It’s always an eventful time when Abel Tesfaye, also known by his alias The Weeknd, drops in to give us a random song from a studio session. It’s what we’ve become accustomed to as the modern day music fan. Accompanied within the brand of The Weeknd, there are few announcements – if any- ahead of a release and we just receive the music. That’s the way it should be in an R&B climate that will otherwise give you the trailer of a trailer for a video that’s coming out a week later on Vimeo. At the end of the day, it’s about how the music sounds. Tesfaye’s 2013 album Kiss Land was a little darker from what we are used to hearing from him. Thankfully, with his new single “Often”, we are reintroduced to the slow bounce that enamored us in the first place.
“Often” harkens back to the House of Balloons days as far as content. The track itself is a laid back composition with a mash of chopped up vocals with a noticeable 808 drum baseline. It’s not a danceable track, but definitely a song you can nod your head to. Tesfaye seems comfortable here. Matched with the contemporary bravado that we have come to know from R&B reminding the female in the song that he indeed does this “often.” The sexual matter is sensual, but very direct. “The night’s almost done/but I see in your eyes that you want to go again.”
I’m not sure if this is a preface to a new album but I’m excited to hear a new chapter in the story of The Weeknd. It seems like everything has calmed down for now and we are back to receiving the often-abstract sounds that will be played in bedroom gatherings everywhere.