Radical Optimism: Plunge Into The Waters Of Dua Lipa’s Balmy Third Studio Album

“I want to capture the essence of youth and freedom,” said the songstress. Here, everything to know about DL3
Dua Lipa has announced her upcoming studio album, Radical Optimism. Ahead, we break down the inspiration behind the record, the sonic influences and (most importantly) the release date. Credit: Instagram / @dualipa

Radical Optimism: A philosophy that argues for looking at the good in every part of life, based on reason and evidence.

After months of cryptically teasing ‘DL3’—that is, Dua Lipa’s upcoming third album—the British-Albanian songstress has finally unveiled the album title, cover art, tracklist and release date for the new record.

As all 88.6 million of her Instagram fans woke up to this morning, Lipa has officially entered full-promotion mode, switching out her cherry-red-haired display picture for a blissful image of her engulfed in water to encapsulate the tone of the impending release.

Titled Radical Optimism, the eleven-track long play will feature all new material, including the psychedelic disco-influenced “Houdini” and dancefloor-ready “Training Season”, and be released to eager audiences on May 2.

Speaking on the sonic landscape of the record, Lipa revealed she was drawn to the nostalgic sounds of 90s Britannia and underground musical movements like trip-hop. (The latter is a downtempo, dreamlike variation of hip-hop popularised by artists like Portishead and Massive Attack.)

However, it was the philosophy of the album’s title that truly inspired the direction of the hip-shaking, heart-pounding. Read on ahead for everything to know about Radical Optimism, from the album title meaning, the musical influences, subtle hints about the lyrics in the song’s titles and the day the album will be available to blast from every sound system.

Dua Lipa announced that her third studio album, Radical Optimism will capture the essence of youth and freedom
Dua Lipa for her new DL3 era. Credit: Instagram / @dualipa
What Is The Meaning Of Dua Lipa’s New Album Title, Radical Optimism?

Radical Optimism is a paradigm that encourages a view of the world that seeks to find the goodness in it. “A couple years ago, a friend introduced me to the term Radical Optimism. It’s a concept that resonated with me, and I became more curious as I started to play with it and weave it into my life,” Lipa explained in a statement accompanying the album announcement.

“It struck me – the idea of going through chaos gracefully and feeling like you can weather any storm,” she added. “At the same time, I found myself looking through the music history of psychedelia, trip-hop, and Britpop. It has always felt so confidently optimistic to me, and that honesty and attitude is a feeling I took into my recording sessions.”

Watch the teaser for the album, below:

What Will Radical Optimism Sound Like?

With hints of the album’s musical language already teased in the two released singles, it’s clear that Lipa is evoking a more intimate, club-ready sound than in previous records. As per a statement, the album will draw from the energy of London and elicit the “rawness, honesty, confidence and freedom of ‘90s Britpop.”

“Inspired by Dua’s own self-discovery, Radical Optimism is an album that taps into the pure joy and happiness of having clarity in situations that once seemed impossible to face,” a statement released by her label read.

“The hard goodbyes and vulnerable beginnings that previously threatened to crush your soul, become milestones as you choose optimism and start to move with grace through the chaos.”

Lipa previously admitted that she hoped the album would “capture the essence of youth and freedom and having fun”, as opposed to the rearview mirror approach she took on 2020’s Future Nostalgia.

For the record, she tapped Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Caroline Polachek and Charli XCX collaborator Danny L. Harle, Harry Styles and Adele co-writer Tobias Jesso Jr., and long-term collaborator Caroline Ailin. Lipa also cited the body of work of artists like Oasis, Blur, Moby and Gorillaz as influences.

What Is The Cover Art For Radical Optimism?

Departing from the overly produced, albeit iconic, album art seen on Future Nostalgia, Lipa has taken a more candid and surreal approach to Radical Optimism. Shot by Tyrone Lebon, the image sees Lipa floating in the ocean while a shark swims nearby.

Poised and uninterrupted, the serene sunset and contrasting balmy water conjure a sense of tranquillity that comes with self-assuredness and confidence in facing life’s challenges. The message is clear: in surrendering yourself to the beauty of the universe will you find calm amongst the commotion.

Dua Lipa announced that her third studio album, Radical Optimism will capture the essence of youth and freedom
Radical Optimism by Dua Lipa. Credit: Instagram/@dualipa
When Will Radical Optimism Be Released?

Radical Optimism will be released by Warner Music on May 2nd. Given Lipa spent the final months of 2023 embarking on a global press tour for the launch of “Houdini” with pop-up raves and club nights in Los Angeles and Tokyo, it’s presumed the roll-out for the new album will be particularly stellar.

What Songs Are On Radical Optimism?

Radical Optimism will consist of 11 new songs. See the tracklist below:

  1. “End Of An Era”
  2. “Houdini”
  3. “Training Season”
  4. “These Walls”
  5. “Whatcha Doing”
  6. “French Exit”
  7. “Illusion”
  8. “Falling Forever”
  9. “Anything For Love”
  10. “Maria”
  11. “Happy For You”
Dua Lipa announced that her third studio album, Radical Optimism will capture the essence of youth and freedom
Credit: Instagram/@dualipa

Pre-order Radical Optimism by Dua Lipa, here.

This article originally appeared on Grazia International.