Beyoncé, the original master of the surprise overnight album drop, is taking us back to the days of luxuriating in a full month project rollout. The singer has announced her forthcoming seventh studio album, tentatively titled Renaissance, with an ability to preorder it on her website and a coinciding British Vogue cover.
We know very little about the new album so far, except that it’ll drop in the middle of summer (July 29th) and include 16 tracks and an ‘act i,’ per social posts from Tidal and her website. The first single from Renaissance, “Break My Soul,” will drop at midnight ET, per Bey’s Instagram bio. The song appears to be the sixth track on the album. While some fans speculated she might release the first single on Juneteenth, as she did with “Black Parade” two years ago, the single’s timing indicates it may not have anything to do with the national holiday.
Producer The Dream shared his own social media post about the single, indicating he worked on it. The Dream has had some major Beyoncé collaborations in the past, including: "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," "Smash Into You," "1+1," "Run the World (Girls)," “Love On Top,” "End of Time," "Yoncé" / "Partition," "XO," "Flawless" and “6 Inch.”
If the Vogue spread is any indication of this new Beyoncé era, the music of Renaissance make have a House bent (given her posing with a giant disco ball) or even the Prince vibes of her 4/“I Care” era, given her posing on a motorcycle, Purple Rain-style. But these are all just clues and guesses, as the reigning queen of pop music is famous for throwing her audience curveballs.
Sources told Variety that the album will feature both dance and country-tinged tracks, with contributions from songwriter Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote 2008’s “Halo” (he’s also written hits for Adele, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers and his own band, OneRepublic).
It turns out the singer had already teased the album name during an August interview with Harper’s Bazaar, when she said, "With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. Yes, the music is coming!"
Beyoncé’s website now include options to pre-save the new music and shop four different kinds of “Renaissance” merch drops, including a T-shirt, CD and collectible “Renaissance” box.
It’s been six years since Bey released her last full studio album, Lemonade, in February of 2016. Since then, she’s released Everything Is Love with Jay-Z, The Lion King soundtrack, Black Is King, and her legendary Homecoming documentary and accompanying live album.