After months of teasing, The Weeknd has finally announced the release date of his new album, “Dawn FM,” which will be released on Friday (Jan. 7).
He revealed the news in a typically cryptic video that, like his previous album’s series of videos, finds him well dressed, in some kind of peril, and involves a beautiful woman. However, rather than the busted-nose image of “After Hours,” he is aged at the end of this one. Several film-score-like snippets from what could be his new single, which serves as the soundtrack to the video. The album is billed as “a new sonic adventure from the Weeknd’s mind.”
There’s also a list of co-stars — Quincy Jones, Tyler, the Creator, Lil Wayne, Oneohtrix Point Never, and actor fellow Scarborough, Ontario native Jim Carrey, whose friendship the Weeknd discussed with Variety in 2020 — who will presumably appear in the video for the song that the snippet is teasing.
The video concludes with a radio DJ saying, “You are now listening to 103.5: Dawn fm.” You’ve been in the dark for far too long; it’s time to step into the light and embrace your fate.”
We’ll probably find out what all of this means on Friday.
The album is his first full-length release since his blockbuster “After Hours,” which was released in March of 2020, though he has released numerous songs, remixes, collaborations, and videos; starred in and co-wrote the upcoming HBO series “The Idol”; and, among other things, headlined the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
The title of the album was first revealed by The Weeknd to Variety in May. We slipped in a question about the new music he’d hinted at in social media posts during an interview about the Grammys’ decision to eliminate nomination-review committees (more on that here).
“If the last record is from the late hours of the night,” he explained, “then the dawn is approaching.”
He’s since made frequent references to the album’s title, releasing a video teaser alongside the “Take My Breath” single in August. Over the weekend, he hinted that more information about the album would be released soon. “Music can heal, and that feels more important than another album rollout,” he wrote in a screengrab of a text to his longtime creative director La Mar Taylor. Let’s just drop it all and enjoy it with the people.”