When platinum-selling artists join forces for a track, people take note. Such was the case as Swedish House Mafia enlisted The Weeknd for “Moth to a Flame,” the DJ trio’s third track since returning from their nine-year hiatus.
Promotionally, the track was teased by The Weeknd last month. A promotional photo of The Weeknd alongside Swedish House Mafia’s trio of Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso was also released.
MOTH TO A FLAME song/video OUT EVERYWHERE @swedishousemfia : https://t.co/nT4o7obsCn pic.twitter.com/cwRvIhw1JC
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) October 22, 2021
Speaking of making the track with The Weeknd, noted Swedish EDM star Axwell had high praise for the Canadian R&B trendsetter, calling him “a real artist and star.”
On the production side, the track has the feel of a James Bond film credit roll track, inflicting the same R&B vibes that got just about all of us hooked on The Weeknd when he took the scene by storm half a decade ago. Glossy as it is pulsating, the track is consistent through the duration and finds a way to feel colder than previous offerings from Swedish House Mafia.
Lyrically, The Weeknd is acknowledging that his drug use and playboy sexual mentality isn’t healthy for relationships, despite pursuing someone who claims to already be dating “the one.” Tense and effervescent, he sings, “‘Cause he seems like he’s good for you / and he makes you feel like you should / and all your friends say he’s the one / his love for you is true.”
Shrouded in sumptuous synth, The Weeknd continues down the rabbit whole of the mental side of the love triangle singing, “But does he know you call me when he sleeps? (No) / but does he know the pictures that you keep? (Oh) / but does he know the reasons that you cry? / or tell me, does he know where your heart lies?” The track hits hard on the raw emotions of preying on a potentially weak relation, while also touching on the relief of the self-toxicity felt by those who do so.
The accompanying music video features The Weeknd, dressed in a puffy winter jacket and a sick pair of sunglasses singing over what appears to be a pit of people kissing. The Swedish House Mafia boys arrive and the kissing people turn to stone, resembling China’s Terracotta Warriors.
The track comes on the heels of touring announcements for both artists, with Swedish House Mafia dropping their world tour dates set for next year. The Weeknd announced this week that his next tour, which was slated to visit arenas, will be re-configured to instead exclusively hit up stadiums — the proper move for one of the biggest stars in the world.