The wait: over
New music: here
It’s been two years since Niall Horan, formerly a member of the iconic boy band One Direction, released his first solo album. “Flicker” quickly topped charts worldwide. The record became known for its versatile sound, from the heartaching ballads like “This Town,” to the certified bops like “Slow Hands.”
Now, after months of teasing and buildup, the second era of Niall has arrived with the release of the new single, “Nice To Meet Ya,” on Oct. 4. On the song, he sings about a flighty lover who’s forever out of reach. It’s a pop-rock tune that picks the listener up within the first few beats and refuses to slow down until the end.
For months, he had been tweeting about how excited he was to make new music and how he couldn’t wait for his fans to hear the upcoming album. Then, on Sept. 26, he announced the drop of “NTMY” with a tweet.
“After nearly two years since “Flicker” I’m ready to go. My new single #NiceToMeetYa is out October 4th,” he said.
This came after months of cryptic tweets that fans interpreted as lyrics, such as, “Feels like every time I turn a corner you’re standing right there,” and “If I pour my heart can you keep a promise?”
Over the past year, he’s revealed this new album will be a much grittier and dirtier sound than the ballad-heavy “Flicker.” On George Ezra’s podcast, he said, “That’s what I’ll aim for next time, not so much electric but that bit of dirt; yeah, dirt is the word.”
Later, in an interview with ODEntertainment, the Irish singer revealed that while he’ll have those ballads in there, this time around he’s trying to turn up the rock and “bring out what I’m really about.”
After the folk-pop sound of “Flicker,” the lean into rock is apparent in “NTMY.” The single opens with an aggressive piano and swirls into handclaps, a driving bass line and an attention-demanding guitar. It’s something more akin to his 2017 single, “On The Loose,” but far from nearly every other song on “Flicker.” Could this be the rise of the rockstar-esque Niall we got a glimpse of in One Direction’s 2012 song, “Rock Me?”
While replying to a fan on Twitter in January, he said this album will be “fun and sad all at the same time,” which is all we needed to hear before we started screaming.
But don’t think all of this means the breakup songs you know and love from “Flicker” are a thing of the past! This past December, while writing songs for this album, Niall split from his girlfriend, actress Hailee Steinfeld. Except for a few moments of possible public shading on Hailee’s part, the two have been as quiet about the breakup as they were about the relationship. Still, there has been plenty of speculation the album will provide some sad song content.
And if you wanted to get even more hyped up, Niall has been linked to collaborations with Shawn Mendes, Khalid, Diplo, and even his former bandmate, Liam Payne! Will all of these guests pop up on the record? Will anyone else make an appearance? Will Niall confirm rumors that he’s been playing the triangle in the studio? It’s all too much and simultaneously not enough!
While Niall hasn’t officially set a date for the album’s release, it’s probably right around the corner. And we’re ready and waiting to stan NH2 forever. Until then, you can catch us listening to “NTMY” on repeat.
“Nice To Meet Ya” is available for streaming on Apple Music and Spotify.