While the hype regarding The Weeknd’s identity of Canadian recording artist and producer, Abel Tesfaye, has subsided, there is still a mysterious air around this musician and his ethereal sound.
The initially unknown alternative R&B project leaked a free, nine-song album “House of Balloons” in March 2011. The album was the first in a three-part trilogy which also includes “Thursday,” released August 2011, and “Echoes of Silence,” released winter this past December. Under the label XO (which can mean kisses and hugs, or Ecstasy and Oxycontin, depending on your interpretation), “House of Balloons” was nominated for the 2011 Canadian Polaris Music Prize and won the 2012 Sirius XM Indie Awards for Urban artist of the year as well as the Stereogum Award for Top 10 New Acts of 2011.
Tesfaye’s songs are filled with experimental, eerie and spaced out sounds mixed with falsetto, auto-tune, synth beats, and intense tribal drums; a unique and awesome flavor his Ethiopian descent brings to tracks. His lyrics are minimalist portrayals of sexually-charged and drug-infused/induced wanting; the seeking of seductive and primal pleasures.
Tesfaye worked with Drake on the songs “Crew Love,” “The Ride,” and “Cameras/Good Ones Go Interlude.” And as if Florence + the Machine’s music isn’t experimental enough, pair her mystical voice with the haunting soundscapes of The Weeknd and you have a total supernatural remix of the hit “Shake it Out.”
“Echoes of Silence” houses nine tracks: D.D, Montreal, Outside, XO/The Host, Initiation, Same Old Song, The Fall, Next, and Echoes Of Silence. The Weeknd is playing two shows in New York City this month. April 25 at The Music Hall of Williamsburg and April 28 at the Bowery Ballroom.