To The Hills With The Weeknd

To The Hills With The Weeknd

THE WEEKND SEALS A GUSHING LEAK WITH A NEW TRACK AND A GRANT SINGER-DIRECTED VIDEO

THE WEEKND SEALS A GUSHING LEAK WITH A NEW TRACK AND A GRANT SINGER-DIRECTED VIDEO

Text: Ian David Monroe

Yesterday saw three tracks by Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd, leak onto the Internet: “I Can’t Feel My Face,” “In The 90s,” and “In The Night.” Audiophiles have been desperate for new material since the artist’s Fifty Shades of Grey track “Earned It” climbed to #3 on the Billboard “Hot 100.”

How then does one cauterize a flood? By dropping a blazing new tune, and it’s video, for good measure. “The Hills,” released today, is the first official track off of The Weeknd’s forthcoming, as yet untitled, album. Fans and show-goers will immediately recognize the club-ready banger from Tesfaye’s live performances by it’s blaring cyber sirens (plucked from any Transformers movie), chilling shrieks, and unending bass. The dark R&B track sits perfectly in The Weeknd’s repertoire, and should quell any mainstream sellout concerns brought on by the Max Martin produced “I Can’t Feel My Face.”

The accompanying film, directed by Grant Singer, sees Tesfaye crawling out of a flipped car and suffering the ire of his female passengers as he trudges up a Hollywood Hills suburb. Singer is quickly becoming the go-to for pop music’s provocateurs. Past collaborators include Sky Ferreira, Kendrick Lamar, DIIV, Young Thug, and more. Together on “The Hills,” the two play visually and lyrically on the irresistibility of train wrecks. In his disoriented haze, Tesfaye stumbles right into the red-light den of Rick Wilder, frontman of 80s punk-rock band The Mau-Maus. This isn’t the first time the director tapped Wilder; the skeletal singer features in Ariel Pink’s “Dayzed Inn Daydreams,” a track on the repercussions of fame and addiction—consequences The Weeknd doesn’t seem fazed by. “When I’m fucked up that’s the real me,” he sings, and to his doubters, “who are you to judge?”

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