It was just a few months ago when Gwen Stefani shared her excellent single, “Let Me Reintroduce Myself.” It was our first taste of her upcoming fourth studio album, due later this year. Now, fans can enjoy the project’s second single, the peppy and silly “Slow Clap.”
“Slow Clap” opens with a quick preview of the chorus before moving into a bouncing, reggae-tinged verse. Gwen describes different hero-and-villain scenarios, setting herself up for an ultimate comeback. The pre-chorus is charming, Gwen asking, “Are you rooting for me like I’m rooting for you?” Then we reach a chorus that is defined by Gwen’s percussive repetition of “clap.” At only two-and-a-half minutes, it’s a short song that could actually have benefited from a bit more breathing room.
We at Hidden Jams love Gwen Stefani, from her albums with No Doubt through her solo work and collaborations. From her quirky, fun songs to her emotional ballads, her musical output is almost always a win. We have to admit, though, that “Slow Clap” isn’t our favorite, at least on first or second listen. It’s a bit juvenile and campy, mainly due to the (annoying) “clap clap” chorus. Actually, aside from the chorus, the rest of the song is pretty good. Perhaps it’ll grow on us? Nonetheless, we loved “Let Me Reintroduce Myself” and we’re excited for Gwen’s upcoming album.
Listen to the full “Slow Clap” audio below:
You can stream or buy “Slow Clap” from all the major music providers here. Along with “Let Me Reintroduce Myself,” it’s expected to appear on her upcoming fourth studio album later this year.
Starting a New Album
In a series of interviews in December, Gwen confirmed that she’d written about 20 songs during 2020 and that a full album is on the horizon this year. Indeed, in October Gwen did state that she was writing a lot, citing Kelly Clarkson’s recent prolific writing as her source of inspiration.
Gwen revealed that the origins go back to February 2020, when she was sent a song called “When Love Gets Old,” which had been written specifically for her. That opened the doors to Gwen writing more songs with the writers. They wrote one called “Cry Happy” in February, right before quarantine began. Recording those songs inspired Gwen to keep going, whether or not anyone would hear what she was writing.
From here, Gwen went back and uncovered all the music she first latched onto when she was in 8th grade, bringing her back to her ska and reggae roots. She mentioned being inspired by the political and antiracist messages of early ska and reggae artists, and her recent efforts to learn more on those fronts. Gwen also mentioned being affected by the #MeToo movement. Those themes may appear in her own new music.
Over the last several months, Gwen has mostly worked with Ross and Luke. They composed “Let Me Reintroduce Myself” in late August and “Slow Clap” soon after. However, she’s also mentioned writing with Greg Kurstin and Mozella. Naturally, nearly everything that they’ve written last year has been over Zoom calls! They’ve composed more than 20 songs so far, and they’re not done yet!
Album Nearly Done
As of now, although she already has enough material for a full album, Gwen is still writing. In some new interviews this week, Gwen confirmed that her album cover has been photographed and that she has a title in mind. However, as she’s still writing and recording, a release date isn’t yet locked down. We’re hoping it’ll be out by summertime.
In a new interview with Zane Lowe, Gwen described a lot about her writing process these last several months. Although she’d thought she’d finished the album, she also wanted to make sure she touched on different emotions and themes. So she wentt back into the studio, and is still working on music now. Gwen told him that she’s tentatively picked an album title, itself coming from a song she wrote with Ross and Luke. Of course, now that they’ve already shot the cover art, it may not be so tentative.
About the songs she’s written and when we’ll get to hear the album, Gwen stated in another interview:
“Even though I could definitely put two records out right now with the songs I’ve written, I just want to make sure I don’t race to the finish line before I have to. I don’t know exactly when it’s coming out, but not too far in the future.”
Gwen seems to be very inspired, and we can’t wait to hear the full album later this year!
More From Gwen
More recently, Gwen released her first holiday album, You Make It Feel Like Christmas, in 2018. She then re-released the Christmas album in 2018 with five more songs. Last fall, she added two more songs to the holiday record: a cover of “Sleigh Ride” and an original song called “Here This Christmas.”
Gwen has moved into the country world in the past year, thanks to her boyfriend Blake Shelton. They had a big hit with their duet “Nobody But You” about one year ago; they followed that with “Happy Anywhere.”
In August, Gwen also appeared on a remix of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia song, “Physical.”
Enjoy “Slow Clap” now, and look out for its upcoming music video. Also get ready for more music in the coming months! You can catch up on all we know about Gwen’s upcoming fourth studio album here. Keep checking back here for all the latest Gwen Stefani music news.