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Ariana Grande sure is keeping her fans fed this week! After surprise-releasing “Thank, U Next” over the weekend, and smashing a few streaming records in the process, she visited Ellen for the single’s debut live performance. What’s more, the new song is on track to debut at the top of the Hot 100, which, unbelievably, would mark her first No. 1 on the Billboard chart. Not a bad way to head into her fifth album era.
But on Wednesday (November 7), Grande kept the Sweetener spirit alive with the release of the atmospheric “Breathin” video (and no, Piggy Smallz is nowhere in sight for this one). The vid is inspired by Ari’s struggles with anxiety, and finds her wandering a bustling train station where strangers dart by in fast-motion. Director Hannah Lux Davis weaves in shots of Grande singing on a pile of suitcases (a metaphor for emotional baggage?) and strolling through a foggy space in an oversized jacket. Eventually, she escapes to a different reality in the sky, where she calmly swings through the clouds.
Among those eye-catching shots is one of a departures board, which shows mostly jumbled-up words that appear to include several song titles. One is “Needy,” which we’ve already heard a snippet of, and others include “NASA,” “Imagine,” and “Remember.” Tellingly, all four of those titles appeared on a supposedly leaked, unverified tracklist that surfaced on Twitter last month. Perhaps the rest of the words just need to be unscrambled?!
For what it’s worth, this wouldn’t be the first time Grande’s snuck some album clues into a music video — she hid a portion of the Sweetener tracklist in the video for “No Tears Left to Cry.”
The 25-year-old has said she’s dropping her fifth album sometime in the near future — she teased a nine-song tracklist on Instagram in October, has shared several clips of her in the studio, and even revealed that “Thank U, Next” is the project’s title track. Now all we’re waiting for is an official release date, which, just FYI, probably does not have anything to do with the Adam Sandler movie Waterboy.