As the years have gone by, The Weeknd has emerged as a star capable of building vibrant and immersive new worlds alongside his album releases. His 2020 album, After Hours, was arguably his first major endeavor drawing a line between Abel Tesfaye and The Weeknd persona, portraying the latter as the blood-covered, red-suited protagonist we now know and love navigating a dark, twisted world filled with drugs, parties, and women intent on killing him. Now, the “Blinding Lights” singer is doing it all again with its follow-up album, Dawn FM — his fifth studio album and the next chapter for his tortured main character.
After teasing the project for months on social media, The Weeknd officially announced the album’s (very) imminent arrival on Monday, releasing an official trailer that teased an ambitious “new sonic universe from the mind of The Weeknd.” Luckily we won’t have to wait too much longer to experience the full project: The album is expected to drop Friday, January 7, giving everyone just a few days to prepare for what trials and tribulations The Weeknd will be put through this time.
Below, read on for everything we know about the album including its surprising list of features, themes, and more.
When will Dawn FM be released?
Dawn FM (stylized dawn FM) will be released Friday, January 7, 2022 from XO Records. You can pre-save the album now on streaming services.
What songs will be on Dawn FM?
The already released song “Take My Breath” is the lead single of the album and has already primed the project to be a dark and dancy new era for The Weeknd. Sonically, the 16-track album has been described by a GQ writer as “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-f*cking-life party records.”
The Weeknd himself has said, simply, “It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make.”
As for the album’s full tracklist, its song titles tease a “tale” from Quincy Jones and a cryptic closer from comedian and actor Jim Carrey titled “Phantom Regret By Jim.” See it in full, below.
Dawn FM tracklist
- Dawn FM
- How Do I Make You Love Me
- Take My Breath
- A Tale By Quincy
- Out Of Time
- Here We Go... Again
- Best Friends
- Is There Someone Else?
- Starry Eyes
- Every Angel Is Terrifying
- Don’t Break My Heart
- I Heard You’re Married
- Less Than Zero
- Phantom Regret By Jim
Who will be featured on the album?
Unlike After Hours which had no features on its standard version, Dawn FM boasts a short yet impressive slate of guest appearances from longtime collaborators and brand new faces. Comedian and actor Jim Carrey, Quincy Jones, Lil Wayne, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Tyler the Creator have all been announced to play some role in the album’s musical universe, according to the album’s official trailer.
Carrey in particular is an unexpected new face in The Weeknd universe, and it’s unclear what role he’ll play in the upcoming album. In a GQ interview from 2021, The Weeknd revealed that he met Carrey for the first time at his 30th birthday party after bonding with him about telescopes. “He lived literally like two buildings down from me. He had a telescope, and I had a telescope,” he told GQ. “He was like, ‘Where do you live? What floor do you live on?’ I was like, Blah, blah, blah. And we looked out the windows on our telescopes and we could see each other.”
As for background collaborators, Max Martin and Oscar Holter, the two producers behind the 2019 hit “Blinding Lights,” returned to the project as the songwriters behind lead single “Take My Breath.”
What themes will Dawn FM cover?
Given that it’s The Weeknd after all, Dawn FM will likely cover his usual themes of sex, drugs, partying, turbulent love stories, and the like. Notably, the album seems to also be structured around a fictional radio station, 103.5 Dawn FM, suggesting that a deeper thematic and narrative concept will exist around its songs much like the world-building and bloody main character that he created around After Hours.
The album’s brief trailer appears to confirm that theory as a man’s voice can be heard throughout the video stating ominously: “You’ve been in the dark for way too long. It’s time to walk into the light and accept your fate with open arms.” Consider us already there.
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