The album, which features Monáe's sensual new single "Lipstick Lover," will be released June 9
New music is coming from Janelle Monáe!
On Friday, the singer-songwriter and actress took to social media and unveiled the cover artwork for her upcoming album The Age of Pleasure, which sees her underwater with bare breasts and a smile on her face, swimming through several other individuals' legs.
Monáe released the album's latest single "Lipstick Lover" on Thursday and seemed to tease the topless artwork in a tweet, writing, "Titties out for the next 15 years."
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 earlier this week, she spoke about the inspiration behind the upcoming project, which marks her fourth full-length studio album.
"All the songs were written from such an honest space," Monáe told the host, noting that making music still proves to be a challenge 15 years into her career. "Look, it never stops. Even with this album, this project. I'm just like, 'You know what? It takes work.' I have to learn things all over again. I have to practice. I have to... And thank God I love the songs. Yeah. So it's always a fun thing to do. It's like starting on a blank canvas."
She explained that her hope with this album is for fans to see that she's "had an opportunity to evolve and grow and to tap into the things that bring me pleasure, the things that perhaps I should rethink and rework."
Elaborating further on the honesty present on The Age of Pleasure, the "Float" performer continued, "Listen, I've had my age of depression. I've had my age of anxiety. I've had my age of struggle. And again, it's not like life is pleasurable every single day, but I think I have actively just sought out... How do I create a space for myself? How do I redirect my mind on how I'm thinking about things? How do I realize that right now in this present moment, moments that we'll never get back, this is where you need to find your pleasure? This is your moment."
According to Monáe, her new music is representative of the current state in her life: "Don't let it get confused that five minutes later, we're going to try to go into doing something different. And again, this is just my experience where I'm at, even though, despite what I may be going through, there's going to be a moment where this bad moment, I won't even be around to even discuss it. I won't."
The NSFW music video for "Lipstick Lover," also released Thursday, sees the musician at a steamy pool party complete with nude women, masturbation and sex toys. It compliments the song's sensual lyrics, which she told Apple Music were inspired by late-night make-out sessions.
"Today, I don't have on any red lipstick, but I'm always in red lipstick. And there have been so many instances where I've made out with somebody at a party and it's dark," she said. "Nobody notices it. But when the lights come on, whoever I've made out with, lipstick all over their face."
Monáe added, "And then I've also been on the receiving end of a human… who's so attractive…. Or I'll get home and I'm like, 'Oh my God. I have lipstick all over my face.' And I've also been the 'Lipstick Lover' where...You know exactly who I kissed."
The Age of Pleasure will be released on June 9.
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