Adele finally sets a date for 30, her first album in six years

Almost six years to the day since the release of her previous blockbuster album, Adele will make her long-awaited return to the music industry with a new album to be released on November 19, she announced on social media on Wednesday.

Titled 30, in line with her previous LPs 19, 21 and 25 — for the ages that Adele was while writing them — the singer, now 33, said in a statement that the album came out of “the most turbulent period of my life.”

In 2019, Adele filed for divorce from her husband of two years, the charity executive Simon Konecki. The couple have a young son.

“I’ve learned a lot of blistering home truths about myself along the way,” Adele wrote in her announcement.

She compared the music to “that friend who, no matter what, checked in on me even though I’d stopped checking in with them because I’d become so consumed by my own grief,” adding: “I’ve painstakingly rebuilt my house and my heart since then and this album narrates it.”

30 will be preceded on Friday by a single, Easy on Me, produced by Greg Kurstin, who collaborated with the singer on Hello, the chart-topping lead song from 25, in 2015.

Described in a recent Vogue cover story as a “a gut-wrenching plea of a piano ballad,” Easy on Me was previewed by Adele on Instagram on Saturday and features the lyrics:

“Go easy on me, baby/I was still a child/Didn’t get the chance to/Feel the world around me.”

Yet even as Adele’s new music is widely expected to be among the most commercially successful of the year, based on her track record of world-beating sales, the singer is also managing expectations as she reenters a changed business.

“There isn’t a bombastic Hello,” she told Vogue. “But I don’t want another song like that. That song catapulted me in fame to another level that I don’t want to happen again.”

The track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for 10 weeks. But streaming — which now accounts for 84 per cent of recorded music revenue in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America — was still catching on. When 25 was released, on November 20, 2015, it was not made available on services like Spotify and Apple Music until seven months later, instead relying on traditional sales.

Adele with the Grammys she won for her last album, 25, which she released in 2015.Credit:AP

That resulted in a record-breaking 3.38 million albums sold in the United States during its first week — nearly 1 million more than the next-highest-selling release in the Nielsen/SoundScan era. (The company, now MRC Data, began tracking point-of-sale data in 1991.)

The album 25 has since been certified 11-times platinum and won six Grammys in 2017, making Adele the first artist ever to sweep the top three categories — record of the year, song of the year and album of the year — on two separate occasions. (She did the same in 2012, with 21.)

Unlike Adele’s previous releases, 30 is expected to be available on streaming services upon release, although Vogue reported that the singer was “adamant that it come out in tangible form,” on CDs and vinyl, as well.

Adele on the cover of US Vogue, photographed by Alasdair McLellan and UK Vogue, photographed by Steven Meisel.Credit:Instagram

According to reports, the new album will feature collaborations with the producers and songwriters Max Martin and Shellback, who worked on the previous Adele single Send My Love (to Your New Lover); the singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. (When We Were Young, from 2015); the producer Inflo; and the composer and producer Ludwig Goransson, known for his work with Childish Gambino and on films like Black Panther.

“I was so fragile when I was writing it that I wanted to work only with a few people,” Adele said in her Vogue interview, citing Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On as a “very big reference.”

And while the singer’s divorce helped to inspire the album, it is not the only subject, she said.

“It was more me divorcing myself,” Adele explained, invoking “self-destruction,” “self-reflection” and “self-redemption.”

In recent years, the singer has also taken to working out two or three times a day, leading to significant weight loss (“I realised that when I was working out, I didn’t have any anxiety”); hosted Saturday Night Live as a nonmusical guest; and entered into a relationship with LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul (“I know what I want”).

“I’ve shed many layers but also wrapped myself in new ones,” Adele wrote in her statement, “discovered genuinely useful and wholesome mentalities to lead with, and I feel like I’ve finally found my feeling again. I’d go as far as to say I’ve never felt more peaceful in my life.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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