Get the tissues, Adele brings the feels in first new music in six years

The last couple of years have been tumultuous and life-changing, with the ups and downs of everyday life continuing against the background of the pandemic. The rich and famous aren’t immune to this, either, as Adele proves on her moving comeback single, Easy on Me.

The emotional piano ballad is the English singer’s first release in six years, and an enticing taste of her upcoming fourth studio album, 30. Both album and single are heavily inspired by Adele’s 2019 divorce from Simon Konecki, as well as addressing themes of motherhood (to her nine-year-old son) and the impacts of fame.

Working again with co-writer and producer Greg Kurstin, Easy on Me is classic Adele, showcasing the singer’s formidable vocal range and emotional clarity. There’s no anger here – it’s a plea for kindness and empathy in a time of great difficulty. “There ain’t no room for our things to change/When we are both so deeply stuck in our ways,” she sings. “You can’t deny how hard I’ve tried/I changed who I was to put you both first.” The chorus, especially, delivers a powerful hit: “Go easy on me/I was still a child/didn’t get the chance to feel the world around me/had no time to choose/what I chose to do/so go easy on me.” It’s emotionally devastating stuff, pulled off in a way only Adele can. In typical Adele fashion, there’s a glimmer of hope there, too – a chance to rebuild and start anew.

The singer once again teams up with Xavier Dolan, who directed the video for her 2015 single Hello, for the accompanying clip for Easy on Me. It’s even shot in the same house. First in black and white before exploding into colour, the video shows Adele packing up and leaving from a cabin in the woods, driving away from the house, and her old life. She passes old memories, letters and sheet music.

The fans are hungry for Adele after her hiatus – within an hour of the video for Easy on Me being uploaded to YouTube, it had racked up more than half a million views. With a star-studded list of collaborators, including Max Martin and Tobias Jesso Jr, 30, to be released in November, is one of the most-hyped albums of the year, and follows in Adele’s tradition of naming records after significant age milestones. It was teased in early October with projections and billboards emblazoned with the number 30 on major monuments around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Louvre and Buckingham Palace.


According to the singer herself, 30 is a record about learning more about yourself – something that often comes with the wisdom of years. “I learned a lot of blistering home truths about myself along the way,” she said in a statement shared on social media. “I’ve shed many layers but also wrapped myself in new ones. Discovered genuinely useful and wholesome mentalities to lead with, and I feel like I’ve finally found my feeling again. I’d go as far as to say that I’ve never felt more peaceful in my life. And so, I’m ready to release this album.”

Adele announced on social media that her new album would be released on November 30.

Adele announced on social media that her new album would be released on November 30.

If Easy on Me (and indeed her whole discography to date) is anything to go by, it’ll be an emotional ride.

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