Janelle Monáe has revealed her new album “The Age of Pleasure,” her first full-length effort in five years, and the follow-up to 2018’s “Dirty Computer,” will arrive on June 9 via Wondaland Arts Society/Atlantic Records.
The news came attached to a new single, “Lipstick Lover,” and its matching music video — where the singer-songwriter and an entourage of women soak by the pool in bikinis and t-shirts emblazoned with the song’s title and the word “Pleasure” — co-directed by Monáe and Alan Ferguson.
More from Variety
“As we enter into ‘The Age Of Pleasure,’ ‘Lipstick Lover’ is our freeassmothafucka anthem inspired by f.a.m. for f.a.m.,” Monáe wrote in the album’s press release. “This is our oasis made with love, rooted in self acceptance, throbbing in self discovery, and signed with cherry red kisses from me to you.”
“Lipstick Lover” follows the new LP’s first single “Float,” a February release that was backed by months of anticipation since the track originally appeared in promos for ABC/ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime campaign, with Monáe also narrating the ads. The song features Seun Kuti and Egypt 80.
She also previewed “Lipstick Lover” at a Met Gala after-party, a practice Monaé grew fond of employing when it came to preparing “The Age of Pleasure” for its official release. Monáe spoke with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 about how she tested different songs on the album by watching how people at parties would react to the music.
“What I would do is if I knew we were having a party on that Friday or Saturday, on Monday and Tuesday, I’d be like, ‘All right. We’re going to write three songs.’ If the songs can’t work at the party, they’re not going on the album,” she said on the radio show. “I was walking around. I was so scared. I almost went to the bathroom one time. But ‘Float,’ we did that. ‘Lipstick Lover,’ we did like that. I have a song called ‘Champagne Machine’ that’s on there… basically every song that you’ll hear on the project, that’s how I did it. I want it to be so specific to this Pan-African crowd who are my friends. I want it to be a love letter to the diaspora. And if they fuck with it, it’s good. I’m great.”
Outside of releasing a few one-off singles, Monaé shifted her focus to the big screen for the last few years. She had a starring role in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” as well as previous roles in “Harriet,” “Antebellum,” and more.
Best of Variety