1Frank Ocean, Blonde
In 2016, there are so many more areas for this pain to manifest — they could be drafts of texts and emails, Snapchat messages, Instagram likes, Facebook statuses, old, private photos, and any number of other digital signifiers. Blonde is an album focused on the interstitial nature of love in the midst of digital trauma. Digital trauma is the pain and loss humans experience through the connections and dissolutions on social networks that we’ve constructed to build relationship and give meaning to our lives online. On first encounter, that sounds difficult to understand, but luckily, this is the specific subject matter that Blonde centers around. There may be no better album on the face of the planet right now to handle the task of sorting how to fall out of love in 2016.
The narrative of the first song off Blonde technically had nothing to do with what was happening in my life, but because romantic pain can fit itself into any shoes, “Nikes” easily became my heartbreak anthem. If you never connected to this record, try revisiting it during a period of grief, odds are, it’ll mold itself to that phase. In some ways, “Nikes” is perfectly suited to the role of comforting during loss.