Early this morning Harry Styles, former member of modern boyband giant One Direction, debuted his first solo record on Nick Grimshaw’s BBC Radio 1 early morning show.
This comes after their band, consisting of four other members, announced they were taking a hiatus in early 2016. We have seen solo moves from everyone in the band including Zayn Malik, who left before the official break-up, and Niall Horan who both had smash hits and saw tons of radio play. Harry’s solo project was the latest to the party but arguably one of the most anticipated, and he kept mostly quiet about his plans for a very long time. We’ve heard rumors from Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, we’ve seen teasers like this one, and we’ve heard the collective drawn breath from young girls all across the world…
But hang onto your drawers, kids. It’s here!
A lot of people are talking about how he sounds like a David Bowie crossed with a little Freddie Mercury. Perhaps not the Ziggy Stardust aesthetic, but this kind of nega-pop from a predominantly very pop artist sounds somewhat familiar, eh? The song is one that’s been in the works for reportedly over five years. It’s described as a ballad featuring a thoughtful piano and a disheveled Harry’s voice as the primary music-makers. Don’t just listen to me describe it, though – listen below.
“It’s the song I’m most proud of writing,”
… says Harry on air at Radio 1. It sounds like we’ll be hearing a lot more of this kind of thought-pop on his upcoming album, who’s details are currently unknown, but it sounds as though it’s already finished. On air with Nick Grimshaw this morning he said, “I played [Ed Sheeran] a few songs after the album was finished,” and for those wondering, Ed was apparently pleased. You can find influence in this song from notable producer Jeff Bhasker, who is known for his moody tinge on projects like Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak, Lana Del Rey’s National Anthem, as well as others.
Harry mentioned that it feels somewhat “nerve-racking” to debut what is his grandest song to date. He takes some consolation in knowing that at least one person loved it, noting that, “My mum liked it, which was handy.”
He will be performing his song for the very first time on SNL on April 15 for US viewers, and UK fans can see him perform on the Graham Norton Show on April 21.