The Weeknd has released the music video for the 4th single from his After Hours album, ’Save Your Tears’, which also unveiled a completely new look. The Canadian artist’s face appeared to be surgically-enhanced, filled with Botox and fillers, revealed later to be facial prosthetics. 

Having first showcased a bandage-ridden face at the 2020 AMAs, the internet has been rife with speculation on what The Weeknd could be trying to portray; More clues have been revealed in his latest release.

The After Hours era began back in 2019, when he dropped the music video for ‘Heartless’, the first single from the album. The video saw the singer partying in Las Vegas, ending with him ‘tripping-out’, whilst wearing the red suit which soon became his staple get-up. The videos narrative was just beginning, and ‘Heartless’ was quickly followed by the video for ‘Blinding Lights’, where the story continued. ‘Blinding Lights’ showed the singer still in Vegas, but covered in the aftermath of being hurt. 

‘In Your Eyes’ followed in the beginning of 2020, just as the album was released, with the video ending with the star being decapitated. His next video, ‘Too Late’, showed his head attached to another person’s body, gripping fans with what would be next in the story he was portraying. This was followed by his look at the AMAs, covered in facial bandages, still donning his now-iconic red suit. 

Known for sculpting a visual era for each album he releases, fans speculated on what the bandages could possibly be trying to convey. This month he revealed all, with over-the-top surgically-enhanced features in latest video, ‘Save Your Tears’. Fans responded online, some stating that he must be attempting to show the aftermath of the normalisation of surgical enhancements in the modern age.

As the video shows the star holding a gold trophy, and then quickly discarding of it, this is arguably a nod to his album being dismissed by the Grammy awards despite its worldwide success. The artist was vocally critical of the snub, so some fans believe the reveal of his ‘new face’ is addressing how the music industry pressures artists to adhere to a certain type of ‘perfection’. 

The artist has certainly kept tongues wagging throughout his new creative era, and this week continued the story, with the advert for his half-time Super Bowl show. The 7-minute ad showed the singer’s face back to normal, teasing the upcoming performance. 

Despite his album tour being postponed due to the current situation, The Weeknd continues to keep fans gripped, and it’s safe to say the story behind ‘After Hours’ will continue in months to come. 

Words by Danni King.

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