Harry Styles firmly established himself as a solo star with ‘Fine Line’ – so what’s next for the ‘Watermelon Sugar’ singer? Here’s what we know about his third album.
2020 was supposed to be the year of Harry Styles. The former boy band singer had firmly put his One Direction days behind him with his sophomore album, Fine Line. He had announced his 2020 world tour – Love On Tour – with the European leg kicking off in April. He’d hit America in June and celebrate “Harryween” with two nights at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. Then, COVID-19 hit, and it all went into the trash.
So, when Harry announced on July 14, 2021, that his Love On Tour was back on, fans were excited. “LOVE ON TOUR will be going out across the USA this September, and I could not be more excited for these shows,” he wrote on Instagram. He also mentioned something else: “I will be sharing more news soon about shows across the globe, and new music. I love you all so much. I’m very excited, and I can’t wait to see you.”
New music? Did Harry, like many other acts/bands/singers, record a new album during the pandemic? It would be big news for both Harry’s fans and the music industry. Since the members of One Direction went their separate ways, Harry has arguably had the most success as a solo artist. Harry’s debut album, 2017’s Harry Styles, and 2019’s Fine Line were ranked No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, on Insider’s rundown of the 1D solo records. Fine Line also has the highest Metacritic score out of all the lads’ individual projects.
Commercially, Harry’s least-selling single was 2017’s “Two Ghosts,” and that record still went Gold, per the RIAA. All the other singles have been gone Platinum, at least. His bandmates – Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne – can’t say the same. He’s tied with Zayn for most Billboard Hot 100 No. 1’s – Harry’s “Watermelon Sugar” versus Zayn’s “Pillowtalk.” Harry’s “Watermelon Sugar,” a song he famously debuted on Saturday Night Live when he pulled double-duty as both the host and musical guest, took home the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance.
So, a new Harry Styles releasing an album would be a big thing, so here’s what we know so far:
When Will Harry Styles’s New Album Be Released?
As of July 2021, Harry Styles has not confirmed that he’s releasing a third album, so there’s no album release date to report. He hasn’t even confirmed a third album is on the way. With his rescheduled Love On Tour going from September to November (and that’s just the North American dates), one would assume that any new album would happen afterward.
It’s possible that he could drop the album in December 2021 and spend early 2022 performing this new album and Fine Line on the European leg of his Love On Tour. At this point, it’s all up in the air.
What Is Harry Styles’s New Album Called?
As of July 2021, Harry hasn’t released the title of his potential third album.
Fine Line was named after the song that closes out his sophomore album. “It’s a weird one,” Styles told Rolling Stone. “It started simple, but I wanted to have this big epic outro thing. And it just took shape as this thing where I thought, ‘That’s just like the music I want to make.’ I love strings, I love horns, I love harmonies — so why don’t we just put all of that in there?”
What’s Harry Styles’s New Record Going To Sound Like?
With his second album, Fine Line, Harry took a different direction with his music. He surprised fans with “Lights Up,” his first single off the album (and the first of many music videos from Fine Line.) “When I played it for the label, I told them, ‘This is the first single. It’s two minutes, thirty-five. You’re welcome,’” he told Rolling Stone. Described as a “sleek R&B groove,” it kicked off this leg of a musical journey, one that took him from his boy band days.
The AV Club said Fine Line sees Harry manifest his “classic rock and soul fandom” and that music takes “inspiration from California’s idyllic weather, sunshine myths, and studio talent.” The lyrics, per The AV Club’s review, recount the timeless lyrical themes of the “agony and ecstasy of romance and heartbreak.” While some might have chalked this up as a retro cosplay record, The AV Club noted that Harry “has the charisma, curiosity, and raw talent to pull off even his weirder detours” and that he was able to meld the past with the present to establish his future.
In a now-famous Rolling Stone cover story, the publication reported his new album was full of the “toughest, most soulful songs” he’s ever written. “It’s all about having sex and feeling sad,” he said. A year before Fine Line’s recording, Harry was involved with French model Camille Rowe. “He went through this breakup that had a big impact on him,” Tom Hull, one of Harry’s best friends, told Rolling Stone. “He had a whole emotional journey about her, this whole relationship. But I kept saying, ‘The best way of dealing with it is to put it in these songs you’re writing.’”
Since Fine Line, Harry has started up a relationship with Olivia Wilde. As of July 2021, the love was still going strong between him and the actress. If Fine Line was about having sex and feeling sad, this potential third album might have a more jubilant tone.
Who Will Feature On Harry Styles’s New Album?
After kicking off his career by sharing the stage with four other voices, Harry’s first two albums had the spotlight planted solely on him. There are no featured cameos on either Harry Styles or Fine Line. With this potential third album, Harry might allow for a guest appearance or two, now that he has established himself as a credible solo act.
As for who might appear on this third album? Harry’s original Love On Tour lineup included King Princess, Jenny Lewis, and reggae singer Koffee. His 2020 “Harryween” shows had masked country music maverick Orville Peck as the opening act. Harry’s support of these artists might carry over from having them share the stage with him to having them appear on his next album.
He might also follow Miley Cyrus’s footsteps and release an album where he duets with all his heroes. On Dec. 13, 2019, less than 24 hours after releasing Fine Line, Harry performed his sophomore album in its entirety for one night only at the Los Angeles Forum. The show was a treat for Harry’s fans, and with him jumping and frolicking around the stage, according to Billboard, while performing “Treat People With Kindness.” He interacted with fans during this penultimate song and ended the set with “Sign of the Times.” During the encore, Harry brought out Stevie Nicks, and together, they covered Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” A giddy Harry said, “I know – cool, isn’t it?” to the crowd.
What Songs Are Going To Be On Harry Styles’s New Album?
As of July 2021, Harry doesn’t have any free-floating singles that would be collected on a third album. However, his Instagram post, promising “new music,” indicates that fans won’t have to wait long to hear what he has in store.
With his self-titled debut, Harry Styles took his first step as a solo artist. Fine Line saw him achieve commercial and critical success on his own. His potential third album will see Harry continue his musical journey, and his fans will be there for it. After all, it’s Harry Styles’ world, and we’re just living in it.