Each week, so much new music is released that it can almost feel like a chore to sort through it all. But today, there’s one project that easily tops them all.
Beyoncé’s latest studio album—her first since 2016—is now out, and it’s all the world can talk about. Aptly titled Renaissance (because Beyoncé is the Queen), the album debuted to rave reviews on Twitter.
Since the world might as well recognize the album’s release as a global holiday, this edition of LAMag‘s Weekend Playlist is all about the renaissance: Beyoncé’s album, artists in their own renaissance era and singers on the cusp of artistic greatness.
Beyoncé’s reign still stands strong. And it probably will forever.
Two days before its scheduled release, Renaissance leaked online. But the leak only proved the loyalty of the BeyHive to its queen. Many fans refused to listen to the leak, instead waiting for the album to debut properly in accordance with Beyoncé’s timing. In a note following the release of Renaissance on Friday, Beyoncé thanked her fanbase for waiting so patiently.
Renaissance is the artist’s seventh studio album and her first one in six years. Though Beyoncé has participated in various musical projects since 2016, compared to other artists, she’s remained relatively silent.
But on June 26, she dropped “Break My Soul”, which would be the only single plucked from Renaissance for an individual release. The song gave listeners a sample of the effortless combination between disco and EDM that characterizes the entire album. Soon after the album dropped, “Church Girl” proved to be a fan favorite track, with other standouts including “Virgo’s Groove” and “Summer Renaissance”.
Renaissance overflows with sensuality and grooviness. Every song is bold and loud, heralding Beyoncé’s mega-presence in this work. Even if you’re not a member of the BeyHive, Renaissance is a must-listen. And because it’s only the first of three projects Beyoncé created throughout the course of the pandemic, we hope it means the Queen won’t be going on hiatus again anytime soon.
Other artists in their renaissance eras: Dodie, King Princess, Maggie Rogers and Hayley Kiyoko
Beyoncé is not the only singer in the midst of an artistic awakening. Dodie, King Princess, Maggie Rogers and Hayley Kiyoko have all blossomed in the past few years and are now coming into their own.
Kiyoko, Rogers, and King Princess all released their first studio albums in the last years before the pandemic, with Kiyoko’s debuting in 2018 and Rogers’ and King Princess’ following in 2019. Dodie is a true pandemic-born artist, with her first album coming in 2021.
This week, all three budding artists released the sophomore albums: King Princess; Kiyoko; and Rogers. Dodie dropped a new single as well. With each woman growing into her own artistic point of view, their new releases reflect a confidence in their personal style. Instead of conforming their work to audience expectations, each has remained true to her creative vision. As these new voices continue to build their followings and perfect their craft, any or all of them could eventually rival Beyoncé’s worldwide impact.
On the verge of a breakthrough: Claire Rosinkranz and Lilyisthatyou
Like many of the next generation’s stars, Claire Rosinkranz and Lilyisthatyou both got their start on TikTok. Rosinkrantz’s “Backyard Boy” and Lilyisthatyou’s “FMRN” exploded on the platform, marking their entrance into the music industry.
Since their big bang-style breakouts, both artists have been discovering their own voice. This week, they each released new works: Rosinkranz with single “123” and Lilyisthatyou with her first EP The Character. Though these two budding musicians differ drastically—Rosinkranz serves up quirky nostalgia and Lilyisthatyou goes for bold bass drops—it’s clear they are both truly becoming themselves. As they continue to grow in their personal artistry, their renaissance is no doubt next.
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