Harry Styles returns to the music scene with single “Lights Up”

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Harry Styles has returned to the music scene after a two-year hiatus with a new song as he dropped the single “Lights Up” last Friday.

Styles’ debut solo album was known for its alternative-indie sound that had influences of John Mayer, Pink Floyd, Coldplay and The Rolling Stones all in one, a contrary to the boy band hits he had been putting out for the first half of the decade with boy band One Direction.

Though a complete contrast to the work of the band that includes a discography of “What Makes You Beautiful” and “One Thing,” Styles’ latest track is a much more pop-heavy influence than any of the songs on his previous album.

Fans have speculated that the song is an anthem for those in the LGBTQ2+ community, as many have thought Styles himself is bi-sexual, though he has never explicitly said it, the song’s lines are vague enough to be interpreted as such.

The song’s pre-chorus sings “All the lights couldn’t put out the dark, running through my heart, lights up and they know who you are, do you know who you are?” which many listeners have inferred means that although Styles may have been unsure of who he was in the past, when the lights are up he is confident in who he is.

The chorus follows up by saying “Step into the light, so bright sometimes, I’m not ever going back” which again, is alluding to being confident in who one is as a person, regardless of being in the spotlight or falsely accused of relationships or sexuality.

Styles has had a lot of criticism in the spotlight due to many fans of the boy band One Direction assuming he was in a relationship with fellow band mate Louis Tomlinson, though both parties had denied it many times and Tomlinson has been with on-again, off-again girlfriend Eleanor Calder since 2011.

Back to the music, the heavy pop influence of “Lights Up” came as a shock for some fans after such an unmatched debut album with a sound that was unlike no other, with many who listened to the self-titled release calling themselves fans despite never liking any of the music of One Direction.

Styles himself has mentioned many times that his tenure in One Direction was absolutely wonderful and that he never felt pressured or uncomfortable in the music they were making, the complete opposite of what ex-member Zayn Malik said after his departure that slowly led to the hiatus of the group.

Referring back to the song, the lyrical breakdown is actually very simplistic with the verses singing “What do you mean, I’m sorry by the way” with the second half changing each verse before turning into the pre-chorus.

The song, though just under three minutes, has already made an impact on the industry due to Styles’s ability to match heavy pop synths with vague lyrics that make listeners question the actual meaning of the song.

“Lights Up” is a complete turn-around from his debut single “Sign of the Times”, and has listeners itching for more content as they look to see what the second instalment of Styles’ solo career has in store for them.

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