Janelle Monae isn’t looking for any ordinary lover, as proven by her latest video, “Lipstick Lover,” off her newly announced upcoming album, The Age of Pleasure. The R&B polymath delivers a savory visual highlighting her adoration for women. Whether she’s enjoying kisses on the neck poolside or appreciating the bodacious curves of her muse, Monae is relishing each person’s beauty.
The new studio album — out June 9 via Wondaland Arts Society / Atlantic Records — will be her first studio album since 2018’s Grammy-nominated release of Dirty Computer.
In an interview with Apple Music One’s Zane Lowe, Monae broke down the meaning behind her latest song, explaining once being the giver and receiver of a “lipstick kiss”. “That song, ‘Lipstick Lover,’ I’m like, ‘Why didn’t I write this song years ago?’ Because if you know me … Today, I don’t have on any red lipstick, but I’m always in red lipstick. And there have been so many instances where I’ve made out with somebody at a party, and it’s dark,” she said. “Nobody notices it. But when the lights come on, whoever I’ve made out with, lipstick all over their face. And then I’ve also been on the receiving end of a human … who’s so attractive. … Or I’ll get home, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God. I have lipstick all over my face.’ And I’ve also been the ‘Lipstick Lover’ where … you know exactly who I kissed.”
Monae also explained to Lowe how the songs from her new album came from honesty.
“All the songs were written from such an honest space,” she began. “And what I’m super excited about with The Age of Pleasure. The Age of Pleasure is that … Listen, I’ve had my age of depression. I’ve had my age of anxiety. I’ve had my age of struggle. And again, it’s not like life is pleasurable every single day, but I think I have actively just sought out … How do I create a space for myself? How do I redirect my mind on how I’m thinking about things? How do I realize that right now, in this present moment, moments that we’ll never get back, this is where you need to find your pleasure? This is your moment. Don’t let it get confused that five minutes later, we’re going to try to go into doing something different. And again, this is just my experience where I’m at; even though, despite what I may be going through, there’s going to be a moment where this bad moment, I won’t even be around to even discuss it. I won’t.”
Check out the “age-restricted” video on YouTube.