It’s been three years since Lady Gaga released the divisive ‘Artpop’ and, while she hasn’t exactly disappeared from view, the anticipation for her return is high. But when exactly can we expect to hear new music from the star and what will it sound like? Here’s everything we know about that album so far.
When will it be released?
The follow-up to ‘Artpop’ will be released on October 21.
What will it be called?
The record is called ‘Joanne’, after Gaga’s late aunt. In an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, the singer said that the record was dedicated to Joanne Germanotta who died of lupus aged 19, in 1974.
What’s the tracklisting?
The tracklisting for ‘Joanne’ has been confirmed, with bonus tracks available on the deluxe edition.
‘Joanne’ standard edition:
‘Dancin’ In Circles’
‘Come To Mama’
‘Hey Girl’ (feat. Florence Welch)
‘Joanne’ deluxe edition bonus tracks:
‘Just Another Day’
‘Angel Down (Work Tape)’
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) September 23, 2016
What will it sound like?
Gaga told the iHeartRadio Music Summit earlier this year ‘Perfect Illusion’ “is about modern ecstasy”. “We found our sweet, simple, ragey way of saying it… I get this sick adrenaline rush every time I hear it,” she said. Mark Ronson, BloodPop and Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker produced the track, and while Ronson seems to be on board for the whole thing, it’s currently unknown if Parker contributed elsewhere on the record.
‘Million Reasons’ is the second track to be revealed from the record and is a ballad produced by Ronson, BloodPop and Hillary Lindsey.
The studio version of ‘A-YO’ has also been shared. It shows off country influences mixed with digitized beats.
Gaga has also previewed a David Bowie-inspired track in ‘Just Another Day’. The singer gave a brief performance of the song on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show and described it as “the most New York-glam-pop song on the album.”.
“It’s the one that airs from Bowie and Marc Bolan [of T Rex] and then maybe from some obscure London metal stuff, the Beatles. It also kind of airs from the electroclash movement from New York and that’s kind of when I started coming up, was right after that.”
The new album could see Gaga reunite with RedOne, producer of her hits ‘Poker Face’, ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Bad Romance’, who she worked on some tracks on. RedOne told Billboard of their reunion: “We both have a cleaner life now. I see her smiling, like the girl I knew before. She’s in a really beautiful place.” It is unclear whether the songs he collaborated with her on have made the final record.
Nile Rodgers of Chic and Giorgio Moroder are both said to have worked on the album, which hints there may be a touch of disco to this new album. She’s also been working with Elton John, who helped write a song called ‘Room In The Heart’, while it’s expected that ‘Til It Happens To You’ co-writer Diane Warren will also have contributed other songs to the record.
John has spoken about the album a couple of times, revealing on his Beats 1 show that the record sounds more like early Gaga. “I’ve heard two songs, which are killer. They’re just great songs. It’s like back to the early stuff of hers – like ‘You and I’ and the Bruce Springsteen one (as I always call it), ‘Bad Romance’,” he said.
“I want the fans to be surprised,” Gaga told Yahoo last year. “But I will just tell you that it’s a wonderful, soul-searching experience. And it’s very unlike the last album in that way.
“I made that album on the road. ‘Artpop’ was, you know, the acid-making record. And this record is like – my old self as a cadaver. And I’m just, I’m operating on my old self.”
“Me and Florence did a duet together,” she revealed during her appearance on BBC Radio 1 last week. “I started to work on an idea for a song that I really wanted to do with a girl and you’ll see why when you hear the music and what the song is about. She’s really to me if not the best but one of the greatest vocalists in the world. She’s incredible. I would say the same about the musicianship of Beck, of Father John [Misty], Kevin Parker and Mark Ronson.”
The singer has also spoken about the influence working with Tony Bennett has had on her, saying it inspired her to write “classic songs”. “There was a whole process when it was me, Mark, a piano, a guitar and a typewriter,” she said. “Every song we did, we didn’t start with a track, we started writing the song because sometimes you can put something brilliant and exciting with electronic music over some lyrics and the melody and the beat is so great you forget that the song is maybe no good.
“We wanted to make sure the song was good on its own. I think some of that has to do with my time working with Tony Bennett too and singing the classics. I really wanted to make some really classic songs for this record.”
Mark Ronson has revealed that Father John Misty played drums on the album, although he didn’t specify which tracks, and co-wrote ‘Sinner’s Prayer’. Josh Homme played guitar on ‘John Wayne’ and ended up co-producing and drumming on it. Beck, meanwhile, worked on ‘Dancin’ In Circles’, which Ronson describes as “classic Gaga, like ‘Alejandro’ and some of the stuff from ‘Fame Monster’.”
Have we seen the artwork yet?
Yes. It features Gaga in a pink hat and is far simpler than her last album sleeve. The rest of the artwork, which is yet to be seen, is reported to feature her aunt’s handwriting and photos of the singer’s late relative. See the cover below.
What’s Lady Gaga been doing since ‘Artpop’?
She might not have released a solo album since 2013’s ‘Artpop’, but Gaga’s certainly been keeping busy. In 2014, she released a joint album with Tony Bennett called ‘Cheek To Cheek’. Last year, she released her own single ‘Til It Happens To You’ for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape.
Away from music, Gaga starred in American Horror Story: Hotel, in which she played hotel owner Elizabeth. She went on to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress In A Miniseries Or Television Drama and has said her time in the show has influenced her forthcoming album. She has since confirmed that she will feature in the sixth season of American Horror Story, which is due to premiere on September 14. Gaga is also set to appear in the remake of A Star Is Born, which is scheduled to begin shooting in 2017.
Elsewhere, the star is also prepping a cookbook with her dad. Joanne Trattoria Cookbook: Classic Recipes And Scenes From An Italian American Restaurant will be published in November and is written by Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta. It’s inspired by the restaurant he and his wife Cynthia own on New York’s Upper West Side called Joanne’s Trattoria. According to Vulture, it features “collected recipes and entertaining anecdotes inspired by [Joe’s] world famous restaurant”, while Gaga has written the foreword to the book.
In June, the singer met with the Dalai Lama for a conversation broadcast on Facebook Live. Gaga asked the Dalai Lama questions received on social media. The first asked about how to help young people manage low self-esteem, eating disorders, addiction, mental health and suicide.
Will she be touring this year?
Gaga has confirmed she will play three “dive bar” gigs at undisclosed locations, during which she will unveil new songs. The first one took place on October 5 where she played ‘Millions Reasons’, ‘Sinner’s Prayer’, ‘A-YO’ and ‘Perfect Illusion’. The following two will happen on October 20 and 27.
There are currently no further tour dates confirmed, however Gaga will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show next year and is rumoured to be playing Glastonbury in June.