While other superstars are surprise-releasing their music, or giving it only a week or two of notice before releasing new albums, Ariana Grande is going the other direction. She’s been teasing out the information on her new album Sweetener for months, sharing the early single “No Tears Left To Cry” and letting the album title slip during a Tonight Show interview. And today, she’s made it official: Sweetener is coming in August. And now we have another single, too.
“The Light Is Coming,” the second single from Sweetener, once again teams Grande up with her frequent collaborator Nicki Minaj. (Just last week, Grande sang the hook on Nicki’s own new single “Bed.”) Pharrell Williams produced “The Light Is Coming,” which Grande recently debuted onstage, and it’s a frantically blippy dance-pop extravaganza. The sample that loops throughout the song — “You wouldn’t let anybody speak instead!” — is of a 2009 confrontation between Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter and one of his constituents. (Weirdly, Pharrell sampled that same argument on N.E.R.D.’s “Lemon” last year.)
Whereas “No Tears Left To Cry” was a grand and sweeping pop banger, “The Light Is Coming” is a stranger, messier, blippier song. It sounds like an explosion at a plastic-toy factory. Check it out below.
Sweetener is out 8/17 on Republic. Later today, a Dave Meyers-directed video for “The Light Is Coming” will debut on the Reebok website.