Beyoncé teased the possibility of new music during a Verizon Super...

Beyoncé teased the possibility of new music during a Verizon Super Bowl ad, and then added a cryptic Instagram video that ended with the words "act ii" and a release date of March 29, 2024. Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

Beyoncé is back with two new country tracks — “Texas Hold 'Em” and “16 Carriages.”

After a Verizon commercial starring Beyoncé aired during the Super Bowl ended with the superstar saying “They ready, drop the new music,” the question became — was she serious? Later, a cryptic Instagram video with country iconography appeared on her account, teasing “act ii” on March 29. (Beyoncé’s 2022 album “Renaissance” is frequently referred to as “Act I: Renaissance.”)

At the end of the clip, a plucky acoustic guitar riff plays, and Bey’s unmistakable voice kicks in. She sings, “This ain’t Texas / Ain’t no hold ’em / So lay your cards down down down,” in a Southern twang.

It appears on her official website as well. Under the “music” tab, two titles were listed — “Texas Hold 'Em” and “16 Carriages,” which later appeared as full songs on Tidal, YouTube and Spotify. The first is an up-tempo country and western stomp.

The second, “16 Carriages” is a soulful slow-burn with ascendant organs and steel guitar, Beyoncé singing an ode to hard work and legacy. “I miss my kids / Overworked and overwhelmed,” she sings in the pre-chorus. “Still workin’ on my life, you know / Only God knows, only God knows.” A quick examination of the credits shows she may be working closely with Tony! Toni! Toné!'s Raphael Saadiq.

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