This Is Our Jam: The Weeknd, “Heaven Or Las Vegas”

House of Balloons
dropped in March, The Weeknd was still shrouded in mystery. All we had were shadowy images taken from Tumblr and Drake’s seal of approval—that, and the haunting codeine grind of the mixtape itself. Five months later, a lot has changed: We know The Weeknd’s true identity (Abel Tesfay), we know he works with two producers (Doc McKinney and Illangelo), and we’ve heard a lot more similarly drugged-out Noir&B reverberate by way of more mainstream avenues. We’ve had Alizé for breakfast, now we want some lunch.

Fortunately, Thursday delivers. “Heaven or Las Vegas," Thursday’s closing track, is one of the best The Weeknd has yet released. While it takes its name from a 1990 Cocteau Twins album, the track doesn’t actually sample the dream-pop band. Instead, the title is a reference to the permeating influence Cocteau Twins have had on the The Weeknd’s dark, gauzy sound. The track itself is built around a sharp reggae upstroke and minimal piano line that melts into a heavy, chugging near-hard-rock anthem. Seemingly in line with the new hyper-saturated album art of Thursday, “Heaven or Las Vegas” is more vibrant than anything on Balloons, but also heavier and more aggressive. "Heaven or Las Vegas" may be a forced dichotomy, but for The Weeknd, the first option is still impossibly far away. Download Thursday here.

The Weeknd—Thursday
"Heaven or Las Vegas"

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