Maintaining his reputation as a man of elusive standing, Frank Ocean has debuted new music via the medium of IG story photo dump. The singer posted a snap of himself tucking into a big salad, followed by the front cover of a photo book by Simpsons creator Matt Groening, a pic of him shredding an inflatable guitar, and another of him holding up an Ari Marcopoulos print. To round off this dump of seemingly unrelated images, Ocean then posted a one-minute clip of a mystery new song.
As Instagram stories go, the snippet will disappear from Ocean’s profile in less than 24 hours, but numerous Twitter accounts have already ripped the preview, preserved for eternity in the hallowed halls of Pop Base and their compatriots. In the synth-heavy track, Ocean treads the familiar boards of heartache, singing of a lover whose “heart’s been tangled in barbed wires”, and who’s made “boundaries that are just obstacles put in between us.”
The new snippet comes a couple of months after a song called “These Days” was leaked online in May 2023, with many attributing the track to Ocean. The demand for new music reached such a fever pitch that online scammers went as far as producing AI-generated Ocean tracks, flogging them for thousands to fans via Discord.
The singer last shared original music himself during his Apple Music 1 show Blonded Radio back in July 2022, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his debut album Channel Orange. Since the release of his critically acclaimed 2016 album Blonde, Ocean has dropped a number of standalone singles, most recently “Cayendo” and “Dear April” in 2020.