The Weekend has re-released his debut mixtape House of Balloons for the first time on all streaming platforms to honor the 10th anniversary of its release.
Originally released on The Weeknd’s website on March 21, 2011, and two years prior to his full length debut Kiss Land, the 10-track House of Balloons reissue features the the mixtape’s original samples, including Aaliyah’s 2001 single “Rock the Boat,” sampled on “What You Need,” the Cocteau Twins’ “Cherry-Coloured Funk” on “The Knowing,” Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Happy House” on “House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls,” Beach House’s “Gila” on “Loft Music,” and a voice sample pulled from the anime series Fate/stay night on “Coming Home.”
By 2012, The Weeknd had signed with Republic Records, a joint venture with his own Canadian label XO, and released his first compilation, Trilogy, featuring House of Balloons, and subsequent mixtapes Thursday and Echoes of Silence.
In January of 2021, The Weeknd said that he was boycotting the Grammys, after his fourth album, After Hours, released in 2020, featuring the single “Blinding Lights,” failed to receive any nominations, stating “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”
In addition to House of Balloons on streaming platforms, The Weeknd is also dropping an exclusive line of merchandise tied to the release, featuring a new interpretation of the mixtape’s cover art reimagined by New York artist Daniel Arsham on a limited edition vinyl, along with outerwear, including a varsity jacket blending both artist’s own designs.
“The summer of 2011 will always be marked by ‘House of Balloons,’” says Arsham. “Like a time travel device, the album transports me back to that specific moment in time every time I listen. It is a great privilege to work with The Weeknd and the XO Team to reimagine the iconic album art of ‘House of Balloons’ as an eroded sculpture for the 10-year anniversary.”