After months, maybe even years of teasing—depending on how you view that stint hosting Saturday Night Live last year that was presumably initially pitched as being connected to new music—Adele has just released her first new song in six years. “Easy On Me,” the lead single from the musical superstar’s much-anticipated 30, shows that Adele is still, basically Adele: Minimal instrumentation, emotionally evocative lyrics, and lots of room for those big vocal sweeps that are part of the singer’s signature style.
Far more enigmatic, though, is the song’s music video, which shows the same house that served as the centerpiece for her smash hit, “Hello.” Except now, it seems, Adele is leaving this once-happy home, putting it up for sale, and driving away. What could she by trying to express, by literally driving away from the song that came to define her success with a sometimes crushing singularity, freeing herself from the shackles of the past in a burst of literal color that defies the dour image of that original video? What is Adele trying to say?
But we kid the musical superstar, who seems to be in fine form here, complaining about poor cellphone signal and then belting it with a force that can best be summed up as “Adele-esque.”
30 is currently scheduled to be released on October 19, marking a return to Adele’s numerical discography after the releases of 19, 21, and 25 in 2008, 2011, and 2015, respectively. The singer has said in recent interviews that the album was at least partially inspired by her recent divorce—and by her desire to express the feelings behind some of her decisions to her young son when he listens to it several years down the road. The album was produced by Max Martin, Shellback, and Greg Kurstin, who also has a writing credit on “Easy On Me.”