The Weeknd had a pretty damn good 2021, despite not having officially released much of anything. He started the year by giving the Grammys the middle finger, released his greatest hits album The Highlights, and performed at the Super Bowl LV halftime show — and that was just within the first two months.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world decided to act like 2020 didn’t exist and just kept listening to After Hours all throughout 2021, making it one of the most-streamed albums of the year. A tenth-anniversary celebration of House of Balloons and Echoes of Silence also came, but when it came to non-guest appearances, the only real music that Abel Tesfaye dropped in 2021 was ‘Take My Breath’, an awesomely synth-pop track that kept the style of After Hours going.
Now though, we don’t have to wonder when the official follow-up is coming. The Weeknd’s new album, Dawn FM, has been announced and will officially be released on Friday, January 7th. That makes The Weeknd the first major artist to put out new music in 2022.
The announcement comes in the form of a new trailer, which also includes a number of collaborators who are set to be featured on the new LP. Some of those figures include Tyler, the Creator, Lil Wayne, Oneohtrix Point Never, Quincy Jones, and… Jim Carrey? After getting all buddy-buddy over their shared love of telescopes, Carrey has officially landed a guest spot on Dawn FM.
The album’s title is likely a pun based on 1990s conscious hip hop group P.M. Dawn. Weird side note: did you know that P.M. Dawn doesn’t have either of its two members from its chart-topping heyday. That’s not uncommon for legacy groups, but it is uncommon when the group is known for being two people and the two people that the public know isn’t in the group. Also, ‘Set Adrift on Memory Bliss’ was a number one song in America and a number three song in the UK.
OK, I’m getting a little sidetracked here. The main point is that The Weeknd is back, Dawn FM is set to drop on Saturday, and the transatlantic take over from P.M. Dawn could only have happened at the exact second before grunge took over as the predominant genre of 1991. All three of these facts delight me in equal measure.
Check out the trailer for Dawn FM down below.