It’s only been a year since The Weeknd released his game changing album Beauty Behind the Madness, the record which included contagious pop singles “Can’t Feel My Face”, “The Hills”, and “Earned It”. But just this week, Canadian crooner Abel Tesfaye gifted us with a new single and the cover art (which features Tesfaye’s new haircut ) for his forthcoming LP Starboy. The new song/title single was created in collaboration with Daft Punk, who we expect to appear throughout The Weeknd’s upcoming album. You can listen to the new single below:
Though it’s not evident on The Weeknd’s first aggressively pop-driven single, Starboy is influenced by The Smiths, Talking Heads, and Prince. The entire record was recorded in L.A, and according to Abel, it’s his best sounding album to date. “It’s hard to label the sound because, when I first came out, nobody would label it R&B. I just want to keep pushing the envelope without it feeling forced.” This isn’t surprising coming from The Weeknd, who has been constantly evolving his hip-hop/R&B/pop/trap sound from the very beginning, making it more difficult each year to pigeonhole him into a genre.
In addition to the variety of influences The Weeknd has drawn from in preparation to creating Starboy, he’s channeled other sources of inspiration as well, namely film directors. “David Lynch, alongside David Cronenberg, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese play a huge part in my brand, my looks, my sound, and my aesthetic,” he said.
We’re interested to see how all of these influences play out on The Weeknd’s forthcoming LP. “Starboy“, a moody house track, evidences a pop-approach on the record. And when it comes to creating smooth, retro-influenced beats, there’s no one better to work with than Daft Punk. Back in May, pop A-lister Justin Timberlake teased that a XO-meets-JT collaboration could be in the works, and further confirmed that Tesfaye had an album in the making. We’d love to see Justin Timberlake and The Weeknd croon over the same beat, both of them having the power of falsetto very few male singers can manage.
Starboy will officially drop on November 25th, but is currently available for pre-order on Apple Music.
UPDATE: The Weekend has released the full track list for Starboy a week ahead of its official release (November 25) via Twitter. It looks like Kendrick Lamar, Daft Punk, Future, and Lana Del Rey will also be featured on Starboy. Be on the look out for two new singles from The Weeknd tonight (November 17th), “Party Monster” and the aforementioned “I Feel It Coming”, as The Weeknd has promised to deliver even more before the official release of Starboy. And check out the full track list below.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 17, 2016