The opening track to the Weeknd’s dominating 2015 LP Beauty Behind the Madness is some dramatic shit, a sinister swandive into the dark, twisted mind of Abel Tesfaye. It sets the tone for the record’s underlying menace, and the distance between the opening chords and pop hits like “Can’t Feel My Face” is like longing for Saturday night on a Tuesday afternoon.
The mood is intense, but it’s somehow lifted up by Tove Lo. The Swedish pop star teamed with producer Gustav Weber to sass up “Real Life” and raise it from the emotional depths of mental anguish and lay it back down smack-dab into a packed dance floor.
Writes Tove Lo: “One of my favorite albums of 2015 is The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness. ‘Real Life’ is one of my favorite songs. Here’s something me and my partner in crime, Gustav Weber, recorded on the road this week! Much love #12MomentsTilChristmas #4″
The track also features maybe the best cover art ever — Tove dolled with with Tesfaye’s hair. Fire it up below, and check out our full gallery from Tove Lo’s last Boston appearance, back in October at Royale.