Friday, December 23, 2011

XO Stocking Stuffer: The Weeknd - Echoes of Silence ("The Balloon Trilogy")

Intentional or not, Abel Tesfaye managed to make quite the [late night] ruckus by boldly opening Echoes of Silence with a spot-on Michael Jackson cover: "Dirty Diana" (Bad). Tesfaye initially burst onto the scene in March 2011 under the musical guise "The Weeknd," along with fellow Canadian producers Illangelo & Doc McKinney. Their critically acclaimed inaugural mixtape, House of Balloons was released soon thereafter and Part 2 of "The Balloon Trilogy," Thursday was released that following August. The Weeknd's unique brand of sample-based R&B draws heavily from a number of Indie Rock sources: Beach House, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Cocteau Twins, Thieves Like Us, and Marina Topley-Bird. Mild production work has since been outsourced to fellow up-and-comers, Clams Casino and DropxLife (XO).

Echoes of Silence was released @ roughly 12 midnight, Dec. 21-22; That is, during Fall 2011 (albeit the final minutes) as originally promised. The Weeknd remains unsigned, rarely play public shows, and Abel Tesfaye is largely absent from the public eye - with little to no mass media interaction. Early reports speculate that Echoes of Silence's underlying plotline details it's titular character's journey as he discovers that... his countless "girlfriends" are actually playing him, instead of vice versa, as he was lead to believe. The third volume of "Balloon Trilogy" features an odd 9 tracks, just like it's predecessors. House of Balloons' staple track, "High for This" appeared on the Entourage (Season 8) soundtrack... and Abel Tesfaye recently co-wrote and appeared on 3-4 tracks from Drake's sophomore album, Take Care. In his spare time, Illangelo has crafted remixes for the likes of Lady GaGa and Florence + The Machine.

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