Phew. This has been a long week. I mean, really, is there ever not a long week? Five days is a lot of time, man. But, hey! Now it’s Friday.
And just in time to decompress for the weekend, we were gifted a single by The Weeknd. Now, if you are someone who has been cryogenically frozen for the past few years, that may be a bit of a confusing sentence, both logically and gramatically. Let’s backtrack just a bit: Abel Tesfaye, one of Toronto’s finest hitmakers, is known as The Weeknd. He’s worked in the recent past with Drake, Kanye West, and even Ariana Grande. And now he’s back for his follow-up to last year’s major-label hit, Beauty Behind the Madness. The vibey crooner announced that a new album, Starboy, would drop on November 26, and also modified his signature haircut, opting for a more 80’s style flat top cut, more recently used by the likes of the NBA’s Iman Shumpert. Come to think of it, maybe there was some kind of back room deal. Did Shump and Abel agree to trade haircuts?
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) September 21, 2016
And, most importantly, there is the music. After the news a few weeks ago that The Weeknd was working with the mysterious robots of Daft Punk, he dropped his album’s titular single on Wednesday night, featuring the groovy assistance of a pair of french electronic music icons.
And, well, the song is already a hit. I’ve already placed it mentally on my own rotation of weekend (heh) power-tunes, and others feel equally excited: the song has already jumped to the top of some pretty telling Billboard charts.
Amidst the song’s release yesterday, some confusion and hysteria surrounded it, as the day kicked off with New York City’s The Meadows festival announcing that Tesfaye, who was previously announced as the headliner opposite Kanye West, would no longer be performing, instead replaced by J. Cole. Later in the evening, after being announced as the musical guest for the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, the singer announced via his Twitter that he had returned to the festival’s inaugural lineup.
“Starboy” is a lead single that sounds more like “Can’t Feel My Face,” his breakthrough, world-topping single of 2015, than the disco-esque stylings of the Daft Punk that we most recently heard. But, the production is so unmistakably clean, the pairing so undeniably natural, that it’s clear that there was a bit of magic in that studio. The Weeknd had a decent collaboration last year with another excellent electronic music duo in Disclosure, but it just feels like the union with Daft Punk is that much more seamless. Enjoy your weekend folks, and be happy, because it’s high time for some new Weeknd.
Listen to the new single below, via Spotify: