The dawn is here, and a new Weeknd album has arrived with it.
The Toronto R&B and pop star is set to release his new album, “Dawn FM,” at 9 p.m. Pacific Thursday. It’ll be the first blockbuster release of 2022 and comes on the heels of 2020’s smash “After Hours.”
Although the “Blinding Lights” crooner has hinted at the upcoming album for most of the past year, the immediate rollout was much more sudden.
On New Year’s Day, the singer shared a screenshot of a text between himself and XO Records co-founder La Mar Taylor that implied he was ready to drop the album at a moment’s notice.
“Music can heal and this feels more important than another album rollout,” he wrote. “Let’s just drop the whole thing and enjoy it with the people… XO.”
A few days later, the album’s official trailer dropped, along with the release date for “Dawn FM.”
The Weeknd will usher in the new album with a livestream, allowing fans to experience the “sonic universe” in real time just as its creator intended. Here’s everything you need to know before the project drops tonight.
The concept and what to expect
“Take My Breath,” the lone single released ahead of the album, is a synth-driven dance track featuring Weeknd’s lofty vocals and pulsing drums. Snippets from the teaser trailer and track list hint that more electronic sounds are on the way, similar to what he served up on “After Hours.”
Quincy Jones; Tyler, the Creator; Lil Wayne; and electronic composer Oneohtrix Point Never are set to appear on the album. Actor Jim Carrey, who narrated the trailer, will also contribute to the storyline.
In a 2021 interview with Billboard, Weeknd said the album conjures what an eternal radio station playing in purgatory might sound like.
“Picture the album being like the listener is dead,” he told Billboard. “And they’re stuck in this purgatory state, which I always imagined would be like being stuck in traffic waiting to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. And while you’re stuck in traffic, they got a radio station playing in the car, with a radio host guiding you to the light and helping you transition to the other side. So it could feel celebratory, could feel bleak, however you want to make it feel, but that’s what The Dawn is for me.”
1. Dawn FM
3. How Do I Make You Love Me?
4. Take My Breath
6. A Tale by Quincy
7. Out of Time
8. Here We Go… Again
9. Best Friends
10. Is There Someone Else?
11. Starry Eyes
12. Every Angel Is Terrifying
13. Don’t Break My Heart
14. I Heard You’re Married
15. Less Than Zero
16. Phantom Regret by Jim
How to watch the livestream
The “103.5 Dawn FM” live experience will kick off at 9 p.m. Pacific. The 103.5 FM station tag could be a nod to Z103.5, the Top 40 radio station in Toronto that’s shown the Weeknd a lot of love throughout his career.
“The power of the 103.5 Dawn FM experience is that maximum fulfillment comes when all who hear it are tuned in at the same time,” the Weeknd said in a statement.
Fans can stream it on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel or in the Amazon Music app. Exclusive merch will also be available for 48 hours at amazon.com/theweeknd and in the Amazon Music app.