Beyoncé has a new album on the way. Here's what we know so far

Does "act i" imply we're getting a double album??

Beyonce Knowles
Walt Disney Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

Last week, Beyoncé cryptically deleted the profile photos from her social media accounts. Fans speculated wildly as to what the move might mean, but the prevailing theory was that we were on the verge of a new album from the queen herself. On Thursday, those rumors were confirmed when Bey changed her bio on Twitter to read: “act i … RENAISSANCE ... July 29.”

It’s unclear if “act i” implies we’re about to be blessed with a double album. Fan account Beyoncé Legion suggests Renaissance is a 16-song record, but what the hell do they know. We’re holding out hope. And if you’re looking to get ahead of the game, Beyoncé’s website already has a box set for sale that includes a t-shirt and 28-page photo booklet.

Further clues as to what we might expect from Renaissance were scattered throughout a British Vogue photo spread published on Thursday. The shoot, from Rafael Pavarotti, was inspired by 80s grunge and the 90s drag ball scene. There are no quotes from Beyoncé herself in the piece, but what emerges from the text is a snapshot of Queen B in her element, still in gestation mode, creating, but poised to release upon the world the next iteration of her artistic development.

The only insight we have to the actual music on Renaissance comes from British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, who got to hear a bit of the album while joining Beyoncé for what seemed like a surprisingly chill family dinner. In her home studio, he heard “music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul.”

While Bey has released a live album and worked on the The Lion King: The Gift and King Richard soundtracks in recent years, the latter of which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, we haven’t gotten a studio record from her since 2016’s critically acclaimed, fan adored Lemonade. The infamous backstory behind Lemonade, one of infidelity and surviving its betrayal, colored the experience of that era with gritty feminism and a rebellious version of the star we hadn’t seen in such high definition before. No album artwork has been released yet to suggest what kind of aesthetic will accompany Renaissance, but what is clear is that Beyoncé is back and ready for us to know it.