The wait is over. With little warning save for a few mysterious billboards and social media posts, Harry Styles surprised fans with a new song called ‘Lights Up.’ The former 1D member declares he is ‘not ever going back’ in the soulful track.
Finally, we know who we are — fans of Harry Style’s new single. Worldwide billboards and a message-generating website, all labeled with the question “DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?”, were suspected to be a part of a mysterious marketing campaign for the singer’s new music — and the rumors proved to be true. On Oct. 10, Harry, 25, dropped a track called “Lights Up” and it’s a powerful ode about stepping into the light (even if life was “sweet” before).
“All the lights couldn’t put out the dark / Running through my heart / Lights up and they know who you are / Know who you are /Do you know who you are?” Harry croons in the song, which is backed by a soulful choir that prods you to do some soul-searching yourself. Harry even hints at his past in this experimental pop track, singing, “I’m sorry by the way / I’m never going back now / It’d be so sweet if things just stayed the same.” It’s unclear if Harry’s referencing the glory days of One Direction, much like fans were convinced that his former bandmate Zayn did in “Good Years.”
If that wasn’t enough, Harry also blessed us with a music video for the new song. The video translates the message of the track into powerful imagery of rebirth (Harry submerged in water in binary-breaking clothes), dancing shirtless in a packed crowd (good times from the past?), and riding on the back of a motorcycle (Harry’s life is a journey, folks).
Harry hasn’t dropped new music since 2017, when he made his foray into music as a one-man act with the release of his debut album Harry Styles. Understandably, fans were more than happy to hear a fresh tune from the British heartthrob. “Welcome to the new era of harry styles #LightsUp,” one Twitter fan posted along with a montage from the music video, while another listener tweeted, “harry styles has done it again, he put out a single that is completely different from what people would expect from him and he did it flawlessly, he’s literally a star #LightsUp.”
If you’re feeling melodramatic, that was Harry’s intention. He revealed that his sophomore album would be “all about having sex and feeling sad” in his cover story for the Sept. 2019 issue of Rolling Stone.