After serving some serious glam-pop vibes on “Perfect Illusion,” Lady Gaga returns to the dancefloor with “A-YO,” a funky, rock-inspired jam that serves as the third official song to be released from the singer-songwriter’s forthcoming album, Joanne.
The track, which debuted Tuesday morning, was co-produced by Gaga, Mark Ronson, and BloodPop. The trio wrote the song with country hitmaker Hillary Lindsey (“Girl Crush,” “Jesus Take the Wheel”), who also penned Joanne promo single “Million Reasons” and “Grigio Girls,” which appears as a bonus track on the deluxe version of the collection.
Gaga dropped the “A-YO” single cover, which shows the 30-year-old topless and clutching her chest as a feather-accented hat covers her eyes, on Monday evening. She first performed the song in full during the debut set of her ongoing Dive Bar Tour in Nashville on Oct. 5, during which she also performed Joanne cuts “Million Reasons,” “Sinner’s Prayer,” and “Perfect Illusion.”
Bud Light sponsors the second stop of Gaga’s Dive Bar Tour, which continues this Thursday, Oct. 20 at an undisclosed location. A 15-second preview of “A-YO” appeared Sunday in a trailer for the tour’s second show.
The pop icon will take over Rockefeller Center’s Studio 8H as the musical guest on this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, with actor Tom Hanks serving as host. Gaga is also set to headline Super Bowl LI in February.
“It isn’t to say that none of what I did before was not me, because it’s all me. These were all my fantasy collages of the different parts of myself; how and where I felt safe at that time; an expression of the things I’m able to say now in a more clear and concise, simple way,” Gaga, during an interview with T Magazine, said of the sonic shift from 2013’s dance-oriented, electronic-influenced Artpop to the more organic instrumentation found on Joanne. “Before, I felt compelled to say them in the complicated way that I was feeling.”
Listen to the studio version of “A-YO” below. Joanne is out this Friday, Oct. 21, and is available to preorder now.