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Buzzed-About R&B Outsider The Weeknd Drops New Track

Clinton Gilders, FilmMagic

On Saturday (Oct. 8), Abel Tesfaye, the enigmatic Canadian musician behind the Drake-approved bizarro-R&B project the Weeknd, released a new song, ‘Initiation,’ likely offering a preview of his forthcoming ‘Echoes of Silence’ mixtape.

Due out sometime this fall, the eagerly anticipated collection will be the final installment in a trilogy the Weeknd began rolling out earlier this year. Tesfaye’s previous efforts, the freebies ‘House of Balloons‘ and ‘Thursday,’ surfaced in March and August, respectively, and quickly earned plaudits from all corners of the blogosphere.

Drake quoted a line from the tune ‘Wicked Games’ in a March Twitter post, and in throwing his support behind the Weeknd’s music, the Toronto rapper joined a rapidly growing fan base whose membership comprises indie-rock dudes and R&B heads alike.

Tesfaye’s work is a woozy, disorienting brand of sensual pop, complete with harrowing lyrics about sex and drugs. ‘Initiation,’ the new tune, is very much in keeping with the previous two Weeknd releases. Sparse and paranoid, the track features nightmare synths, minimalist bass stabs and Tesfaye’s terrifyingly pitch-corrected vocals.

“There’s enough to pass around/ You don’t gotta wait in line,” he sings at one point, presumably talking about narcotics. “And the clocks don’t work/ You don’t gotta check the time.”

If we’re checking our watches, it’s only because were counting the minutes until ‘Echoes of Silence’ arrives and gives this jittery world a much-needed dose of audio codeine.

The BoomBox featured the Weeknd as one of our 15 Artists to Watch here.

Listen to the Weeknd’s ‘Initiation’

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