The Weeknd has revealed that his new album, “After Hours,” will be released on March 20. Leading up to the release, the artist, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, will perform on “Saturday Night Live” on March 7, his third appearance on the show. Hear the title track here.
The XO / Republic Records full-length follows The Weeknd’s Platinum-certified hits “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights,” the latter of which was his first U.K. chart-topping single. The two songs dropped within days of each other last fall, and both have an early ‘80s vibe, with vintage gated-drum sounds and echo-drenched synthesizers. Both songs are also much more upbeat than the tracks on last year’s EP “My Dear Melancholy.”
The Weeknd has been building up to the album’s release in recent weeks, with live performances on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” “Blinding Lights” also soundtracked the Mercedes-Benz EQC campaign which The Weeknd starred in and served as creative director for. Indeed, he recently said on Twitter that he’s in “album mode full effect.” He’s overdue: despite multiple guest appearances, last year’s EP and a one-off single from the “Game of Thrones” soundtrack called “Power Is Power,” his latest major release was 2016’s full-length “Starboy.”
The Weeknd recently played himself in the Adam Sandler-starring film “Uncut Gems.” “He’s a friend of ours, and he’s a real cinephile,” said co-director Josh Safdie, speaking with Variety after the film’s premiere in Telluride. “Real cinephile. Like, one of his favorite filmmakers is (David) Cronenberg, and that makes sense, because he’s from Toronto. But he watches a lot of movies.”
See the album’s cover art below: