Gwen Stefani digitally dropped the studio version of her new single “Used to Love You” at midnight Tuesday, and the singer has quickly followed that up with her new video for the track. Keeping with the song’s personal lyrics, the video spends its nearly four-minute runtime focused entirely on Stefani’s face, with the singer staring at the camera as she exhibits raw emotion, experiencing the track alongside the viewer.
Stefani first debuted the J.R. Rotem-produced track Saturday night at her New York concert. The song, Stefani’s first since announcing her divorce from Gavin Rossdale after 13 years of marriage, seems inspired by the split, as Stefani sings on the chorus, “I don’t know why I cry / But I think it’s cause I remember for the first time / Since I hated you / That I used to love you.”
“Used to Love You” was directed by Sophie Muller, a longtime collaborator of Stefani and No Doubt who helmed the videos for “Don’t Speak,” “Simple Kind of Life,” “Push and Shove,” the band’s Live at the Tragic Kingdom concert film and more.
In a new interview with EW, Stefani revealed that she scrapped everything she worked on for her third album – which included upbeat singles “Spark the Fire” and “Baby Don’t Lie” and production by Benny Blanco, Pharrell Williams, Charli XCX and Calvin Harris – and started anew post-divorce.
“It didn’t feel right,” Stefani said. “I didn’t feel fulfilled. That record with Benny was done that way because I had just given birth and had just started on The Voice and felt like I should do something in music, but what was I going to do? There wasn’t enough time. So I tried to make a record where I was just kind of involved — which is how a lot of people do it, but it didn’t work for me.”
Now, Stefani is back to songwriting on her own. “I needed to go through what I needed to go through to write the record that I needed to write. There was a lot of prayer and meditating in the sense of trying to be open and grateful with this record,” Stefani told EW. “These songs are really natural — they’re from not worrying about what happened or what’s going to happen but about living in the moment, from trying to be present and trying to feel.”