For the past three years, Dua Lipa has been pulling off a stellar disappearing act. After the 2020 release of disco-infused sophomore album Future Nostalgia, Lipa took a break from music, posting selfie upon selfie from her seemingly endless vacation.
Now, at long last, Lipa’s third album is imminent, judging by a string of cryptic posts and a cheeky announcement on Spotify.
The speculation around Lipa’s return started earlier this month when the singer deleted all her Instagram posts, switched her profile picture, and changed the artwork for all her music on streaming platforms to look like kaleidoscopes.
“Fish and chips in my bag, swag.”
There are many things we love about Dua Lipa: her music, her fashion sense, and her stance on LGBTQ+ rights.
This week, Lipa posted (and quickly deleted) a photo of a small key between her teeth with the caption, “catch me or I go…”. Two days later, she shared a video with a snippet of her upcoming single, this time captioned, “I’m not here for long.” The extended teasing was frustrating some of Lipa’s fans — “Just drop the song already!” became a common refrain on social media, but luckily, the wait was almost over.
The biggest clue came on October 31, when Lipa shared another snippet of her new song, this time featuring the lyrics, “Tell me all the ways you’ll need me.” At the end of the clip, a series of seemingly random numbers appeared: 4 8 9 9 14 15 21.
Devoted fans realized that each number corresponded to a letter of the alphabet, and those letters could be rearranged to spell the name of her new single: “Houdini.”
Those captions referencing escaping suddenly made perfect sense. They’re an allusion to history’s greatest escapologist and magician, Harry Houdini, who also died on October 31 in 1926, exactly 97 years before Lipa’s new song would be announced.
Shortly after the code was cracked, the news became official with a message that popped up on Spotify for Lipa’s fans. Lipa’s new single “Houdini” releases next Thursday, November 9.
As far as what to expect from the song and the upcoming era it’s kicking off, Lipa has said she’s headed in a new direction, bringing something distinct from the sound of Future Nostalgia.
“The album is different — it’s still pop but it’s different sonically, and there’s more of a lyrical theme,” she said in an interview with Variety last year. “If I told you the title, everything would make sense — but I think we’ll just have to wait.”
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