On Friday night, Gaga teased the record’s first single, “Applause,” by tweeting a naked photo of herself with the all-CAPs message “1ST SINGLE FROM ARTPOP COMES AUG. 19 #24DAYS.”
The photo shows Gaga wearing nothing else but a pair of black boots and a pair of glasses, while sitting on a chair made of what appears to be computer parts.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) July 27, 2013
Gaga followed that up with a video of her getting her septum pierced. The one-minute clip, posted by her makeup artist Tara Savelo, starts and finishes with the word “ARTPOP” flashing across as a pounding of house music plays underneath. In between fans get a close-up view of the singer being pierced. According to MTV, Gaga’s new punk look comes courtesy of Chicago’s MasterMind Ink Custom Tattoo Studio.
If that wasn’t enough, Gaga released the single art for “Applause” this morning (July 29).
Artwork for new single ‘Applause’ in HQ. pic.twitter.com/er0GPxOI17
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) July 29, 2013
The cover image was photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, who previously shot Gaga’s 2008 cover of V Magazine, and is a nod to Pierrot’s pantomime style face. In the shot, her makeup is smeared artfully and her hair is covered under a head wrap.
When asked by Women’s Wear Daily to explain the photo, Gaga simply said, “I need to get your reading first. Otherwise it’s not art.” Cryptic, as always.
Continuing on in the WWD interview, Gaga discusses her hip injury, which she says was much worse than anyone knew. “I had broken my hip,” she said. “Nobody knew, and I haven’t even told the fans yet…The surgeon told me that if I had done another show I might have needed a full hip replacement. I would have been out at least a year, maybe longer.”
The downtime ended up being a good thing, though; it gave her six months to figure out the direction for her follow-up to 2011’s Born This Way.
“I was given the time to really be creative because it’s a gazing process, it really is,” she said. “I have to gaze into the work for long periods of time for it to be good.”
Gaga says “Applause,” which she co-wrote with frequent collaborator DJ White Shadow, will be “very fun” and “full of happiness.”
“What I’m saying in the song essentially is that I live for the applause,” she explained to WWD. “I live for the way you cheer and scream for me. Give me that thing that I love. Put your hands up, make them touch.”
As for the single’s album art, she’s hoping it shows a different side of herself, a more vulnerable one.
“It’s the end of the night after the show,” she said. “When I look at it I see that there is a longing for the applause. I see that there is a void that is leaking onstage, that the performer is leaking, that the art is sort of becoming something else in front of your eyes. Something more human, something more honest.”
Gaga will premiere “Applause” on the MTV VMAs, airing August 25 at 9 p.m. ET.