Despite a notably airtight production line, Beyoncé’s highly anticipated 7th studio album, Renaissance, has leaked to the public, less than 48 hours before its July 29th release date.
The source of the leak is currently unclear. However, social media users have pointed out that physical copies of the album have been spotted on sale two days early at some locations in Europe.
While neither Beyoncé nor her camp has confirmed that the leak circulating online is indeed the finalized version of the album, Variety reports that its staff was able to quickly and easily find high-quality .flac files circulating on Twitter that sounded as though they are indeed full songs from the completed project.
Beyoncé is notorious for having a high level of security around all of her artistic endeavors, most famously punctuated by the 2013 surprise release of her self-titled album and its accompanying visual component. She followed suit with the 2016 release of her Lemonade visual album, which premiered on HBO with no information other than the name provided to fans beforehand. Though she has released other projects in the interim, this is Beyoncé’s first solo studio album since Lemonade’s release.
With her latest release, Beyoncé is thought to be ushering in a renaissance for dance and house music, continuing a trend that was tipped off earlier in the summer with the surprise release of Drake’s 7th studio album, Honestly, Nevermind, which shocked fans with the lack of rapping from the Canadian superstar.
Aside from her lead single, a classic dance track entitled “Break My Soul” featuring Robin S. and Big Freedia, the songstress has been, unsurprisingly, tight-lipped about her upcoming release. She did however share an album tracklist (that has fans buzzing, of course) her vision for the new sound she is exploring with fans and the feeling she wishes to evoke with her new project.
“Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” Beyoncé wrote on her Instagram account when unveiling her surreal album art on June 30. “It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.”
“It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”
Renaissance will have its official release on July 29 at 12 am on music streaming services everywhere.