What happened with Swedish House Mafia new song ‘Lioness’?

Swedish House Mafia Brooklyn Mirage
Swedish House Mafia Brooklyn Mirage
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UPDATE: Swedish House Mafia Lioness will be released tomorrow, the 7th of June 2024.

What should have been a triumphant return with new music for the Swedish House Mafia has turned into an unexpectedly bumpy road for the reunited electronic dance music legends.

The buildup to their hotly anticipated new single “Lioness” has been plagued by delays, mixed messaging, and even some fan backlash – an uncharacteristic misstep from the usually hyper-meticulous DJ/producer trio of Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello.

It all started promisingly enough when Swedish House Mafia began teasing “Lioness” in the fall of 2023 during their wildly popular Ibiza set at Ushuaïa. They continued dropping teasers into early 2024, building hype for their first new original music since the 2023 single “Ray of Solar.”

Then in mid-April, they shared a pre-save link for “Lioness” on streaming platforms, signaling an imminent release date within the standard 2-week pre-save window. Excitement reached a fever pitch when they performed the new track during the season-opening show at Brooklyn Mirage on April 27th.

However, immediately after that live debut, Swedish House Mafia announced “Lioness” would not be released as expected. In a tweet, they explained: “After playing it live we weren’t satisfied with the production and needed to do last minute changes.

That kicked off a stretch of baffling decisions and miscommunications. They asked to remove a video clip uploaded by a fan where the song was played by Tomorrowland’s One World Radio saying it was the wrong version.

Fans grew increasingly restless amid the mixed signals, with some harshly criticizing the “amount of unprofessionalism” on display. “This whole Lioness thing has become a Monty Python sketch,” one disgruntled supporter tweeted. “Hype is dying fast tbh. We learned not to trust them even if they officially announce a date,” wrote another.

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Last month’s well-received Brooklyn warm-up show proved Swedish House Mafia can still captivate a crowd live. But without clear communication, residual nostalgia could fade.

But if there’s any act that can navigate these dicey waters, it’s the meticulous hitmakers who helped elevate EDM from the underground to the mainstream over the past two decades. Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello have always been students of the game, knowing how to strategically build and sustain hype around their music.

Perhaps all the fits and starts are simply the final steps in an elaborately mapped-out rollout for “Lioness.”

But if “Lioness” fails to live up to immense expectations set by years of anticipation and hype, this messy prelude will be seen as another misstep. The stakes remain sky-high for the trio to stick their landing.