Today (June 9), Janelle Monae swims back into the limelight with Age of Pleasure, her first album in five years.
The predecessor to her 2018 acclaimed effort Dirty Computers is 14 tracks deep and includes features from Grace Jones, CKay, Amaarae, Doechii, and more. Her single, “Lipstick Lover,” remains a sticky summer jam that sparked conversation since its release last month.
“That song, ‘Lipstick Lover,’ I’m like, ‘Why didn’t I write this song years ago?’ Because if you know me … Today, I don’t have on any red lipstick, but I’m always in red lipstick. And there have been so many instances where I’ve made out with somebody at a party, and it’s dark,” she said in her interview with Zane Lowe following the song’s release. “Nobody notices it. But when the lights come on, whoever I’ve made out with, lipstick all over their face. And then I’ve also been on the receiving end of a human … who’s so attractive. … Or I’ll get home, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God. I have lipstick all over my face.’ And I’ve also been the ‘Lipstick Lover’ where … you know exactly who I kissed.”
Monae also explained to Lowe how the songs from her new album came from honesty.
“All the songs were written from such an honest space,” she began. “And what I’m super excited about with The Age of Pleasure. The Age of Pleasure is that … Listen, I’ve had my age of depression. I’ve had my age of anxiety. I’ve had my age of struggle. And again, it’s not like life is pleasurable every single day, but I think I have actively just sought out … How do I create a space for myself? How do I redirect my mind on how I’m thinking about things? How do I realize that right now, in this present moment, moments that we’ll never get back, this is where you need to find your pleasure? This is your moment. Don’t let it get confused that five minutes later, we’re going to try to go into doing something different. And again, this is just my experience where I’m at; even though, despite what I may be going through, there’s going to be a moment where this bad moment, I won’t even be around to even discuss it. I won’t.”
Stream Age of Pleasure below.