It was a busy weekend for new music from two artists that haven’t been on the charts in a few years and we couldn’t be more excited!
Gwen Stefani debuted a new song on Saturday during her surprise concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. On Used To Love You, Stefani sings “I don’t know why I cry / But I think it’s cause I remember for the first time / Since I hated you / That I used to love you”, with listeners assuming the lyrics point to Stefani’s recent separation from husband Gavin Rossdale.
According to Stefani’s Twitter, Used To Love You will act as her new single and hopefully point towards a new solo album.
Of course, we’ve had new solo material from Stefani in the past year with Spark The Fire and Baby Don’t Lie, but neither song resonated with fans or on the charts.
Stefani’s new single quickly draws a comparison to her work with No Doubt on Return of Saturn, an album that was written in the wake of a separation between Gwen and then-boyfriend Gavin. The 2000 album included the emotionally poignant songs Bathwater, Simple Kind of Life and Ex-Girlfriend.
The first time the world met No Doubt was through a devastating heartbreak, with Stefani famously writing the band’s breakout hit Don’t Speak about the end of her relationship with band member Tony Kanal.
While all of these examples are of Stefani writing from a place of pain, it’s not like she hasn’t written hit songs about subject matter other than heartbreak. There were Stefani’s two successful solo albums that included the hits What You Waiting For, Hollaback Girl and The Sweet Escape. No Doubt’s Hey Baby and Underneath It All were non-break-up themed hits for the band, and acted as the last two big singles leading up to the group’s hiatus, followed by the sadly forgettable Push and Shove album.
Though Stefani has written insightful and exciting songs from a happy mindset, there does seem to be a strength in her songwriting that comes out only when a failed relationship acts as the subject matter.
Of course, Gwen is not the only artist to create strong material from a place of sorrow. It’s a trend that has followed great artists and musicians through time and one that made British singer Adele one of the most famous voices in the past five years.
It’s been four years since Adele dropped her sophomore album 21 and released all the feels into the world. Rolling In The Deep, Set Fire To The Rain and Someone Like You are three of the most soul-crushing breakup tracks to hit the radio in the past four decades and turned the notoriously private singer into a household name.
Since releasing the Grammy winning 21, Adele has mainly stayed out of the public eye, welcoming her first child in 2012 and getting back in the studio for a quick slay session in 2013 to create Skyfall and pick up an Oscar in her free time.
It seemed that 2015 was going to be the year fans could expect a new album from Adele, with producer Ryan Tedder confirming that he and Adele had been in the studio together. With time running out, it was beginning to look like a new album wouldn’t drop before 2016, but that all changed this weekend.
During last night’s episode of X Factor UK, a video premiered during a commercial break, with Adele’s voice singing in what we hope will be her first single in years.
We don’t have a title, we don’t have an album name, and we don’t have a chorus, but we do have some much-needed Adele magic.
ADELE JUST PREVIEWED A NEW SONG pic.twitter.com/bZCtoLK3OS
— Music News & Facts (@musicnews_facts) October 18, 2015
The clip only includes a few lines, but we feel like it’s pretty safe to say that the new track will be an Adele heartbreaker.
With Adele and Gwen Stefani, two artists known for their songs of lost love, releasing new ugly-cry material the same weekend, we have to ask, is it wrong to be excited when two musicians release material from a place of heartbreak?
Maybe. Or maybe the cathartic release from the two artists over the past 20 years (in Stefani’s case) is just what we need right now.