at one of the Boys Don’t Cry covers, it shows what we assume to be Ocean head-to-toe in racing-driver gear. We know he’s got a big love for cars – maybe there’s a car concept in there; or a combination of the two, Swim Good-style.


Towards the end of last year, Frank Ocean dropped a spooky, lo-fi half-sketch of a song “Memrise” alongside lyrics that lamented lost love and how lust can make a long-lasting imprint. “I memorized your body exposed, I could fuck you all night long from a memory alone,” he half-raps over a glimmering, far-away Wurlitzer melody that swirls and meanders, marking a notably different direction to the musician’s previous tightly-formed, R&B treasures. Whilst there’s been no confirmation that the track will definitely appear on the album, it’s been the only release since Channel Orange. We like to think it's a teaser.


We’re talking less One Direction and more 1960s greats. With his syrupy vocal runs and slick, throwback style, his love of all things classic is ice-clear. A year after his debut album, he spoke to MTV about these influences in his follow-up: “When I was making the first album there were a group of artists that I listened to, just for inspiration and to absorb the energies. It was a lot of Stevie Wonder, and this time it’s a lot of Beach Boys and Beatles and whatnot, so we’ll see how it trickles into the music and the final product.”

Earlier this year, he tried to return the favour by appearing on Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s latest album, however his name was missing when the track list was announced. “Well, Frank Ocean didn’t want to do the song," Wilson explained in an interview with Vulture. "He wanted to do rap, so we cancelled him." Charming. At least his love of the Beatles is still alive. Which brings us onto the fact that…


Contrary to older reports that the album would be recorded in the sun-drenched confines of tiny island Bora Bora, French pianist Christophe Chassol recently revealed that he’d been working on Ocean’s album with him at London's iconic Abbey Road Studios. "Ocean invited me to Abbey Road to record on his album. I asked him when I came, 'how he heard about me?' He told me his friend Diplo was listening a lot to (Chassol's 2013 album) 'Indiamore', and they started to listen to it, and they were wondering how I was doing the speech harmonization, so he called me,” Chassol explained in an interview with Gilles Peterson on BBC Radio 6 music, adding: “He asked me to do some speech harmonization on a song with him. After a while, it was cool and he was like, 'yeah, but we have to find another way because you already did it'."

Well, whether fresh Frank Ocean feels will appear in your playlists this July or next July or the July after that, here's one of our favourites to keep you going...