When to listen to Blonde by Frank Ocean: A One-Year Calendar

Ever since I read a Reddit post detailing a theory that Frank Ocean’s album Blonde is divided up into four sections corresponding to the four seasons, I’ve understood the album as one complete year.

“Nikes” kicks off a lonely start to the year, then spring comes with its promises of a budding love. Come “Solo,” “Skyline To,” and “Self Control,” the narrator lets loose and becomes more daring in his love yet more independent and free-spirited. Summer peaks with “Nights” until the beat change – summer begins to disintegrate. 

With the sonically chaotic “Solo (Reprise)” and “Pretty Sweet,” summer self-destructs, and the narrator is left nostalgic, introspective, and a little lonely with the start of fall.

The intimate, poignant, and heart-wrenching “White Ferrari” closes off fall. Then my personal favorite song from Blonde, “Seigfried,” unravels the last ends of the year through winter. With echoing and whispering vocals, dissipating melodies, and kaleidoscopic harmonies, “Seigfried” and “Godspeed” make up winter.

“Futura Free” is a montage of the youth, romance, vitality, regret, thrill, and nostalgia of the entire year – launching into another one.

Below, I’ve detailed the dates of the year each song corresponds to, along with an appropriate time of day and some locations for the most memorable listening experience.

Nikes: January 31st, 10-11pm, alone in a room, especially after a party is over

Ivy: February 14th (Valentine’s Day), 4-5pm

Pink + White: February 26th, 4-5pm, sitting on a lawn

Be Yourself: March 5th, 6-7pm

Solo: April 15th, 4-5pm

Skyline To: May 14th, 3-4pm, with a clear blue sky overhead, maybe with a few puffy white clouds

Self Control: June 6th, 7-8pm

Good Guy: June 28th, 7-8pm

Nights: July 24th, 9-10pm, preferably walking alone in the streets with headphones on

Solo (Reprise): August 10th, 8-9pm

Pretty Sweet: August 30th, 8-9pm

Facebook Story: September 27th, 6-7pm

Close To You: October 4th, 6-7pm

White Ferrari: November 10th, 7-8pm, alone in a room

Seigfried: November 30th, 10-11pm, alone in a room

Godspeed: December 14th, 9-10pm

Futura Free: December 31st, 11:45pm

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