Frank Ocean has not dropped a new album since “Blonde” in 2016. A shortened Coachella performance in 2023 and a sample of an unreleased track (“Wise Man”) on Drake’s new album “For All The Dogs” has left fans thirsty for new music. While we wait for Frank’s new music, here are some brilliant songs by underground artists you should be listening to if you’re a die hard Frank Ocean fan.
If you are a committed Frank Ocean fan then you definitely have heard the rumors about a possible romance between Apollo and Ocean. Whether you believe it or not it’s hard not to hear the similarities in their music, Omar Apollo has definitely taken some inspiration from Frank’s music and it’s hard not to imagine he is speaking about Frank in his lyrics. “Ice Slippin” shines not only with emotionally symbolic lyrics about unrequited love but production that emulates the sensation of rain and a crumbling romance.
This London artist’s introspective R&B electronica track is full of swagger and chill vibes and is satisfyingly experimental. “Putting on Airs” means a person who acts superior and more important than others - a personality Brazier tries to avoid in his progression as a rising artist. Brazier’s vocals are lush and the instrumentals are meshed together with alluring acoustics.
New Jersey native, Alec Meza, uses incredible storytelling devices in this sentimental and wistful track that shines with nostalgic production. This one is a tear jerker that will take you down memory lane. Meza’s ability to convey his emotions through lyrics describing his childhood experiences is inspirational and highlights the struggles of adolescent development - “How come girls are supposed to cry and all my homies bishave / how come cigarettes and 40s changed to lean and Mary Jane? / How come every time I ask a friend what’s good? They say the same shit / I guess we just lost connection.”
Indie California based artist, Brandon, shines with soulful vocals and acoustic production taking us through the intimate feels of young love. This song is special in it’s ability to instantly transfer you to a summertime romance with passionate lyrics radiating with nostalgia - “Thinking bout the summer time / Thinking bout you everyday / Thinking bout you all the time / Know you give me peace of mind / Said I miss it everyday / Wish I could see back in time / Look at all the things we made / Memories that last our lives / Remember like it's yesterday.”
Self Control/White Ferrari/Thinkin Bout You fans will love the nostalgic and post breakup reflection of this classic from rising Indie R&B singer, UMI. UMI beautifully captures the tender feeling of loss that comes with a breakup and coming out of that closeness a new independent person, while still wanting to keep that memory alive.- “Cause I'm getting older / Know that I've changed / And I can't go back now nothing’s the same / But I won't forget how you called my name / When I was afraid And now I'm afraid / Will you remember me?”
Beatty tackles his emotional turmoil in love and lust, sexuality and failed relationships. This acoustic track is filled with insightful and metaphorical lyricism tied with velvety vocals. Beatty expresses the vulnerability of being needy and easily damaged by a relationship, contemplating the consequences of young love - “I cut all the bruises off the peach / Not as beautiful, but still as sweet / There you go again with all your needs / What did it ever have to do with me?”
Casper Sage gleams with a smooth rap flow and a rock influence similar to Frank’s early days. Sage describe the triumph of moving out of a toxic mindset and into a victorious one. “Mind and body in a truce, yeah / My journey led me to you, yeah/ Crazy and crazy and crazy, we crazy / Nobody tellin' the truth / Connection is all that we cravin' / I've really been stuck in a loop.”
Trippy and passionate, this breakup song blends emotional lyrics and psychedelic production.Truth uses the metaphor of in Burnt Houses to represent the toxicity of a person who can't help but destroy relationships. In his introspection he comes to the conclusion that this person isn’t meant to be in his life anymore.
Beautiful vocals reminiscent of Frank’s and sonically intimate lyrics and production - Khamari brings warmth to complex heartbreak. “A Sacred Place” conveys the feeling of a romantic absence affecting the way the person moves on from a lover. It’s evocative and wrapped in dreamy melodies.
The vocals on this track are haunting and soulful, just ethereal vibes. “Wanna set my soul on fire / Get me out this hole, I'm tired / Wanna set my soul on fire / Free me from this world I've found so frail,” - with poignant lyrics that stand out and fervent vocals, Elmiene displays incredible emotion and poise.
Playlist with these songs and more: