While much of America recovered from their Thanksgiving feasts or lined up for Black Friday shopping, Frank Ocean was quietly sharing new music. Friday morning, the Channel Orange singer uploaded "Memrise," a lo-fi track that finds Ocean serenading a lover and marks his first new solo material in nearly two years.
The two-minute-long song is divided into three sections: An atmospheric opening where Ocean harmonizes with multiples layers of his own voice, a speak-sung middle verse that's reminiscent of TV on the Radio, and a coda where the singer finally unfurls his Grammy-winning voice as he sings, "Don't go plastic on me / Nothing's set in stone." It's unclear whether "Memrise" was just a Black Friday gift to fans or a sneak preview at the singer's next album.
Originally slated for summer 2014, Ocean's follow-up to Channel Orange landed as one of the 25 albums in Rolling Stone's Fall Music Preview, where we projected that the LP might finally arrive this winter. However, with just over a month remaining in 2014, it appears we'll have to wait until next year before Ocean drops his new album. The singer was last reported to be in the studio working with Hit-Boy (Beyoncé's "XO," Jay Z and Kanye West's "Niggas in Paris") and Rodney Jerkins. Pharrell Williams and Danger Mouse are also rumored collaborators.
"Memrise" is Ocean's first post-Channel Orange solo track since he unveiled "Wise Man," a song recorded for – but not released on – the Django Unchained soundtrack. In addition to "Memrise," Ocean also revealed the song's lyrics on his Tumblr:
"I memorized the wayward expressions
Never look down
Never let you see me down
I memorized the way no directions
Can I come over now
I’d like to stay a little while
I memorized your body exposed
I could fuck you all night long
From a memory alone
I never forget a face
Don’t go plastic on me
Nothing’s set in stone
You’re not dipped in gold
Dipped in gold
You can't breathe if you're dipped in gold
You are not on paper
You are not a copy
You're so, you're so... so thick, so thick"