The Weeknd unleashed a new six-song “project” dubbed My Dear Melancholy, last week (complete with videos), and it seems to make some pretty direct references with his recent high-profile relationship and split with Selena Gomez.
Fans of both artists spent the weekend dissecting every line of the Weeknd’s new record, but in case you had better things to do, we’re gonna break it down for you.
The new release opens with “Call Out My Name,” which by far makes the most direct allusions to Gomez. In the opening line Abel Tesfaye croons: “We found each other / I helped you out of a broken place.”
The former Disney star publicly discussed her struggle with anxiety and depression early last year. It caused her to cancel tour dates and seek treatment, and she self-described herself as “broken” to Teen Vogue last March — just weeks before Gomez and Tesfaye made their public debut as a couple at the Met Ball.
The track goes on to hear Tesfaye sing: “I said I didn’t feel nothing, baby, but I lied / I almost cut a piece of myself for your life.” Internet sleuths are interpreting it a reference to Gomez’s kidney transplant; the Weeknd declaring that he was literally willing to cut a piece of himself out to give to her.
The song then ends with: “Guess I was just another pit stop / ‘Til you made up your mind” — a line that easily fits into the narrative of Gomez returning to her ex Justin Bieber shortly after the breakup with the Weeknd.
“Call Out Your Name” is not the only song that was seemingly spawned by Gomez, though. “Try Me” once again has internet sleuths abuzz with lines about the Weeknd’s romantic interest (who is already involved in another relationship) “Lookin’ grown since the last time I looked at you,” and an outro that hears him sing: “The way I kissed your scars / The way I fixed your heart.”
On “Wasted Times,” however, the Weeknd seems to reflect on a different ex in the wake of his split with Gomez — Bella Hadid. The dots are fairly easy to connect on this one, referencing Hadid’s noted past as a competitive horseback rider when he sings: “You were equestrian, so ride it like a champion.”
He also kindly lets her know that even though they’re not currently on speaking terms, “this dick is still an option.”
“I Was Never There” is slightly more generic fare, hearing the Weeknd wax poetic on heartbreak and meaningless sex, though he does accuse his lover of choosing something “toxic” over him — which is basically a synonym for Bieber.
Penultimate cut “Hurt You” hears Tesfaye declaring relationships his “enemy,” and many think Gomez’s struggle with mental illness might be referenced when he says: “‘Cause all the nights you slept alone dryin’ your eyes / And all the nights you thought about takin’ your life.” It’s not-so-tactfully followed up with “But if you call me up, I’m fuckin’ you on sight,” but supposedly the main message of the song is “I don’t wanna hurt you.”
Finally, Me Dear Melancholy, closes with “Privilege” — another alleged ode to his breakup with Gomez. He copes with the “last goodbyes” by using pills and drinks, admitting he’ll “be back to my old ways” — and frankly, people on Twitter are here for his return to the depressing House of Balloons-esque jams.
See some of that reaction below.