Welcome to ‘Harry’s House’
As a longtime fan of Harry Styles since his One Direction days, I was elated by the announcement of his third studio album, Harry’s House. The excitement of any new release is experiencing it for the first time alongside the rest of the world – seeing which songs go viral on TikTok, which songs rack in the most streams online, and which songs are honored at next year’s music award shows. For Styles, who is currently the fifth most-streamed artist on Spotify, new material from him will likely make huge waves in the music industry.
Harry Styles is not only a pop musical giant, but an influential figure in pop culture as well. His boyish charm, flamboyant stage personality, and gender-neutral fashion statements have cemented him as a relevant, boundary-shifting presence in all aspects of his career.
The 28-year-old pop star’s past two solo albums, Harry Styles and Fine Line have been critical and commercial successes. So, how to describe a tour of Harry’s House? A delightfully cathartic, dreamy experience giving romance, heartache, and self-reflection in Styles’ signature blend of pop, rock, folk, and alternative influences.
The album kicks off with the deliciously upbeat jam, “Music for a Sushi Restaurant,” which uses imagery of fried rice, green tea, and blue bubblegum in relation to his appetite for love. “If the stars were edible, and our hearts were never full / Could we live with just a taste?” Styles muses.
Several tracks on Harry’s House already have fans attempting to decode the lyrics and connect them to Styles’ girlfriend, Olivia Wilde. When the first single, “As It Was,” dropped on March 31, it was rumored that the young voice on the song’s opening line, “C’mon Harry, we want to say goodnight to you,” was one of Wilde’s children. Other songs seem to reference the actress and director, such as “Cinema,” in which Styles sings, “I dig your cinema / Do you think I’m cool too?” He debuted the ‘70s-influenced pop banger, “Late Night Talking” during his Coachella 2022 performance, which is rumored to be written about being in a long-distance relationship with Wilde while on tour.
One of my personal favorite tracks, “Daydream,” evokes influences of ‘70s funk and is as dreamy as its title suggests. It begs to be blasted with the windows down while cruising on highways and back roads. The album closes with several heartfelt, mellow tracks: “Satellite,” “Boyfriends,” and “Love of My Life.”
In a recent interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, Styles discussed the concept of what “home” means to him and revealed why his third album is particularly special to him. “I think for me home is just about friends,” he explained. “While this is such a personal album, and so much about my own journey of finding a place of home, I also feel like it’s very much dedicated to my friends. I always felt like I would land in a certain place, or a certain house and feel like ‘Oh, this is the home I’ve been searching for.’ And I think, much like happiness, that isn’t necessarily a final resting place and it is a journey and it’s kind of peaks and troughs of happiness, sadness – all of the things that make you feel alive.”