Harry Styles has released the highly-anticipated new song and video for “Lights Up.” The track serves as the lead single for the pop star’s forthcoming sophomore album.
On the dreamy, R&B-leaning “Lights Up,” Styles wonders, “Do you know who you are?” on the chorus. The Tame Impala-esque track has Styles refusing to step out of “the light,” having found clarity and comfort there. In the video, the mostly shirtless Styles is at a bacchanal where he grinds and dances with other drenched, barely-clothed people. He is seen alone in a house and on the back of a motorcycle as well.
Prior to releasing new music, Styles spoke candidly with Rolling Stone for the September cover story about the recording process for his forthcoming LP as well as the classic rock influences that have inspired him. “It’s all about having sex and feeling sad,” he said at the time. He recorded the album at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La with many of the same people he worked with on his self-titled 2017 debut, like producers Jeff Bhasker and Tyler Johnson as well as guitarist Mitch Rowland, drummer Sarah Jones and writer/producer Kid Harpoon.
Styles also spoke about the impact psychedelics had on this album. He joked about naming the project Mushrooms and Blood, following an incident where he bit off the tip of his tongue after ingesting the drug. “We’d do mushrooms, lie down on the grass, and listen to Paul McCartney’s Ram in the sunshine. We’d just turn the speakers into the yard,” he said. “We were here for six weeks in Malibu, without going into the city. People would bring their dogs and kids. We’d take a break to play cornhole tournaments. Family values!”