The Weeknd performed at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2021 following the success of his 2020 album After Hours, which featured the record-breaking single “Blinding Lights.” Not only did Abel Tesfaye capture the imagination of audiences with his televised performance, but he continued his reign in 2021 with a number of prominent singles.
Last year, the Canadian pop star collaborated with the likes of Ariana Grande & Nas, cementing himself as one of the most popular musicians in the world. As 2022 rolled around, The Weeknd’s prolificness didn’t stop. The thirty-one-year-old singer-songwriter just dropped his fifth studio album, Dawn FM.
While The Weeknd is no stranger to artistry, Dawn FM might be his most conceptual album to date. Adrian Spinelli of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “the futuristic album come(s) across like the radio station in a UFO.” In this article, we’ll talk about how Dawn FM takes creative risks, as well as all the other new music you need to know.
The Weeknd’s Dawn FM
While Abel Tesfaye has always had a pop sensibility, Dawn FM is a venture into more experimental music. The record ventures from disco-funk songs such as “Sacrifice” & “How Do I Make Love to Her?”, to Daft Punk-esque synth tracks like “Out of Time.” The Weeknd actually collaborated with the French dance legends on his 2016 album Starboy.
Not only does Tesfaye play around musically on Dawn FM, but he also brings on celebrity guests to add voice-overs. For instance, legendary music magnate Quincy Jones is featured on the spoken word track “A Tale by Quincy”. Most surprisingly, fellow Canadian Jim Carrey portrays a therapizing robot on the narrative outro “Phantom Regret by Jim”.
Not only did The Weeknd cause a stir with the new aesthetic direction on Dawn FM, but he fueled rumors of his alleged relationship with actress Angelina Jolie. In a lyric on “Here We Go Again,” Tesfaye sang, “My new girl, she a movie star.” Not only did The Weeknd tease facts about his personal life, but he claimed this album is a new beginning for him.
The Weeknd teased on Twitter recently that Dawn FM is supposedly the first album in a “new trilogy.” The idea of installment releases is something that the superstar has already explored in his career. Additionally, there’s already an “Alternate World” deluxe version of Dawn FM out. Check out the album for yourself to determine how you feel about it.
FKA Twigs’ Caprisongs
British musician Tallulah Barnett aka FKA Twigs’ personal life has been in the public eye for quite some time. She dated Twilight star Robert Pattinson while she was still emerging as an artist, leading to their eventual breakup. After her 2014 album LP1 put her on the map, Twigs dropped MAGDALENE in 2019.
Her sophomore album was filled with much more vulnerability & ballads, such as the moving track “cellophane.” Despite FKA Twigs’ rise to prominence, the media still picked up on the drama in her private life. For instance, at the end of 2020 Barnett revealed that she’d endured an abusive relationship with actor Shia LaBeouf.
FKA Twigs shakes off the tumult of years past on her new album Caprisongs, which features a much dancier & frenetic vibe. Not only does the seventeen-track mixtape have a more upbeat aesthetic, but it includes famous collaborators. Aside from his own new album Dawn FM, The Weeknd appears on the lead single “Tears in the Club”.
Caprisongs also features Jorja Smith on “Darjeeling” & Daniel Caesar on “Careless”. Overall, even Twigs herself sees this album as a return to form. She said, “Caprisongs is my journey back to myself through my amazing collaborators and friends.”
The Weeknd’s Dawn FM is probably his most unexpected album to date, but not everyone is vibing to it. If you’re not into the latest from the Canadian superstar, there are other albums to check out, such as FKA Twigs’ Caprisongs. What’s your favorite new music this year? Let us know in the comments!