‘Break My Soul’ is the first single from Beyoncé’s forthcoming seventh studio album, Renaissance, which is due to be released later next month.
The track is a highly danceable tune that’s being praised for reviving the spirit of 90s house music, prominently sampling the 1993 Robin S hit, ‘Show Me Love’.
The track had been scheduled for release at midnight EST (5am GMT), but to the delight and surprise of Bey’s fans, it was released on the streaming service Tidal – co-owned by her husband Jay-Z – and as a lyric video on YouTube a couple of hours early. The YouTube video has already been viewed over 1.4 million times within the matter of hours it’s been live.
We can safely assume from the track’s minimalist artwork that it’ll sit as the sixth track on Renaissance, due for release on 29th July – Beyoncé’s first solo release since 2016’s Lemonade, which was accompanied by a 65-minute film of the same title on HBO.
‘Break My Soul’ sees Beyoncé collaborate once again with New Orleans bounce MC Freddie Ross Jr., known by her stage name Big Freedia, who she last worked with on the Lemonade track ‘Formation’. The track interpolates the aforementioned Robin S banger with Big Freedia’s 2014 track ‘Explode’.
Also in the writing credits are Jay-Z and Adam Piggott, who’s worked with Drake, Quavo and Megan Thee Stallion, to name a few.
Fans have been praising the dancefloor-friendly track for its upbeat, disco-filled positivity, with lines such as “Motivation/ I’m looking for a new foundation/ I’m on that new vibration/ I’m building my own foundation”.
“See how Beyoncé’s lyrics are affirmations,” tweeted one fan. “Queen B delivered on her new music. “Break My Soul” is such a love letter to 90’s black club pop like En Vogue, La Bouche, Robin S or SNAP,” tweeted another.
The release comes days after the 28-time Grammy Award winner removed her social media profile photos, sending her fans into a flurry of speculation over new potential music. Then the announcement those same fans had all been waiting for arrived.
Technically, Renaissance won’t be the first album Beyoncé’s dropped since 2016 – but it will be the first solo venture once more since Lemonade. In 2018, under their married name The Carters, her and Jay-Z dropped Everything Is Love, which was accompanied by their co-headline stadium tour, which was one of the highest-grossing of that year.
In 2019, a live album of her 2018 Coachella ‘Homecoming’ performance was released, alongside a concert film which was available on Netflix, in a reported $60 million (£49 million) deal between Bey and the streaming giant.
Later that year, she created “The Lion King: The Gift” album, which accompanied the Disney film and featured major names including Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Tierra Whack. A deluxe edition followed in 2020.
Indeed, whilst there’s been no solo album release in six years, Beyoncé has been busy. And now we have the full release to look forward to. Interestingly, Variety reports the album will feature both dance tracks – as demonstrated by ‘Break My Soul’ – and country-leaning tracks.
It’s interesting to note the pivot towards house and disco sounds coming just days after Drake released a surprise dance album, Honestly, Nevermind. Though in truth that’s far more coincidence than anything else. What we do know about Renaissance, too, is it’s been subtitled as ‘act i’, implying it will be split over several parts. We may get more than a few genres along the road.