Ariana Grande released her critically acclaimed fourth studio album Sweetener in August and hasn’t taken a break since.
The surprise release of “thank u, next” last month marked one of the healthiest post-breakup bops to hit pop music in a while, with the highly anticipated 2000s girl-power music video practically breaking the internet in the days after its release, with over 170 million views as of this writing.
Now, with another surprise release, Grande’s done it again. Thursday night at midnight, Grande released “Imagine,” a track which finds her contemplating what could have been.
“But for those of you asking about imagine: I would say if ‘thank u, next’ = acceptance … ‘imagine’ = denial,” said Grande in a statement. “Hope that makes sense.”
The track is a significantly slower grind, allowing the pop star’s vocals to shine as she reaches near-impossible (for the average human, at least) heights. A successful follow-up to last month’s record-breaking release (her first No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 debut), the track is the second single from Grande’s forthcoming LP, reportedly titled Thank U, Next and expected in 2019.
Like “thank u, next,” with its release on the same night Grande’s ex-fiancé Pete Davidson made his SNL return, the debut of “Imagine” wasn’t without drama. Announced on a social network (Twitter) enveloped for the night by hip-hop alpha-male conflict (see: Drake versus Kanye West), Grande wasn’t about to be outshone.
Luckily for Grande, few things can outshine the starlet’s current social currency. Check out the song’s lyric video below, and find the “thank u, next” music video and “Imagine” single art further down.