In a move that's sure to delight copy editors everywhere, [artist id="1803648"]M.I.A.[/artist] has announced that her new album will be called — and we're being serious here -- /\/\/\Y/\.
She revealed the title on the official site of her label, N.E.E.T. Recordings, and posted that the album will hit stores on July 13. She also provided a link to the album's official first single, a rattling slab of freak-tronica called "XXXO," which was produced by Rusko and Blaqstarr and manages to work in shout-outs to Twitter, iPhones and Quentin Tarantino, among other things.
But back to that album title. The series of slashes actually spells out M.I.A.'s real first name, Maya, which would be in keeping with the titling tradition she's established on her first two records, 2005's Arular (named after her father), and the follow-up, '07's Kala, which is named for her mother.
There's been no official word from either M.I.A. or her label, Interscope, about how to pronounce the title of her new album, and reps had not responded to MTV News' request for comment by press time.
Of course, choosing a title like /\/\/\Y/\ is just the latest in a series of decidedly less-than-traditional promotion techniques M.I.A. has employed for her third album. Late last month, she premiered a nine-minute video for the song "Born Free" on her official site. Thanks to its scenes of graphic violence, drug use and nudity, the clip was "age-gated" on sites like YouTube. On the same day the video was released, she took over Pitchfork's Twitter account for a grammatically adventurous afternoon that included her suggesting that Google is involved in a vast conspiracy with the U.S. government and asking fans to determine the track list for the album.
Oh, and in this week's issue of NME, she also takes a potshot at Justin Bieber, telling the music mag that the pintsize prince of pop's videos are "more offensive" than anything she's ever done. That's following a series of disparaging comments she made earlier about Lady Gaga. What can we say? She's been busy.
How would you pronounce M.I.A.'s new album title? Share your theories in the comments.