I hope you’ve been saving your money, because Harry Styles is back.
Black and white posters with the phrase “Do You Know Who You Are?” began appearing in different cities across the globe last week, and fans insisted Styles was behind the madness. To the average passerby, these posters would seem like nothing special. But to Harry Styles fans, the message was clear.
At the bottom of the posters sat the Columbia Records logo, Styles’ record label, as well as the abbreviation “TPWK.” This acronym, standing for “Treat People With Kindness,” was used on a majority of Styles’ merchandise on his last tour. On Oct. 5th, Styles cryptically tweeted “Do.”
Each of these measures took Styles’ fans by storm, and not one of these posters had his name on it. Twitter blew up with various theories as to what everything meant, and came to the conclusion that HS2, what fans call Harry’s sophomore album, was on its way. For the first time in a while, these fans were right.
Fans discovered a website titled DoYouKnowWhoYouAre.com Oct. 10. The website generated random compliments when fans entered their names, and each message was signed “Love, H.” Later that night, fans discovered a music video link on YouTube, as well as pictures of Styles on the cover of Spotify’s “New Music Friday.” By that point, it was clear Styles was about to drop something big.
Styles dropped his first single of this new era, titled “Lights Up,” at midnight. This track, psychedelic with a hint of R&B, was something fairly out of the blue for him. His last album, titled “Harry Style” and released in 2017, was comprised of tracks primarily influenced by ’70s and ’80s rock. Before that was One Direction, and they were, well, One Direction. This track blew away his fan base and made a much larger impact than his former bandmate, Niall Horan, who dropped his first solo track of his sophomore album earlier in the week.
Along with the song came a sultry new music video, featuring a shirtless and sweaty Styles surrounded and being touched by men and women. The video cut to Styles flying through the streets on the back of a moped with his shirt unbuttoned, as well as staring at himself in a mirror, standing in a lake, floating and seemingly having an out-of-body experience. It was — in a word — trippy.
This new image of sex and drugs is something totally new for Styles. While his former bandmates have made significant efforts to stray from their bubble-gum pop roots, Styles seemed to take a bit more time to make the leap. But after listening to the track and watching the video, we’re glad he did.
While an album or tour dates haven’t been announced yet, this shocking drop signals that they’ll be coming soon. Our bank accounts may not be ready, but we definitely are.