Sad girl fall is officially in session if Adele is on the way with new music.
After a five-plus-year hiatus, the 15-time Grammy winner announced she’ll be dropping new music later this month, hopefully leading to an imminent new album, too. While we await the big release, we’ve gathered what we know so far about Adele’s next musical era.
When will it be released?
Friday, November 19. Adele shared the big news on Instagram with a heartfelt note. “I was certainly nowhere near where I’d hoped to be when I first started it nearly three years go,” she said of creating the album. “I rely on routine and consistency to feel safe, I always have. And yet there I was knowingly—willingly even, throwing myself into a maze of absolute mess and inner turmoil!”
Later, she added that she’s “finally ready to put this album out.”
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While hosting Saturday Night Live in September 2020, Adele shared that her album wasn’t done yet. “I know there’s been a lot of chatter about me just being the host. Like, ‘Why isn’t she the musical guest?’ and stuff like that,” she said at the time, per the BBC. “And there’s a couple of reasons. My album’s not finished, and I’m also too scared to do both…I’d rather just put on some wigs, have a glass of wine or six, and just see what happens.”
But it seems like she’s gotten a lot done over the past year.
What songs are on the album?
The first one we know of so far is “Easy on Me,” which arrived Oct. 15 at midnight U.K. time and in the evening in the U.S. “Go easy on me, baby / I was still a child / Didn’t gеt the chance to / Feel the world around me,” she sings in the emotional ballad.
This was the first song she wrote for the album (the vocals came to her a cappella in the shower). She didn’t even write anything for six months after because she thought she’d “said it all,” she told Vogue UK.
What is it about?
30 became a medium for Adele to answer big questions—about life and her break-up—to her son, Angelo, she told Vogue. She also held herself accountable while writing it. “I realized that I was the problem,” she told the magazine. “Cause all the other albums are like, You did this! You did that! Fuck you! Why can’t you arrive for me? Then I was like: Oh, shit, I’m the running theme, actually. Maybe it’s me!”
Despite its arrival post-breakup, she doesn’t really consider the work to be a “divorce album.” “It was more me divorcing myself,” she explained. She also told Vogue UK that the record is about “self-destruction” but also “self-reflection and then sort of self-redemption.” Though, she did say in an Instagram live soon after that the recorded is about “divorce, babe, divorce.”
She also really cherishes this LP, perhaps more than past ones. (21 doesn’t “belong” to her anymore, she believes.) “I’m not letting go of this one,” she said of the upcoming release. “This is my album. I want to share myself with everyone, but I don’t think I’ll ever let this one go.”
What other hints do we have about the album?
Adele recently updated her website and social media layouts in the past week, hinting that she’s gearing up for a new era. But perhaps the most telling sign was the slew of projections spotted across the globe that lit up major landmarks with the number “30” (in the same font as the ones on Adele’s website and socials). The artist is famous for naming her albums after her ages—like 19, 21, and 25—so fans were quick to assume she was behind the marketing stunt.
What’s the significance of 30?
Adele is 33 years old now, but her 30th year was a big one. Looking back at that time in her life in 2019, she wrote on Instagram, “30 tried me so hard but I’m owning it and trying my hardest to lean into it all. No matter how long we’re here for life is constant and complicated at times. I’ve changed drastically in the last couple of years and I’m still changing and that’s okay.”
She also joked to fans who were waiting on a new album, “Bunch of fucking savages, 30 will be a drum n bass record to spite you.”
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Adele, however, previously said she wouldn’t name any other albums after her age. “This is the last album after my age,” she said of 25 while speaking to James Corden in 2016. “I believe in trilogies. The next one will be Adele.”
What will it sound like?
Unsurprisingly, “so amazing,” according to her friend and talk show host Alan Carr. During a Grazia U.K. interview earlier this year, he said of Adele’s new album, “I’ve heard some tracks on it,” adding, “Oh my gosh, it’s so amazing. It’s so amazing.”
Adele noted that she didn’t want her new songs to sound as “bombastic” as “Hello.” “I was just conscious that I didn’t want my story on this album to sound like that,” she told Vogue.
She added that Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin On” was a big influence on the album. One song has a voicemail audio at the end, which was influenced by Skepta and Tyler, the Creator. One was inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the film was playing on mute in the studio when she composed it).
Not all the songs are said, either. One of the more joyful tracks includes a cheery chorus of her friends chanting, “Just hold on,” referencing what Adele’s pals used to say to her.
Whom did she collaborate with?
Adele was “so fragile” making the album that she only “wanted to work on it with a few people.” One of those people was Greg Kurstin, her “Hello” collaborator. She also tapped pop songwriter Max Martin and producers Inflo and Ludwig Göransson. She didn’t collaborate or duet with any big artists, however; because “it’s just never been right for some reason.”
Is a TV performance in the works?
Adele could possibly pair her album release with a television special, according to Vulture. The outlet reports:
“Vulture hears Adele’s camp has approached multiple networks and platforms about the idea of staging a TV special tied to the new release. No deals are in place, and talks are still in the exploratory stage. But if it happens, sources say the televised event would likely debut before the end of the year — just in time for the holiday shopping season.”