Just a little theory here. Not trying to read too deep into anything, just my thoughts. This all comes from her Coachella show and ARTPOP motifs, starting with the opening interlude.
The Tentacle: Not only was there the visual, but the music itself was very electronic and heavy. But with the visual, itself, a tentacle to an octopus is trying to make it way out of (or into) her throat and ARTPOP had the motif of mermaids, to which Gaga posted about “The Little Mermaid” from time to time. Ursula, the evil octopus sea witch, stole Ariel’s voice and silenced her, metaphorically in the same way her management and backstabbing team tried to do to her with the release of ARTPOP.
Now, she’s also fighting with the tentacle, which I think could mean the philosophy of ARTPOP won out, potentially expelling the tentacle from her body. Note that she’s also brunette in this visual, which she also referenced in ARTPOP through Mary Jane Holland and the later artRave performances of Swine where she would tear her wig off and let her real hair (she’s naturally a brunette) loose.
Sexxx Dreams visual: (I’m so grateful she performed this and ARTPOP got the recognition she deserved at Coachella). If you noticed the background video while she performed Sexxx Dreams, you’ll see that she’s still a brunette, and she appears to be in chains (“we’re both convicted criminals of thought”) throughout the song with the same black and white idea from Swinefest, so, potentially, part of the intended visual from the ARTPOP era?
The Cure: Big one here! The Cure (which is her brand new single and you should buy/stream it wherever you can, it’s great) was on the early “leaks” of the ARTPOP tracklist, which we all thought/probably were fanmade. The song itself has an EDM flare to it, with some R&B, synth pop undertones, i.e. the overall genre of ARTPOP. Could it have been meant for ARTPOP/ACT 2? I think so. Lastly, she’s been working on new music without even having toured Joanne yet, so I feel like something is coming.
Joanne/AHS Hotel: Now, I know you’re all like “What the fuck is Joanne doing here?” But I just have a feeling that Gaga NEEDED to do an album for herself, to get back to herself and heal, which I feel is the main theme of the album. After wrapping up the artRave, there was an interview where she spoke about looking back over her past and viewing her past eras and selves during that time as a cadaver. Then, at the 2016 Golden Globes, with the inspiration she got from Hotel where she said it brought her back to the art of darkness. Having both of those things in mind, I can see elements of that in Joanne, but I feel like she had something more darker in mind, not necessarily TFM dark, but we would see a different side of things after ARTPOP which was “darkness wrapped in colors” and I was surprised when we got something like Joanne.
Philosophy of ARTPOP: Lastly, after all that we got of ARTPOP was said and done, (especially the G.U.Y video which she paid out of pocket with for some of your ungrateful asses) I think its safe to say we were all waiting for something next, like it felt like ARTPOP as an era ended prematurely, especially with the Act 2 hints. Say what you want, we may have not gotten a certain song or single or video or extended version or what the fuck ever, but I don’t think with every fiber of my being that this bitch would just let an entire album’s worth of music (or 6, for that matter, considering she wrote at LEAST 90 songs for ARTPOP) just die down the drain. She’s too good to her creativity and to us for that, without even mentioning that she leaked the demo for Aura and some others and threatened to leak all of Joanne if her label made her sign exclusive release deals. Also, she stated in the 2014 SXSW keynote that there’s a whole other record of ARTPOP that we haven’t heard yet and she was just enjoying listening to it with her friends. So much from the ARTPOP era has leaked within the past 6 months, from the MJH and Venus demos and stems, to Red Flame, to other concept ideas. There’s something there.
Just my thoughts on the whole ARTPOP ACT 2 tea, and while I really hope she releases it, I just want her to do what makes her happy. And if you made it this far, thanks for reading through this fucking list.