Justin Bieber has surprised fans by sharing a new EP, ‘Freedom’, on Easter Sunday (April 4).
The EP appeared on streaming services around 10pm GMT. It features six new songs, with all bar one boasting appearances from guest artists.
‘Freedom’ includes the title track (feat. BEAM), ‘All She Wrote (feat. Brandon Love and Chandler Moore)’, ‘We’re In This Together’, ‘Where You Go I Follow (feat. Pink Sweats, Chandler Moore and Judah Smith)’, ‘Where Do I Fit In (feat. Tori Kelly, Chandler Moore and Judah Smith)’ and ‘Afraid to Say (feat. Lauren Walters)’.
Only two of the aforementioned artists are also credited with a feature on Bieber’s recently released sixth album, ‘Justice’. BEAM appears on the LP’s ‘Love You Different’, while Tori Kelly features on ‘Name’.
For all other artists, ‘Freedom’ marks their first time appearing as a featured artist on one of Bieber’s tracks.
Shortly after its release, Bieber took to social media to announce ‘Freedom’ had arrived.
“Freedom on all platforms,” he wrote.
It appears that Bieber had always intended to drop the record on the Easter weekend, with lyrics including references to “Good Friday fish” and “Easter Sunday bun and cheese”.
Listen to the EP in full below:
‘Justice’ dropped in March and was met with critical and popular acclaim. NME gave ‘Justice’ a four-star review, writing “Last year’s ‘Changes’ saw the singer take a wrong turn, but here he’s back at his best, tapping into his personal experiences – with powerful results”.
“With bangers, ballads and heartfelt moments, the hopeless romantic with a penchant for self-reflection and tackling world issues is back,” the review read.
Following the album’s release, Bieber was met with criticism for sampling speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King on the tracks ‘MLK Interlude’ and ‘2 Much’.
The singer-songwriter responded swiftly, explaining that he wasn’t “taught about Black history” during his Canadian upbringing.
“It was just not a part of our education system,” Bieber said [via Billboard]. “I think for me, coming from Canada and being uneducated and making insensitive jokes when I was a kid and being insensitive and being honestly just a part of the problem because I just didn’t know better. For me to have this platform to just share this raw moment of Martin Luther King Jr. in a time where he knew he was going to die for what he was standing up for.”