Bey-hive, rise up! We’ve suffered a week of intense teasing, with Beyoncé deleting all of her profile pictures on social media. The singer also posted this cryptic clue pointing to Brandy’s fittingly named album “B7” via her charity BeyGOOD. And now the truth is out: Beyoncé’s first album since her 2016 record “Lemonade” is finally on its way. That’s right, prepare yourselves for “Renaissance.”
According to some lucky early listeners, Beyoncé’s seventh album (also nicknamed “B7” by fans) apparently takes inspiration from nights out on the tiles, and yearning for togetherness and hedonism during lockdown. It’s said to be a nod to dance music, too.
From track-lists to release dates, here’s everything we know so far about the long-awaited new project from Queen Bey.
“Renaissance” release date
Despite her affinity for a surprise release in the past, Beyoncé has shared a concrete release date for her new album already. On June 16, the singer shared the words “act i … RENAISSANCE” on her official website, accompanied by the date July 29. Fans have already pointed out that this means there could well be other acts to follow. A series of mysterious merch bundles are already up for pre-order.
“Renaissance” track listing
Though Bey has yet to release any song titles, we do know there will be sixteen tracks on “Renaissance,” according to a page from Apple Music unearthed by intrepid fans.
The French word for “rebirth,” renaissance most commonly refers to a period of rapid artistic and social growth between the 14th and 16th centuries — taking Europe from the Middle Ages to modernity. From Leonardo Da Vinci to Michelangelo, some of the most famous classic artists of all time were making art during this important cultural period of reinvention, and it’s possible Bey has chosen the title to represent a kind of metaphorical creative rebirth of her own.
Eagle-eyed fans will note that Beyoncé first teased the title of her seventh album last year in an interview with Harper's Bazaar – expanding on some of the themes at the heart of the record in the process, and linking it to the loneliness of lockdown. "With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again," she said. "I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. I've been in the studio for a year and a half."
“Renaissance” sneak peek
Unsurprisingly, Beyoncé’s seventh album is tightly under lock and key, but British Vogue editor Edward Enninful was treated to a super-rare listen as he profiled the pop superstar for the fashion glossy’s July cover. Giving a tantalising hint of things to come, Enninful hinted at a melting pot of subcultures and a prominent dance influence. “Soaring vocals and fierce beats combine and in a split second I’m transported back to the clubs of my youth,” he wrote.
“I want to get up and start throwing moves. It’s music I love to my core,” he added. “Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul.” Given that Enninful was a self-confessed London club kid in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, that certainly bodes very well indeed.
Elsewhere Enninful also explained that the downtime afforded to Bey by two years of lockdowns has given her more space than ever before to consider her next move. “The creation has been a long process… giving her far longer to spend thinking and rethinking every decision,” he wrote.
A teaser post by Vogue also seems to pinpoint musical influences from the later portion of 20th Century — most likely, the ‘80s and ‘90s. “Queen Bee has trained her considerable artillery on America’s musical soundscape of the late 20th century,” they write, adding that it might be her most “ambitious musical project to date.” We can hardly wait.