New Beyoncé music comes just like falling asleep: slowly, then all at once. After six years without a new solo album — and only a few cryptic hints the last few days that something was happening — Queen B followed her tradition of surprise-announcing records when streaming platform Tidal, which is owned by her husband Jay-Z, tweeted in the early morning hours of June 16 that Renaissance is coming.
It marks her first proper solo album since her critically acclaimed LP Lemonade, which she surprise dropped on Tidal in 2016 after leaving a series of hints on social media. Before that, she released her self-titled fifth studio album in 2013 — also without warning. So when the music titan just recently started deleting her profile pictures from Instagram, Twitter and other accounts, fans were certain that at long last, a new record was finally on its way.
They were right. Now kicking off her brand new era, Beyoncé changed her Instagram bio to announce the July 29 release of Renaissance and graced the cover of British Vogue for a brief profile teasing what’s to come as well as posed for a set of stunning photos. These images feature the 28-time Grammy winner posing amongst gilded set pieces — featuring horses, motorcycles and oversized disco balls, for example — that feel both old-fashioned and futuristic. Are those aesthetics an indication of what her new album will sound like? That’s yet to be revealed.
The piece did share, though, a handful of details regarding what the record will sound like and when it was made. Plus, Beyoncé herself has doled out a few clues on her website and social media accounts. Keep reading to see everything Billboard knows about Beyoncé’s Renaissance album below.