Harry Styles has returned to the industry with a fantastic new single. Leaving behind the 70s rock influences of his 2017 debut album he has adopted a more soulful sound.
His track, Lights Up is laced with surprises – the looping, stilted pre-chorus, and even the sounds of a gospel choir. Lights Up is a self-assured piano and guitar drenched track with serious California vibes and psychedelic grooves. His vocals have shifted from gritty rock to light, airy and cool tones. The single gives us a glimpse into his ability to evolve. His upcoming second album, yet to be named, is “all about sex and feeling sad” Harry has said. He is miles away from the bland pop that has dominated this year. And refreshingly sounds nothing like his male peers.
Enigmatic and effortlessly cool
As with his debut solo single, Sign of the Times (2017), Lights Up could easily climb to the top of the charts thanks to his former teen heartthrob status. But it’s his emergence as an enigmatic rockstar, talented and effortlessly cool that’s helped him cement his place as a serious contender.
Many have taken Lights Up as proof of his coming out as bisexual. He has always had a progressive attitude towards sexuality but rarely speaks of his own. His gender-fluid dress sense has seen him become a queer ally. In Lights Up, he sings about wondering who he is, coming into the light and never going back. And he released the soulful track on National Coming Out Day. The video features a shirtless Styles dancing with by both male and female dancers.
He rarely posts on social media and has maintained his status without seemingly trying. Pretty remarkable for a man who rose to fame as one-fifth of the One Direction machine. But, his ability to be charmingly vague is his defining pop trait. And his evolution as an artist remains captivating.
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