WHAT: A sleek new music video for the song “Starboy.”
WHO: The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk, and director Grant Singer.
WHY WE CARE: Abel Tesfaye’s most distinguishing physical characteristic has long been his haircut, a vaguely H.R. Giger-like dread-helmet that looks like it possibly grew Tesfaye, and not the other way around. So it’s pretty significant that the video for “Starboy” kicks off with the newly shorn Weeknd singer suffocating his voluminously coiffed former self. Is he possibly disowning the narcissistic braggadocio, debauched lifestyle, and toxic views on women that have marked his previous songs? No, he’s not. But he’s a new man with a more aerodynamic haircut, and an infectious new single featuring Daft Punk, briefly glimpsed here in an oil painting. Over the course of the video, Tesfaye brandishes a magenta neon cross reminiscent of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber to destroy platinum plaques, and rides in a sportscar with a black panther. Regardless of whether he’s actually changed much beyond the follicular level, The Weeknd’s instinct for imagery here is rather awesome.