- Album Title: TBA
- Release Date: Spring or Summer 2021
- Recording Dates: February 2020 – Present
- Writing Dates: February 2020 – Present
- Lead Single: “Let Me Reintroduce Myself,” out 12/7/2020
- Second Single: “Slow Clap,” out 3/11/2021
- Other Known Songs:
- “Cry Happy”
- “When Loving Gets Old”
- Expected Sound: Ska, reggae, pop; horns
- Expected Themes: Love, engagement, marriage, relationships, family, self-reflection, empowerment, antiracism, unity
- Collaborators: Ross Golan, Luke Niccoli, Greg Kurstin, Mozella, Ryan Tedder
It’s been over four years since Gwen Stefani released her last studio album, and she’s kept busy with Christmasy and country projects in between. But now Gwen is working on a new studio album. In an October 2020 interview she did for the fall 2020 season of The Voice, she revealed that she was currently writing new music.
In a question about how she’s been handling the pandemic, Gwen talked about how she first spent lots of time cooking and gardening. But then she turned to music:
After all that happened, I got quite creative, and I’m in the middle of writing new music, which is just a shock to me, because I realized that in my life, out of every single thing I’ve ever done, writing new music makes me feel the best, and makes me feel the most alive, and it always kind of gets in sync to me being on The Voice, which is weird, because I think it’s just really inspiring to be here – I’ve said that before – but to be here, and listen to all the music, see all the talent, it just sparks something in me.
So I started writing songs! And it’s the greatest thing ever! And we’re doing it on Zoom, which is not the greatest thing ever, but it works, we’re doing it. Songs are being created. They’re coming down and through. So yes, this has kind of been… we’re making the most out of this.
Gwen also talked about getting inspiration from fellow Voice judge Kelly Clarkson, who’s also working on a new album of her own. The two are friends and kept in touch throughout quarantine:
You know what, Kelly and I actually texted a lot during that time, and she was writing a lot, and she actually sent me songs, and I got to hear some of her new record. That was super inspiring. She is doing stuff that I feel like, whoever loves Kelly Clarkson, like I do, they’re gonna really like what she’s doing right now; it’s very real, it’s very pure, it’s just really good.
As it turns out, Gwen had first started working on her new music in February 2020 when she was sent a song called “When Loving Gets Old.” She then worked with the writers, composing and recording “Cry Happy.” She’s worked with Ross Golan, Luke Niccoli, Greg Kurstin, and Mozella throughout 2020, writing songs over Zoom. As of December, she had about 20 songs ready so far.
On December 7, 2020, Gwen released her first single, “Let Me Reintroduce Myself.” She co-wrote it with Ross and Luke in August 2020. She released its music video on January 1, 2021.
A few months later, on March 11, 2021, Gwen released “Slow Clap” as the second single.
As of March, although she already has enough material for a full album, Gwen is still writing. In some new interviews that 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.”
Expected themes on the album include plenty of love and relationships songs; Gwen and Blake got engaged in November 2020. Gwen has also mentioned relearning about her early musical loves of ska and reggae, and relating to their messages of unity and antiracism. She’s also talked about how she’s felt affected by the #MeToo movement. These are all themes that could appear in her new music.
We’re excited that Gwen is already releasing new music from her next solo album! She hasn’t yet given a timeframe for when we might get it, but we’re thinking spring or summer 2021 may be a safe bet. Stay tuned for more news and releases.