Harry Styles has arrived to make your 2021. “As It Was,” the first single and video from his forthcoming third album, Harry’s House, arrived on March 31 here in the States, and it gave the year a much-needed burst of energy. Harry, 28, declared “nothing was the same” — seemingly a pseudonym for the post COVID-19 world we are now entering. He appeared to reference girlfriend Olivia Wilde‘s two kids Otis Sudeikis, 7, and Daisy Josephine Sudeikis, 5, who fans also believe could have been speaking at the top of the track.
“I don’t wanna talk about the way that it was/Leave America, two kids, follow her/I don’t wanna talk about who’s doin’ it first,” he croons. The singer enters an art-inspire world with murals and dance as he spins around with a dancer in a blue catsuit, mirroring her ensemble in a matching red sequin version. As he dances outside in public, it appears that Harry has imagined the other settings we see him in — including shirtless at a pool.
Harry first announced “As It Was” on Monday (Mar. 28) with a trio of images, all taken from behind the “Watermelon Sugar” singer. In the pics, Harry wears a sequined red jumpsuit while stretching, seemingly getting his muscles limber for movement. Two days afterward, he shared a ten-second teaser of the music video, shoring him in that red jumpsuit while riding around on a spinning apparatus. A catchy drum beat plays before a keyboard chimes in with a little ditty. The initial impressions were on par for Harry’s course, a splash of genderbending with a bit of 80’s inspired flavor. Fans had to wait until the official release – April 1 in Harry’s native U.K. – to see what the song would bring.
“As It Was” is the first and likely, not the last preview of Harry’s House fans will get before the album arrives on May 20. Harry announced his third album in late March with a teaser that showed him walking across a theater’s stage while wearing a pair of wide-legged jeans and a white blouse – the same outfit he wears on the Harry’s House cover. With a silent smile towards the camera, Harry stands as the titular house is raised up around him, possibly paying homage to Buster Keaton and how a house collapsed on the silent movie star in 1928’s Steamboat Bill, Jr.
The name of the album is an unintentional(?) homage to Joni Mitchell. Harry’s album shares its title with Joni’s song, “Harry’s House / Centerpiece,” from her 1975 album, The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Harry has proven he’s a Joni fan, covering her “Big Yellow Taxi” in 2020, per Pitchfork. Shortly after Harry announced his third album, Joni’s Twitter account tweeted “Love the title” to the former One Direction singer.
Harry’s House will arrive nearly three years after Harry’s second album, Fine Line. His sophomore effort was a turning point in his career. While his eponymous solo debut established Harry as an individual artist, with the chart-topping and muti-Platinum “Sign of the Times,” Fine Line saw Harry really find his footing in the music world. It was also a smash hit. In the U.S., the album was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified triple-Platinum by the RIAA. Its biggest single, “Watermelon Sugar,” topped the Billboard Hot 100, and won Harry the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance and the Brit Award for Song of the Year.