Has Selena Gomez already dropped the song of the summer?
The singer released her new track "Bad Liar" on Thursday along with an exclusive music video for Spotify, igniting social media with reaction to the slow-burn jam.
Many fans immediately engaged in debate over who the song is about – Selena's ex, Justin Bieber, or her new boyfriend, The Weeknd – but co-writer Justin Tranter appeared to clear the air on Twitter.
"It's actually about trying to hide magic feelings for someone new, but not being able to," he wrote, correcting one interpretation that the lyrics recall an old relationship.
With lines like, "I was walking down the street the other day/Trying to distract myself/Then I see your face/ Ooh, you got someone else/Tryna play it coy/Tryna make it disappear/But just like the battle of Troy/There's nothing subtle here," Selena does appear to be singing about a fresh affection for someone.
The music itself, however, features a surprise throwback.
Sampling Talking Heads' 1977 classic "Psycho Killer" may strike some as an unexpected choice for one of today's hottest pop stars. But, according to Justin, Selena and their writing partner Julia Michaels have been longtime fans of the iconic New Wave group.
"Selena and Julia are Talking Heads-obsessed,” Tranter told Variety earlier this month. "So when we all got together in one room, Julia suggested, 'Why don't we just write over the bassline from 'Psycho Killer'? and we were all going, 'That sounds great!'"
Selena teased the song's release for days with a series of Instagram photos featuring lyrics scrawled on a mirror with lipstick, and a makeup-free shot of herself in bed wearing a hospital bracelet.
The 24-year-old previewed snippets of the video as well, shown from an old-school TV/VCR set.
"Bad Liar" is the first new music from Sel since "It Ain't Me," her February collaboration with Kygo.
-- Erin Biglow