Blood Orange’s ‘Angel’s Pulse’ is like an epilogue to his 2018 album ‘Negro Swan’

Get the latest from Beat


Blood Orange’s ‘Angel’s Pulse’ is like an epilogue to his 2018 album ‘Negro Swan’

Words by Kate Streader

The mixtape is like throwing paint at a wall and seeing what you've created.

Devonté Hynes – aka Blood Orange – describes Angel’s Pulse as an epilogue to 2018’s Negro Swan. While the term mixtape is thrown around with increasing frequency in the digital age, the fragments of ideas that inhabit Angel’s Pulse certainly reinforce such a title.

Much like the album that precedes it, Angel’s Pulse hosts a long list of collaborations. Though, unlike Negro Swan’s roster of high profile guests, such as A$AP Rocky, P Diddy and Janet Mock, here Hynes turns to the likes of Toro y Moi, Kelsey Lu and Justine Skye.

The mixtape stutters between genres, often cutting to a new track mid-beat, but a strong sense of consistency remains. It’s as if a single idea has been approached from every possible angle.

From the gospel vocal harmonies and soft mutterings of organ on ‘Birmingham’, featuring Kelsey Lu and Ian Isiah, to the compulsive beat of hip hop number, ‘Gold Teeth’, featuring Project Pat, Gangsta Boo, and Tinashe, it’s enough to give you whiplash.

With most tracks barely scraping two and a half minutes, there’s little time to ruminate on each offering. It’s like musical speed dating – just when things are starting to flow, the buzzer sounds and someone new is sitting in front of you.

Angel’s Pulse is exciting, fresh and yet another demonstration of Blood Orange’s seemingly limitless creativity. It’s a ride you won’t want to get off.