Last week, Harry Styles announced that his third album, Harry’s House, will be out in May. This may have been brand-new information to you. But if you’re a Styles stan in the trenches of social media sleuthing, you’ve probably been waiting for this announcement for months.
On this week’s episode of Don’t Let This Flop, hosts Brittany Spanos and EJ Dickson discuss the Harry’s House rollout and how fans of Styles have been piecing together little clues he and his team have been dropping for a while now.
Such is the gold standard of pop-album releases these days: teasing your young, Easter-egg-loving fandom for weeks or even months. Sometimes, fans make the theories for themselves even if they don’t exist. Other times, artists are more than willing to plant teasers anywhere and everywhere, with hope that the truly hardcore members of the fandom will just Get It.
Styles is the perfect artist for this type of choose-your-own-adventure rollout. On top of his mysterious, seemingly social-media-averse persona, he has a devoted and large fandom who are more than willing to do the research. The first sign of something strange happening was a paparazzi photo of Styles holding his phone with what seemed to be the TikTok app open. Later, an account called @suemonella popped up, with subtle nods to the type of Vine videos Styles made when he was in One Direction. (“Sue” is also a nickname bestowed upon Styles by his longtime stylist Harry Lambert. If you don’t get it, don’t ask!) The last video posted to the account was a “Watermelon Sugar” plaque from Spotify, taken from what is clearly a set of some sort.
Then came the newspaper ads. TikTok user and Styles stan Kristen Friday put together a timeline of these mysterious ads featuring upside down vases in various major newspapers. It came on the heels of the post-less Instagram account You Are Home being suggested to many Styles fans. The account has since been verified and used to promote Harry’s House.
Friday even points out the cost of these particular ads, noting that while expensive, they’re affordable for a corporation … like a major recording label. Upon further investigating, it was determined the You Are Home account was created the same day the @suemonella TikTok account started posting videos.
Now that the album has been announced, everyone has gone one step further in determining the actual content of it. The title shares a name with a Joni Mitchell song, an artist who is a major inspiration for and now a friend of Styles. In a since-deleted video, TikTok user @eveningcrickets connected the salons Mitchell was hosting at her home (which Styles attended alongside Brandi Carlile, Lucius, and Maggie Rogers, among others) to a songwriting camp Rogers participated in while recording her upcoming album Surrender. Lucius is also releasing an album this year, executive-produced by Carlile.
For the uninitiated, these may seem like QAnon conspiracies, but real pop stans are CIA-level investigators. Keep eyes on the stan accounts for more theories that could hopefully end up becoming reality.
In addition to Harry Styles Easter eggs, Spanos and Dickson break down the Smith-Rock fracas (and the subsequent social media brain-breaking), Love Is Blind drama, a misinformation campaign about a summer sex-ed camp, and the renaissance of Steve Harvey, who we name our Himbo of the Week.