We Do Everything Big In Texas
Beyonce has announced a new album; Act II arrives March 29. She’s also graced us with two new songs: “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” Listen to those below, and scroll down for Beyoncé’s teaser clip for the album.
During the Super Bowl LVIII broadcast, Beyoncé revealed the news with a video on her Instagram. It looks as though she’s going country for the second act of her Renaissance trilogy, based on the sound of both songs and the footage in the teaser. The announcement video features old-school tunes like Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline,” as well as a dusty scene of men looking up at a massive billboard featuring a scantily-clad Beyoncé and the words “Texas! Hold ’Em.” The moment seems to be a reference to Wim Wenders’ 1984 film Paris, Texas.
“Texas Hold ’Em” was co-written by Canadian artist Lowell, with production and instrumental contributions fromRhiannon Giddens, Raphael Saadiq, Hit-Boy, Nathan Ferraro, Killah B, and more. “16 Carriages” features Dave Hamelin, Gavin Williams, Justus West, Saadiq, and more.
While the album news came as a surprise, Verizon did hint that a Beyonce-related advertisement would run this week. Sure enough, she starred in a Verizon commercial during the Super Bowl in which she teased releasing new music to break the internet. Minutes later, she did just that. Beyoncé also wore a white cowboy hat to the 2024 Grammys last weekend, perhaps as a nod to her country pivot.
Renaissance was Beyoncé’s seventh solo studio album, and was originally billed as Act I: Renaissance—implying future releases would follow suit—before its release in July 2022. While the album never got traditional music videos, there was a “cliquebait” clip for “Break My Soul” a “brand campaign film anthem” for Tiffany & Co. that used “Summer Renaissance,” and a concert film that played in theaters worldwide. Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce was the No. 1 movie in the United States during its debut weekend and, as of January 11, raised over $44.4 million worldwide.
“Break My Soul” was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Dance/Electronic Recording at the 2023 Grammy Awards, but Beyoncé won only the latter award. That didn’t stop her from taking home four trophies that night anyway, though, raising her overall career tally to 32 wins –breaking the record.for the most Grammys won by an artist in the award show’s history.
By Nina Corcoran for Pitchfork, 2024