Rina Sawayama Previews Sophomore Album ‘Hold The Girl’ With Lead Single ‘This Hell’

After rising to prominence as an indie pop star, Rina Sawayama released her acclaimed debut album Sawayama in April 2020, fronted by singles like “Comme des Garçons” and “XS.” Now, with the live music industry emerging from the pandemic, Sawayama is gearing up for the release of her sophomore album Hold the Girl, due out September 2nd.

Sawayama kicked off the rollout for Hold the Girl with the lead single “This Hell.” The track, co-produced by Adele and Rihanna collaborator Paul Epworth and Sawayama producer Clarence Clarity, mashes together elements of glam rock, country, and pop as Sawayama shouts out gay pop icons like Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, and Princess Diana.

“I had so much fun writing ‘This Hell,’” Sawayama said of the song’s creation. “The past couple of years I’ve been listening to lots of female country singers and wanted to write a euphoric and tongue-in-cheek country-pop song. Country music at its core to me represents comfort, brilliant storytelling and authentic expression of the writer’s reality. I’ve been dreaming of working with Paul Epworth my entire career so I knew it was meant to be when we finished this song in a day.”

While the song’s subject matter appears lighthearted on its surface, Sawayama ensured that there was a deeper reason behind her writing. “I put in as many iconic pop culture moments as I can, but the song is more than that,” she said. “It’s an important song for me given the human rights that are being taken away from minorities at a rapid rate in the name of traditional religious beliefs; more specifically I was thinking about the rights being taken away from the LGBTQ community when I wrote this song.”

“I wanted to write a western pop song that celebrated community and love in a time where the world seemed hellish,” the singer wrote to fans on Instagram. “’This Hell’ is better with you.”

Coming off a sold-out UK and US tour and two showstopping sets at Coachella, Sawayama will be performing at music festivals throughout the summer before embarking on a UK and Ireland tour in October.

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