We woke up today to the first taste of Dua Lipa’s hotly anticipated third album, with the release of a new single: 'Houdini'. Here’s what you need to know...
Three and a half years after the release of her international chart-topping album 'Future Nostalgia', British-Albanian singer Dua Lipa has signalled her return this Friday with a new track, in collaboration with Australian artist Kevin Parker, aka: Tame Impala.
The third album-teasing single, ‘Houdini’, is a disco / electro-dance track, which also features Parker on bass, drums, guitar, keyboards and percussion.
Dua Lipa teased their collaboration on Instagram, sharing a snap with the musician in the studio. The two artists had previously worked together on the soundtrack to Greta Gerwig's film Barbie – in which the 28-year-old pop star had the hit ‘Dance The Night Away’.
Named after the famous escape artist Harry Houdini, this new single is nothing too new for the artist, whose previous album featured an 80s-inspired pop dance sound that ran through every song - and which is prominent in her new single.
It’s far from a full reinvention that has been teased. Interviewed by NME, the artist confided that her third album would "still be pop, but sonically different".
However, while it doesn’t shake things up too much sonically, despite the more experimental personnel behind the song, it’s an absolute club banger. And full judgement shall be reserved for the release of the new album, which might yet take some cues from Tame Impala’s psych-rock leanings and head into more avant-garde territory.
It’s not impossible, as the artist doubled down recently in an interview with Variety, in which she confirmed a shift, saying her third album had "taken a complete turn" from her previous material, hinting that 1970s-era psychedelia had been a big inspiration.
For the time being, ‘Houdini’ is the sound of Dua Lipa embracing her signature sound and billboard-topping formula while adding a punchier, groovier edge. Indeed, it hits a bit harder than her previous songs, with a solid bassline and drive that feels... sweatier.
The track centres around Dua Lipa brazenly telling a man to prove her deserves her attention. Should he fail to impress her, she threatens to disappear like... you guessed it.
"I come and I go / Prove you've got the right to please me / Catch me or I go / Houdini."
In a press release, the singer said the single was a "tongue in cheek" celebration of "singledom", that explores "the idea of whether someone is really worth my while or if I’ll ghost them in the end".
The song has been playing on repeat here in the office, and it gets catchier by the minute.
There’s no fixed release date (or title) for Dua Lipa’s third album. All we know is that it’s set to drop in 2024 and stands as one of next year’s most hotly anticipated releases.
There are also rumours that she’s getting a headline slot at Glastonbury 2024 – hearsay that will be galvanized by the upcoming release.
For those of you who are wondering why we’re drumming up some enthusiasm here, it’s because of her 2020 album.
‘Future Nostalgia’ is without a doubt one of the greatest modern pop albums, an infectiously catchy and vibrant collection of tunes that doesn’t have a single skip moment in its 39-minute runtime. It featured hits such as 'Levitating', 'Physical' and 'Don't Start Now', and sold 7 million copies worldwide.
While the British-Albanian singer was already a big name in the world of pop with her self-titled debut 2017 album, ‘Future Nostalgia’ made her one of the biggest stars on the planet. The album featured high up in our Best European Albums of the 21st Century list, and as we said in our review: “Who could have imagined that an album released during a global lockdown, when clubs were shut, would get people dancing more than ever?”
So, what do you make of ‘Houdini’?
Love it, or think it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, prepare to be hearing this one on heavy rotation over the winter.