Harry Styles’ Single Rocked the Globe

Well, it happened. We finally met the real Harry Styles. His first single Sign of the Times dropped this morning at BBC Radio 1 as he co-hosted their 8 a.m. morning segment in London. Raise your hand if you’re on the East Coast and stayed up until 2 a.m. to listen in! *raises both hands*

Some background to the hype:

One Direction super-fans have been preparing for this day since the moment the teaser dropped for Harry’s first solo track, “Sign of the Times.” Some went as far as creating a new Instagram page called the “Solo Harry Project” (@soloharryproject) where fans were able to interact throughout a 10-day countdown to April 7. 

 

Just how different is it from his 1D days?

Very – but not in a bad way. News of Harry’s solo came with plenty of assumptions about what sound it would be like. Ultimately, fans figured out that the Harry’s inevitable album would tie in sounds from classic artists such as David Bowie, The Beatles, and even Prince. Anyone who knows these artists could hear the influence of these artists in the first 10 seconds of “Sign of the Times.”

Old-school rock expert and the U’s very own, Rachel Haber weighed in on the concept:

“The keyboard opening is very similar to Prince, and then the use of guitars sounds a lot like The Beatles; George Harrison was very big on doing that guitar slide that you hear right before Harry’s vocals.”

Every single person who has listened to “Sign of the Times” has mentioned how “Bowie” both the vocals and lyrics are. So, if you’re a fan of any of the artists mentioned above, give Harry a chance. You won’t regret it.

 

What is the message and why is it so relevant?

Just listen to the first lyric and you’ll immediately know that this song is so much bigger than a solo debut:

Just stop your crying/It’s a sign of the times/Welcome to the final show/Hope you’re wearing your best clothes.

Interpret this however you’d like, but Harry is pretty clearly referring to the overall uneasy and unstable feelings of the world that 2016 relentlessly dragged into 2017. What a fitting day to hear lyrics like this when Syria is in turmoil and Russia wants our heads for violating “international law.” *sigh* 

What to expect from the new Harry:

An album for sure. Fans are hoping to get at least one more taste of solo Harry this summer, but his album will most likely drop in October or November later this year. But let’s not forget that Harry is also part of the top-billed cast for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming war film, Dunkirk, which is set to hit theaters in the U.S. on July 21. Get ready to see this heavenly man on the big screen!!

Her Campus Scranton’s very own campus correspondant, Dania ElGhazal, said, “I’ve always wanted to see Harry go solo. I didn’t know what to expect from the song, but I love it! I’m so happy with the route he took, and I think it suits him . . . I think he’s really making his mark.”

U of S student and long-time One Direction fan – who has been to 18 1D performances and shows –  Stephanie Rush, agrees that the single has a true Bowie feel to it. She went on to say, “I think the song portrays who he is as an artist and how he wants his fans to view him as a solo artist.”

Here is an accurate depiction of our reaction to hearing Harry’s voice again after so, so long: 

You can download “Sign of the Times” on iTunes, Spotify, and Apple Music. As Harry would say:

All the love. –H