Gwen Stefani is back with some more of “Slow Clap”! After first sharing the song last month, two weeks ago Gwen released an updated version of the song, bolstered by the addition of Saweetie. That rendition came with a sporty music video. Today, Gwen put out another music video, this time for the original version of “Slow Clap.” It’s available exclusively on Facebook. Update: As of April 26th, it’s also on YouTube.
“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.” That can be a tad annoying… But the swaying instrumentation wins us over anyway. In any case, this original solo version of “Slow Clap” feels too short, in part because it’s only two-and-a-half minutes long.
Like the Saweetie-assisted video for “Slow Clap,” this original music video takes place on school grounds. This time, though, it seems to be a middle school… or the students all just look rather young! A boy walks in with his boombox, performing a dance in front of his classmates to impress a girl. It doesn’t go over well, but Gwen — his scholastic guardian angel — boosts his self-esteem so he’ll keep practicing his dance moves. Eventually, he and the girl bond over their shared dance routine. It’s a sweet video that highlights the underdog theme Gwen has attributed to the song.
Watch the sweet music video for the solo version of “Slow Clap” below:
You can stream or buy “Slow Clap” from all the major music providers here. Alternately get duet version of “Slow Clap” featuring Saweetie here. One or both versions of “Slow Clap” are expected to appear on Gwen’s upcoming fourth studio album, due later this year. The album will also feature her previous single, “Let Me Reintroduce Myself.”
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, last 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” that 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, basically everything that they’ve written in the past 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 last month, 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 recent 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 went 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 2017. She then re-released the Christmas album in 2018 with five additional songs. Last fall, she added two more tracks to the holiday record: a cover of “Sleigh Ride” and an original song called “Here This Christmas.”
Gwen has dipped her toes in the country world in the past year, thanks to her boyfriend Blake Shelton. They had a big hit with their duet “Nobody But You” early in 2020; they followed that with “Happy Anywhere.”
Last August, Gwen also appeared on a remix of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia song, “Physical.”
Enjoy the new version of “Slow Clap” featuring Saweetie, as well as its fun new 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.
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