Quarantine has been a productive time even for a hyper-prolific artist like The Weeknd, who today dropped another new video — of the Lil Uzi Vert remix of his hit “Heartless” — and remix — a Diplo-helmed Major Lazer retake of his other smash from the fall “Blinding Lights.”
Since the drop of his latest album “After Hours” — which has been the No. 1 album in the U.S. for three consecutive weeks — The Weeknd has dropped three bonus tracks (which are on the deluxe version of the album), six alternate versions of songs from the album, and we’ve honestly lost track of how many videos.
To be honest, ever since the woman tore his head off in the “In Your Eyes” video, we’ve kind of lost track of the evolving plot around the “After Hours” videos, which center around The Weeknd’s character having a dark night of the soul in Las Vegas — although the word “Intermission” appears several times in the new video, so maybe it’s not really advancing the plot.
“It’s just a story that we’re telling from the beginning of the “Heartless” video and continuing through [“Blinding Lights,” “After Hours,” “In Your Eyes” and “Until I Bleed Out“] and [his appearances on] Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert. This character is having a really bad night — all these videos are taking place in one night — and you can come with own interpretation of what it is,” he says. “You’re watching these goofy guys all f—ed up and drunk and it’s like the quintessential Vegas trip, very “Mask” inspired, falling over and laughing. But then it gets really dark and “Oh sh–, this is not fun,” y’know? There’s a breakdown moment in “Heartless” where I realize what’s going on, and that’s when you know you’re watching a Weeknd visual. And “Blinding Lights” gets animated but again, not fun, and then we kind of blurred reality with fiction with the Jimmy Kimmel performance. And then I was like, “How do I make this night even worse?,” so [in the “After Hours” short film] we have this guy go through a complete breakdown, which looks like a possession — I’m being dragged by an invisible force through the subway. Is he possessed, or is he just broken? Is he imagining it? My perspective as a viewer is that it’s actually happening to him, but to a third person watching it’s just some guy going crazy. I don’t like to explain too much.