A few months ago the internet was warmed up early for the spring season by a free album put out by The Weeknd entitled House Of Balloons. Not only did the indie blog world freak out, but so did much of the mainstream and since March many rumors started about this project like whether fellow Canadian R & B/Rap star Drake was involved for example.
Either way multitudes of peeps from various backgrounds have copped this album and you can get it for free at their website or just by clicking the album below. This doesn’t seem like that strange of an occurrence as odd reformulated R & B has steadily been creeping in on the indie scene for a hot minute. We all love a little Aaliyah or D’Angelo but really those days are just a distant make-out session memory and its been awhile until this genre has opened up and spread its legs to give a new chance at some fresh, different feeling love.
We have mentioned this on the blog before though and these new expanding genre artists like How To Dress Well, The XX, James Blake and Frank Ocean, are pushing into new darker, spacier more dubstep/electronic sounding realms. But this vowel missing band hailing from Toronto, Canada has its own sultry personality like that of a drunken, drugged out, great sex filled night that feels so dirty and wrong that it only comes along every once in awhile. Sorry not trying to put a weird, dark, explicit tinge on House Of Balloons but it already has it.
Lead singer Abel Tesfaye along with producers Doc McKinney and Illangelo have crafted a strong emotional journey using synthed out ambience and haunting melodies with full bumping bass, pulsing, sporadic drums and Abel’s lyrics that together end up hitting erotic zones you weren’t expecting while surprising you almost the whole time. Using Beach House samples on some tracks with other tweaked vocal background noise on others, all the while going overboard with strong drug and sex references it stays disturbingly intriguing throughout.
My favorite track has been What You Need for quite sometime now and with the release of this (possibly unofficial) video for it today it will remain so. This video seems like someone animated the album cover with a real life glimpse into what House Of Balloons subject matter would be like if one could actually live inside these songs and see what the late night sexy afterparty was really like. Either way this album will probably stick around past that one first listen and maybe The Weeknd might just remain past that one dirty night.