After sharing a two-minute preview of a new song after midnight on Monday (August 2), the Weeknd has officially announced that the new single “Take My Breath” will be released this Friday (August 6). The announcement was shared with an ad made in conjunction with the Tokyo Olympics. Watch both teasers below.
The initial teaser was titled “The Dawn Is Coming,” and it serves as the introduction to his next album cycle post–After Hours. “fuck it … IT STARTS TONIGHT,” he teased before the song’s release. The Weeknd said the new record is “the album [he’s] always wanted to make” in a new interview with Mark Anthony Green in GQ. Green describes the album as “Quincy Jones meets Giorgio Moroder meets the best-night-of-your-fucking-life party records.”
Following his car-dodging performance at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards in May, the Weeknd offered a brief acceptance speech hinting that the next era of new music was about to begin: “The dawn is coming,” he said. In interviews and tweets in the past year, he’s alluded to preparing new music.
After appearing alongside Adam Sandler in the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems in 2019, the Weeknd released his album After Hours in March 2020. He released three more new songs—“Missed You,” “Nothing Compares,” and “Final Lullaby”—on a deluxe edition of the record later that month. He later released a handful of After Hours remixes with Rosalía (“Blinding Lights”), Ariana Grande (“Save Your Tears”), Kenny G (“In Your Eyes”), and more.
In the wake of After Hours, the Weeknd headlined the Super Bowl LV halftime show, an effort he partially funded himself. Despite the record’s success—a run that included a No. 1 Billboard debut—After Hours was shut out from Grammy nominations. The Weeknd responded by calling the Recording Academy’s voting committees “corrupt” and saying that he would no longer submit his work for Grammy consideration. Alhough the Recording Academy announced changes to its nominating processes in late April, the Weeknd has maintained his position.
Read the interview “The Weeknd’s Director Alex Lill Unpacks the Singer’s Eccentric String of After Hours TV Performances” on the Pitch.
This article was originally published on Monday, August 2 at 12:18 a.m. Eastern. It was last updated on August 2 at 11:10 p.m. Eastern.