With “False Alarm,” the second single released off The Weeknd’s upcoming album Starboy, we’re getting a whole new take on R&B prophet Abel Tesfaye’s range. Tesfaye usually restricts himself to smoother tunes, letting his falsetto do the work. But “False Alarm” is an uncharacteristically frantic, up-tempo ode to unrequited love, his signature delivery interrupted and heated up with raw, unrestrained shrieks. The song has a distorted 80s vibe—and an underlying energy with eerie edge. Plus, it’s about a woman who is just out of reach.
“Diamond rings are her fantasy / she chase hearts with the Hennessy / you love her, but you’ll never be / enough,” he croons, angry and resigned.
There’s no music video for “False Alarm” yet, but this certainly feels of a piece with the darkness of the lead single, “Starboy,” in which Tesfaye killed his previous self in order to unleash this new, more feral artist. Listen below to hear his new direction.