Another demo track from Lonny Breaux, here Frank recounts giving a flame the key to the gates before begging for her return. The production is nothing much to write home about, but even early on in Ocean’s career he displays a canny ability to express emotions vocally; sounding forlorn, his plea in the chorus is all past tense: ‘I gave you the key to my city/gave you power over, power over me’. A simple yet effective and easily expandable metaphor, the meaning of which is exercised throughout – Frank lacks infrastructure for as long as his love interest remains absent.
This is an unreleased track from when Frank Ocean still went under the alias Lonny Breaux, was still under the radar, and way before he announced publicly to having unrequited feelings for another man. My friend Elaine had first thought he was just singing from a girl’s perspective because of his use of the pronoun “him” in multiple lines of the song.
No, I don’t wanna think about him, I don’t wanna dream about him, I don’t wanna talk about him, I don’t wanna call him
But now listening to it again, it’s clear Day Away is written about Frank’s first love that fateful summer when he was 19, and the pain that comes with knowing he could never be with him the way he wants.