Way back in January, SZA revealed that we’d be hearing new music from her this year — and when her Trolls World Tour collab with Justin Timberlake dropped the following month, fans were hoping there was plenty more where that came from.
Today (September 4), despite some previous (deleted) tweets where SZA had characterized the relationship between her and TDE label president Punch as “hostile,” a gorgeous new SZA song has arrived. It features Ty Dolla $ign, was produced by The Neptunes, and is called “Hit Different.”
While “The Other Side” stayed firmly in the pop realm, “Hit Different” is patented SZA R&B, undulating and seemingly with its own gravitational pull. Over a bass-heavy beat courtesy of Pharrell and Chad Hugo, SZA unspools her worries about someone who’s become all but a devastating force in her life. “Can’t trust decision when you near me / Get myself caught in your crossfire,” she sings.
The remarkably visionary video, directed by SZA herself, finds the singer in a multitude of disparate locales: in the ruinous world of a junkyard, atop a stack of hay bales in a billowy tee, swimming in a pool, and also nude and seemingly covered in blood inside a barn and in a field. By the end, both the tune and the visuals move on to another element that just may tie in both worlds of ruined metal and organic nature.
Just after the song and video went live, SZA took to Instagram to share an additional sound clip. “Punch gon kill me but I’m in a sharing mood,” she wrote.
Lose yourself in SZA’s new world above.