the weeknd snowchild

The Weeknd debuts new video that features some iconic Toronto scenes

The Weeknd just released a new music video for a single off of his most recent album, and anyone from Toronto who watches it will be able to spot a number of recognizable landmarks and street scenes the artist included to pay homage to his hometown — and his past, which serves as the crux of the piece.

In the four-minute-long animated short for Snowchild, off of his March 2020 album After Hours, the Weeknd starts off lying in a barren desert from which he notices the skyline of Toronto off in the distance.

Suddenly in the city, he is depicted walking alone down a snowy sidewalk in Parkdale — identifiable by the iconic "open 7 days a week" sign that hangs over Lee's Variety at West Queen West and Sorauren — and then with his crew through what appears to be Graffiti Alley, albeit a much more muted and less colourful iteration.

Moments later, a vintage Toronto streetcar (the PCC, to be exact) is shown passing a sombre Nathan Phillips Square, with "Snowchild" listed as the destination and "Welcome to Toronto" emblazoned down its side, just before the clip transitions to our Abel amid a neon Tokyo streetscene. 

The video also cuts sporadically to him peering eerily out a window from a room full of balloons — as per his debut mixtape, House of Balloons — and also has him visit a dystopian Los Angeles where he runs into some headless and handless versions of himself chained behind the Hollywood sign, along with some characters from his previous film clips.

After a stop in an opulent L.A. mansion that has similar vibes to the performer's Starboy video, he he decides to burn a bunch of cash, which brings him to waking up in the same desert as he started in, looking to another mirage of a city.

That skyline turns out to be Las Vegas, where he morosely trudges to meet another final version of himself.

Throughout, Abel transforms into his various older personas (recognizable by his haircuts) as he traverses landscapes that are obviously rife with almost too much symbolism and iconography for the viewer to handle — but still fun to watch.

With visuals provided by Japan's first Black-owned anime studio, it seems that fans are thus far super into the now trending new release, as well as the deep dive it provides into the psyche of our homegrown superstar.

Lead photo by

The Weeknd

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