Sometimes there is an artist who storms the scene so strongly that we might need to take an extended look at what they are up two and what pies they have fingers in. Ever since taking the Internet by storm earlier this year, Toronto’s The Weeknd has been riding a wave of attention that has got him countless praise (including here) and even his track on the series finaleÂ EntourageÂ trailer. I’ve been meaning to publicly swoon more over his debut mixtape House of BalloonsÂ (free here) but just got distracted. Now that he has 2 excellent new tracks out (above) it’s a perfect time to encourage you all to get into this guy. The Weeknd is like a lovechild of The xx and Drake, mixing haunting and minimal production with slanted R&B stylings for a hungover-sunrise kind of effect. Also like his Toronto cohort Drake, his honest lyrics can catch you off guard at first, until you start really listening and get at the deeper essence of what is going on. And a lot is going on. Sex, drugs, and broken hearts mix with searing introspection and hollow debauchery, resulting in a gritty fuel is both slick and grainy.
“The Birds (Part 1)” adds a marching drum beat to the mix for an epic twist on The Weeknds vibe. “Rolling Stone” continues with the same acoustic guitar line and settles in for a cavernous vocal session full of all kinds of sounds only The Weeknd (and few others) can pull off. I hear he has another mixtape coming out soon but the guy (21 year old Abel Tesfaye to be exact) is not exactly a fountain of information so I’dÂ recommendÂ getting comfortable with these jams as we wait. Oh, and wait we will.