Janelle Monáe has announced her first album in five years, The Age of Pleasure, with a new single, “Lipstick Lover.” On Wednesday, she teased the single with a short clip of her emerging from a shallow pool as the track played in the background. The video — where she wore a soaked see-through t-shirt with the word Pleasure plastered across it — quickly gained traction online.
“As we enter into The Age Of Pleasure Lipstick Lover is our freeassmothafucka anthem inspired by f.a.m. for f.a.m,” Monae wrote in a statement about the album, which is set for release on June 9. “This is our audio oasis made with love and signed with cherry red kisses from me to you.”
Janelle’s promo imagery winked at a popular 1972 poster for Jamaica tourism featuring Trinidadian model Sintra Bronte. Fittingly, “Lipstick Lover,” with its self-directed music video, is her take on romantic reggae, an ode to a moment of queer intimacy dotted with sugary harmonies and an earworm hook.
“I seen it from the back and I’m excited, tell me whatchu do when we walk up in the room — I hope it’s something nasty, we can try it,” she sings before sliding into the songs’ doating chorus: “I really got a thing for my lipstick lover, lover, lover, lover.” She recently previewed the song, performing it atop the bar at her exclusive Met Gala after-party at the Boom Boom Room above the Standard Hotel in New York.
It’s the second track she’s released ahead of her forthcoming The Age of Pleasure, following the single “Float” featuring Seun Kuti and Egypt 80. She had also hinted at the name of the album at her Met Gala party. “Tonight, this year, we are in the age of motherfucking pleasure,” she told the crowd in nothing but the sky high boots and a sparkling, jeweled bikini she donned to the Gala earlier. “We’re actively doing the things that make us feel good, unapologetically.”
Though The Age of Pleasure is Janelle’s first album since 2018’s Dirty Computer, she has, of course, stayed busy with a starring role in last year’s hit film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery as well as previous roles in Antebellum, Harriet, and The Glorias.