While we’re still in for a short wait before the release, the Grammy-winning star has confirmed that new single Easy On Me is just a week away, with the album itself – tipped to be named 30 – set to follow later in the year.
And while she’s known for keeping her cards close to her chest, the Someone Like You singer was refreshingly candid in the interviews, not least when it came to her new music.
Here’s everything she revealed to Vogue about what to expect...
First of all, Adele is adamant that 30 is not her “divorce album”
But it will take us through the emotional journey she’s been on in the last few years, which includes her split from ex-husband Simon Konecki.
“I feel like this album is self-destruction,” she explained. “Then self-reflection and then sort of self-redemption. But I feel ready. I really want people to hear my side of the story this time.”
She’s been keen to avoid going over old ground
“There isn’t a bombastic [song like] Hello [on the new album],” she revealed to US Vogue. “But I don’t want another song like that. That song catapulted me in fame to another level that I don’t want to happen again.
“I’m not saying I’ve got Hellos in my pocket. I was just conscious that I didn’t want my story on this album to sound like that.”
Indeed, it seems this time around Adele will be looking inward more than ever before
“I have to really address myself now,” she told British Vogue. “Instead of being like, ‘You effing c***’.”
Elaborating further in her US interview, Adele said: “I realised that I was the problem… all the other albums are like, ‘You did this! You did that! Fuck you! Why can’t you arrive for me?’. Then I was like, ‘Oh, shit, I’m the running theme, actually. Maybe it’s me!’.”
“[Writing the album] was more me divorcing myself,” she added. “Just being like, ‘Bitch, fuckin’ hot mess, get your fuckin’ shit together!’.”
Let’s hear about this lead single, then
Well, the American interview includes lyrics from the chorus of Easy On Me, which include: “Go easy on me baby, I was still a child, didn’t get the chance to feel the world around me.”
British Vogue describes it as recalling “her fraught childhood, her lost marriage and the lessons learnt and unlearnt about family, love and abandonment along the way”, adding that it’s potentially the best vocal she’s ever delivered.
“It was the first song I wrote for the album and then I didn’t write anything else for six months after because I was like, ‘OK, well, I’ve said it all’,” Adele said of her upcoming single.
Let’s hear some more about the new songs, then?
Well, one sounds like a complete change in direction for Adele, which will be music to the ears of those disappointed by how similar to her past work the snippet of Easy On Me sounded.
Described by British Vogue as the “most non-Adele sound yet”, the magazine says we can expect vocal loops and samples, with “shades of Goldrapp” thrown in.
Apparently, this one takes place soon after Adele’s break-up, and sees her “going out and getting drunk at a bar”.
“That is destruction,” she said of this particular track.
But there are still shades of the old Adele in there, too
One track in particular details “the failings of men”, with Adele enthusing: “The chorus is like… with receipts! Can you imagine couples listening to it in the car? It’d be so awkward. I think a lot of women are going to be like, ‘I’m done.’
“That one is obviously about stuff that happened, but I wanted to put it on the album to show Angelo what I expect him to treat his partner like, whether it be a woman or a man or whatever. After going through a divorce, my requirements are sky-high. There’s a very big pair of shoes to fill.”
In fact, her son was a big influence on 30. Apparently, she wanted to use the release as explaining the split to him later down the line.
Adele told the American outlet: “He has so many simple questions for me that I can’t answer, because I don’t know the answer. Like, ’Why can’t we still live together?’. That’s just not what people do when they get divorced. ’But why not?’ I’m like, ’I don’t fucking know. That’s not what society does’.
“And: ’Why don’t you love my dad anymore?’ And I’d be like, ’I do love your dad. I’m just not in love’. I can’t make that make sense to a nine-year-old.”
“I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness,” Adele added to British Vogue.
“It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal.”
One song in particular came about after an emotional conversation with her son
This one in particular includes clips of candid conversations she and the eight-year-old had, which she initially recorded on the recommendation of a therapist.
“I thought it might be a nice touch,” she told Vogue US. “Seeing as everyone’s been at my door for the last 10 years, as a fan, to be like, ‘Would you like to come in?’.”
It also includes a clip of a “raw, teary voicemail she left for a friend”.
Sound-wise, this track apparently harks back to Marvin Gaye, with Adele claiming his album What’s Going On was a “very big reference” for her own upcoming release.
Another of Adele’s new releases features a chorus of her friends singing one of their mantras for her
While Adele is heard singing “let time be patient, let pain be gracious”, her friends join in later down the line, repeating: “Just hold on, just hold on.”
“The thing that they’re all singing is what my friends used to say to me,” Adele told British Vogue. “That’s why I wanted them to sing it, rather than an actual choir.”
We’re in for a bit of camp, too
As well as one song that Adele has described as her “Edith Piaf-y moment”, we’re most excited to hear the seven-minute album closer, which British Vogue compared to Judy Garland, describing it as “jazzy, campy, swooning delight, packed with world-weary end-of-the-show reflection”.
Apparently, the song itself was inspired by the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s, which was playing on mute in the studio at the time.
“As it finished, we were trying to work out how to end the song, and I said, ’We should write it as if we were writing the soundtrack—you know, at the end of the movie, where it pans out,” Adele told US Vogue.
Who has she worked with on the new album?
Former collaborators like Greg Kurstin and Max Martin, as well as North London music producer Inflo, whose credits include Little Simz and Michael Kiwanuka.
She’s also worked with pop producer Shellback, Black Panther composer Ludwig Göransson and the Canadian singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr, among others.
Sorry, that much-rumoured Beyoncé duet still doesn’t exist
In fact, there are once again no collaborations at all on 30.
“It’s not that I don’t want to,” she insisted. “It’s not calculated. It’s just never been right for some reason.”