I was riding shotgun in a car when I first heard “Champagne Coast”. The track, which was released as part of Blood Orange’s album Coastal Grooves in 2011, was playing as I looked out my window at the passing scenery and it didn’t grab my attention at first. It opens with singer-songwriter-composer Devonté “Dev” Hynes crooning in a style that is reminiscent of 80s Prince—soft, sexy, and full of yearning. The ambient minimalism of the musical backdrop creates a dreamy quality, but the smooth rhythm and steady beat make not moving an impossibility.
If you’re not sure about the beginning though, hang in there. I was enjoying the song just fine as I sat in my seat, bobbing my foot, until 1 minute and 56 seconds into the track, at which point the song descends into a riff that is pure magic. The urgency of the vocals builds ever so slightly from there until the song coasts gently toward completion. There are no overblown musical crescendos to leave you feeling bereft post-climax, just an exquisite sonic reverie that melts away as unassumingly as it drifted in.
Check it out and if you like what you hear, grab tickets to see Blood Orange live at one of 3 upcoming tour dates!