Harry Styles, the fan favourite of One Direction, goes deep on his new solo debut.
If you can hear that piercing sound of fangirls screaming, then no. It’s not your imagination. The reason is as follows: Harry Styles has officially revealed his new solo album cover… and he’s completely shirtless and soaking wet!
According to the singer, he announced on his twitter that his highly anticipated solo album will be released May 12th, less than a month away. Along with the gorgeously pink cover art, the album will feature ten songs, with his debut single ‘Sign of the Times’ and for the past year, it seems Harry has had a lot on his mind recently. If his new album is any indication, fans all over the world will be swept up wild ride of mystery and soul searching.
Loved for his smile and tousled hair, Harry Styles has spent five years as the heart throb of One Direction, which the band seems to be on a brief hiatus. Just in the midst of all this 1D hype, Styles decided to take a step back from the limelight and reflect on his musical career and personal identity.
He expressed to Cameron Crowe of ‘Rolling Stone’ that “a solo career was calling to him… (that he) wanted to step up… felt like it was to to make a decision about the future… and maybe shouldn’t rely on others”
Although we don’t know much about his upcoming album, Harry Styles promises there will be at least 10 original songs, the album itself will have a psychedelic and acoustic rock vibe and move away from the pop style that dominates today. Despite all his popularity, Harry Style prefers to keep personal life and work separate. His fans know little about the singer as a person, other than his stage persona. This year, he claims he will pour all his ‘honesty’ into his debut album and we expect great things!
So far, he has shared amazing details about growing up and his past relationships, including with Taylor Swift but the most important part is when he recognises his teenage and predominantly female, fans. Aware that he has a young fan base, the singer talks of nothing but praise and support to Rolling Stone staff.
“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts.” – Harry Styles
If you think about it, his upcoming album is almost a collection of musical ‘thank you’s’ to his fans, if what he says about his album being about love and relationships is true. Styles also shares with Rolling Stone that the songs featured in his solo album will be nothing but honest and intimate, with lyrics filled with detailed references and doomed declarations of love which he hopefully wishes to carry to his fan base.
So what’s the deal with all the cover art? There have been numerous conspiracy theories behind his solo debut album. The album back and front covers certainly give off that 70s rock n roll vintage vibe, the kind you see on old vinyl records. Here are FIB’s theories, to keep you going until May!
What captures our attention the most is probably the album’s bright ‘millennial pink’ cover and water. Lot’s of it. It’s not easy to miss! On the front cover we see a clothed silhouette of Harry, half submerged in the inky water and staring into the horizon. He’s not alone. He appears to be gazing at a sinking figure, who’s hands are outstretched and upturned at the surface of the water. Whether Harry is watching this ‘supposed’ figure sink the bottom is unclear. It’s almost as if he’s saying goodbye to it. Since this is his solo album and all, it could be a representation of allowing his ‘old self’ (with One Direction) to sink to and fade away to move on to new beginnings.
Back Album Image
As mentioned previously, water appears to be significant in both the front and back album image. Here, Harry Styles is half submerged in a tub filled with pink coloured water. Once again, his back remains facing us and the additional nudity expresses a form of vulnerability. It’s strange how the only part of his back is the only part of his body that isn’t covered in tattoos. A blank and empty slate perhaps? It’s also worth noting that being in ‘topless’ or ‘nude’ state is often a popular headline and gendered symbol for women. The imagery itself is distinctly feminine and pink itself is a feminine colour. The composition of the back album image is somewhat voyeuristic but melancholic since he’s bent in a vulnerable position. Why the pink water? Aside from him featuring in the upcoming WW2 film, ‘Dunkirk’, the pink water suggests an environment that is contaminated. This sends off a distinct message and references his single ‘The Sign of the Times’. Then again, bathing is also reminiscent of baptism. But the focal point is his lotus pendant and Harry Styles is no stranger to pendants. In Buddhism, the lotus flower is also a symbol of rebirth.
Aside from him featuring in the upcoming WW2 film, ‘Dunkirk’, the pink water suggests an environment that is contaminated. This sends off a distinct message and references his single ‘The Sign of the Times’. Then again, bathing is also reminiscent of baptism. But the focal point is his lotus pendant and Harry Styles is no stranger to pendants. In Buddhism, the lotus flower is also a symbol of rebirth.
To sum up, there are obvious themes Harry Styles wants his fans to pick up on; vulnerability, rebirth, respect and love. His album images are so much more artful than any of One Direction’s album’s for sure and we’ll need to listen carefully to learn about the true meanings behind his songs. We can definitely say that Harry Styles is moving onto a new, mature and self-assured direction and leaving his old self behind.