The Weeknd is up to something. He’s already had a busy year, headlining the Super Bowl Halftime show and effectively telling the Grammys to kindly fuck off, and now he’s… well, up to something. We’re not sure what (though it’s obviously related to releasing new music, because he’s a musical artist and that’s what they do). He just released a preview clip on YouTube titled “The Dawn Is Coming (Teaser),” with nearly two minutes of new music and a somewhat suspiciously abrupt ending, implying that this is part of something larger… like, you know, a song. Or an album. Again, the basics of what he’s doing are pretty obvious, but the specifics are still a mystery. We don’t know if “The Dawn Is Coming” is the name of a new track, or if the teaser itself is just called “The Dawn Is Coming,” or maybe he’s saying that something called “The Dawn” is coming. What we can say about “The Dawn Is Coming (Teaser)“ is that it’s pretty slick. You can hear it below.
The Weeknd, or technically Abel Tesfaye (if you buy into the conceit that “The Weeknd” is a distinct persona he puts on when making music), also sat down for a profile with GQ that came out today, and while there aren’t a ton of specific details about the new stuff The Weeknd is working on, we do know that it’s not ready yet. He teases that it’s an album that he’s “always wanted to make,” with GQ’s Mark Anthony Green offering a particularly glowing recommendation after hearing some of it:
The music hit the studio like a Mack truck. The new project is packed with party records. Like real-deal, illuminated-white-tiles-on-the-floor party records. Quincy Jones meets Giorgio Moroder meets the best-night-of-your-fucking-life party records. Not anachronistic disco stuff. (Not “cosplay,” as Abel put it.) That sort of retro thing is having a moment right now in pop music, but these records are new. Sweaty. Hard. Drenched-suit, grinding-on-the-girl/boy-of-your-dreams party records.
The reference to music that does a “sort of retro thing” is interesting, seeing as how The Weeknd has done some “anachronistic disco stuff” in the past and the driving electronic beat in that “Dawn Is Coming” teaser clip certainly feels kind of retro, but that probably means that whatever he’s got going on outside of these two minutes might be even more slick.