The Weeknd Scrapped An “Upbeat” Album Made Before He Broke Up With Selena Gomez

The Weeknd recorded and released My Dear Melancholy, his latest EP (or album, or whatever you want to call it), in the wake of his highly publicized breakup with Selena Gomez. Much of its lyrics seemed to be directed specifically at Gomez — “I said I didn’t feel nothing, baby, but I lied/ I almost cut a piece of myself for your life/ Guess I was just another pit stop/ ‘Til you made up your mind/ You just wasted my time/ You’re on top,” he sings on “Call Out My Name” — and sonically, My Dear Melancholy hearkened back to the haunted narcotic slow-jams of his early trilogy of mixtapes. But apparently, we almost got a very different Weeknd album.

“Prior to Melancholy, I had a whole album written, done,” Abel Tesfaye tells Time in a new interview. “Which wasn’t melancholy at all because it was a different time in my life … It was very upbeat — it was beautiful.” But when his circumstances changed, he decided to scrap the whole thing, which was presumably recorded when he and Selena Gomez were still together. “I don’t want to perform something that I don’t feel,” he says, adding that the record will “never” see the light of day. He doesn’t outright say that he shelved the LP because of his breakup — “I don’t want to open that Pandora’s box, talking about relationships,” he explains in the interview — but still, it’s pretty heavily implied.

Although Tesfaye says that he’s “without a doubt” single right now, he’s been spotted canoodling with his other famous ex, Bella Hadid, recently. The half of My Dear Melancholy that wasn’t about Gomez was about how much he misses Hadid, so … maybe there’s another upbeat Weeknd album in his future?

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