According to Consequence, R&B singer-songwriter SZA has unveiled three new tracks titled “Nightbird,” “Joni” and “I Hate You” on August 23. The songs were mysteriously released through an anonymous SoundCloud account. In a tweet, SZA revealed that a conversation with an astrology reader convinced her to release the songs.
“Nightbird” is a vibey mellow song that features SZA telling a hookup that she wishes that their relationship could turn into something more meaningful. SZA gives a smooth delivery as she sings the following lyrics, “But you know you’re fucking with a diamond / Lost the shine, then do it justice, baby, ew / Heard you tryna build with a new bitch / Can you front? I don’t need this now.” Thematically, the track calls back to her hit single “The Weekend” off of her debut album, Ctrl, in terms of desiring something more than just hooking up.
The string-heavy “Joni” features an emotive performance from SZA like never before. With beautiful and delicate vocals, she sings from the perspective of acclaimed and beloved singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. It opens with the poetic lines, “Summer’s over and the money gone / I miss my mama when the tide is low / Moon corrals us to the water and my daddy calls on his favorite daughter for a host of loving words.” The song was originally teased during a Rolling Stone interview in February 2020.
The most experimental of the three songs, “I Hate You” depicts the singer-songwriter’s frustration with unrequited love. SZA gives a soulful performance in the song’s chorus as she proclaims, “I’ve been numb, baby / I’ve been reminiscin’ / Lately, I’ve been missin’ you / Wish it was different than what it was.” The track opens up with an instrumental that resembles Tame Impala’s Currents due to the movement and texture of its production.
SZA has only released two official singles off of her upcoming project, which include “Hit Different” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and the Billboard top #10 hit “Good Days.” Back in July, she performed a new, unreleased track called “Shirt” during a livestream concert for GreyGoose. SZA has yet to announce any new official releases.
Photo credit: Sharon Alagna