Adele's upcoming album is all about 'self reflection' and 'self-redemption' in the wake of her divorce
British singer Adele is back in the limelight to promote her upcoming album. Her announcement of the imminent arrival of her new album comes with revelations about what influenced her work — a painful divorce, mothering a son anguished by his parents' separation, and recuperating from the pain of these difficult experiences.
The Grammy and Oscar-winning singer is the cover star for both Vogue and British Vogue for November and opened up to the publications about her life since the release of last album 25 in 2015, much of has been marked by her divorce to charity executive Simon Konecki after a two-year marriage.
For Adele, much of the panic her friends went through during the Covid-19 pandemic was something she'd already experienced the year before during her divorce. “Everyone had to face a lot of their demons, because they had so much time on their hands with nothing to distract them,” she says. “They had to face themselves in isolation. Whereas I did that the year before," she told Vogue.
Talking more about why she decided to divorce, the singer revealed she was just "going through the motions" and "wasn’t happy". “Neither of us did anything wrong. Neither of us hurt each other or anything like that. It was just: I want my son to see me really love, and be loved. It’s really important to me,” she said. “I’ve been on my journey to find my true happiness ever since.”
The divorce took an emotional toll on the singer and she struggled to heal through a variety of coping mechanisms, one of which became hitting the gym. “It was a lot of sound baths. It was a lot of meditation. It was a lot of therapy. And a lot of time spent on my own," she said. The gym was especially Adele's happy place. “ I realised that when I was working out, I didn’t have any anxiety. It was never about losing weight. I thought, If I can make my body physically strong, and I can feel that and see that, then maybe one day I can make my emotions and my mind physically strong,” she said.
Adele's resulting weight loss became fodder for news outlets and tabloids the world over, but the singer says this wasn't the first time her body had been scrutinised by others. “My body’s been objectified my entire career. It’s not just now. I understand why it’s a shock. I understand why some women especially were hurt. Visually I represented a lot of women. But I’m still the same person,” she said. For her, the worst part was seeing women have "brutal conversations" about her body. "I was very disappointed with that," she said. "That hurt my feelings.”
For Adele, her upcoming album is a way to talk to her son about the divorce, the pain it caused and why she went through it in the first place. “My son has had a lot of questions. Really good questions, really innocent questions, that I just don’t have an answer for, [like] 'why can’t you still live together?'" she told British Vogue. “I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his 20s or 30s, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness. It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal.”
Adele highlighted how her new album is different from her previous ones. “I realised that I was the problem,” Adele says. “Cause all the other albums are like, You did this! You did that! Why can’t you arrive for me? Then [with this album] I was like, Oh, I’m the running theme [here], actually. Maybe it’s me!
“I feel like this album is self-destruction,” she said, “then self-reflection and then sort of self-redemption. But I feel ready. I really want people to hear my side of the story this time.”