It seems like the Super Bowl just isn’t the Super Bowl without a little something from Beyoncé. While all eyes were on Usher during his super-energetic halftime show, Bey made sure to give fans another reason to clamor with a Verizon commercial designed to break the internet. But that wasn’t all as the singer used the ad to drop news of new music before uploading a few teases of her next project, RENAISSANCE: act ii, on her website and socials and releasing the set’s two lead singles “TEXAS HOLD ’EM” and “16 CARRIAGES.”
In the album’s trailer, Bey hinted that she would be going back to her Texas roots and giving us a country record (a genre she dabbled in briefly with Lemonade’s “Daddy Lessons”). Listening to the singles, it’s clear that’s the direction she’s going in.
“TEXAS HOLD ’EM” was made for line dancing, with twangy guitar and a thumping down beat keeping the rhythm as she calls everyone to scoot their boots on the dance floor. She sings, “And I’ll be damned if I can’t slow dance with you / Come pour some sugar on me, honey, too / It’s a real-life boogie and a real-life hoedown / Don’t be a b**h, come take it to the floor now, woo.”
“16 CARRIAGES” finds her going for the bombastic country anthem as she sings about her career and the trials and tribulations that come with life on the road. It starts soft with light guitar and the tap of boots on the ground as she starts the song with its chorus. “Sixteen carriages drivin’ away / While I watch them ride with my fears away,” she sings. “To the summer sunset on a holy night / On a long back road, all the tears I fight.” Her voice is soon joined by the thunderous crackle of electric guitar as she tells her story with the skill of someone who has studied the structure of a modern country hit.
Beyoncé already proved that she could step into a new genre and command it with her natural gravitas on RENAISSANCE, and we think her turn at country on RENAISSANCE: act ii will yield the same results. We’ll find out for sure when the set arrives on Friday, March 29th. Stream “TEXAS HOLD ’EM” and “16 CARRIAGES” and watch their respective visualizers below. Then stick around to watch act ii's trailer and the Verizon commercial that led to all this conversation and commotion.