Summer is flying by, which means Beyoncé’s album release is now just around the corner.
Renaissance will be the music mogul’s seventh studio album, and its release is going to be a major moment - for Beyoncé, for her fans and for music lovers everywhere. After all, it’s been six years since Lemonade, her last solo full-length (soundtracks and live albums notwithstanding). So it goes without saying that the release is going to be making waves across social media, music charts and radio stations for weeks and months to come.
As could be predicted from someone as famously secretive as Beyoncé, most details about the album are still under wraps. Nevertheless, enough exciting morsels have been shared to tantalise fans about the July 29 release. So to bring you up to speed, here’s everything there is to know so far about Beyoncé’s forthcoming release.
What is the new album called?
It’s called Renaissance and it’s being written as Act I: Renaissance, seemingly (and thrillingly) suggesting there will be an Act II following it. Hopefully soon?
We don’t specifically know why it’s called Renaissance, but it seems to be indicative of Beyoncé’s regenerative mood while she was making the album.
In a cover story interview with Harper’s Bazaar in August 2021, 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.”
What do we know about the album? How about a tracklist?
Admittedly, not very much is known so far. On iTunes, 16 tracks have been listed, and last night Beyoncé shared the track names across her social media platforms. They are:
1. I’m That Girl
3. Alien Superstar
4. Cuff It
6. Break My Soul
7. Church Girl
8. Plastic Off The Sofa
9. Virgo’s Groove
13. All Up In Your Mind
14. America Has A Problem
16. Summer Renaissance
We also know it’s the singer’s first solo album in six years, but she did release the collaborative record Everything Is Love with Jay Z in 2018, making the musical hiatus seem a little bit less dramatic.
What can we learn from her lead single Break My Soul?
On June 20, Beyoncé released the lead single Break My Soul. The song, which is a real house banger, went straight to the top of the charts around the world.
The song sampled the irrepressible Show Me Love by Robyn S, as well as rapper Big Freedia’s 2015 bounce song Explode, indicating that the forthcoming album may present some more repacakaged dance melodies.
If Break My Soul is anything to go by, Renaissance is going to be fizzing with feel-good energy.
What can we learn from the album cover art?
Beyoncé shared her Renaissance cover art on June 30. Shot by photographer Carlijn Jacobs, it shows Beyoncé in silver, on a sparkling silver horse, looking like a goddess (of course).
Naturally, analysis of the look and pose became a worldwide project, with punters comparing the photo to John Collier’s 19th century painting Lady Godiva and also with that famous photo of Bianca Jagger on a horse in Studio 54.
Accompanying the album art, Beyoncé said: “Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving.
“My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgement. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”
What has been happening in the run-up to the album?
Although you could argue that the build-up for Renaissance started back in 2016, the second after Lemonade was released, it actually kicked off on June 7 when Beyoncé removed her profile picture from all her social media platforms.
Just a couple of days later, the words What is a B7? were then plastered across the homepage of her website. (Now the website has pictures of her cover art, plus photos from Beyoncé’s July British Vogue cover story.)
Then the final details about the album release date were released on June 30, alongside the cover art.
Act I: Renaissance will be released on July 29.