Niall Horan Enters His Certified Lover Boy Era on ‘Heaven’
Niall Horan’s certified lover boy era has commenced. On “Heaven,” his first single in three years, the musician crosses the line from romantic infatuation into full-blown obsession – and he’s unabashedly reveling in it.
“Strange light revolves around you/You float across the room,” Horan sings on the opening verse, listing out observations about this ethereal being he’s encountered. “Your touch is made of something/Heaven can’t hold a candle to/You’re made of somethin’ new.”
New was necessary. The last we heard from Horan, when the release of his sophomore effort Heartbreak Weather arrived in tandem with global shutdowns, every song about finding love was countered with another about losing it. And every brief encounter held the possibility for a grand romance that never quite manifested.
On “New Angel,” a deep cut from the record that would have been better served as a lead single, Horan yearned for any semblance of distraction from his own feelings, or “a touch of someone else to save me from myself.” With “Heaven,” he seems to have met his match. It’s all of the late-night flirtation seeping into the daytime with the lovelorn emotions disappearing along the way.
The first record to preview Horan’s upcoming third studio album The Show, set for release on June 9, emerged from a new creative partnership. It marks his first collaboration with producer Joel Little, born from a trip to Southern California’s Mojave Desert with co-writers John Ryan and Tobias Jesso Jr.
The singer’s conversational delivery arrives over a plucky bassline and thumping percussion. Elsewhere, layered harmonies boost airy vocals teeing up a festival-ready choral singalong: “God only knows where this could go/And even if our love starts to grow outta control/And you and me go up in flames/Heaven won’t be the same.”
“There’s so much pressure for people to hit certain milestones by a certain age – you get married at this age, buy a house at that age, have kids at some other age,” Horan shared in a statement about the single. “But I’ve never conformed to those ideas, and so I wanted to write about how we all should just focus on enjoying our lives and doing what feels right, instead of worrying about what might be expected of us.”
Ahead of the single release, officially pulling back the curtains on The Show, Horan penned a letter to his fans. Sitting on the ground and reading it aloud in a newly shared video, the singer addressed his anxiety about returning to music after three years. It’s the longest break he’s taken since his days in One Direction. The band released an album a year for five years straight – and when their indefinite hiatus began in 2016, he had his debut solo single out the gate by that September.
“What makes this record incredibly special to me is it’s a reflection of where I am in my life today, as a person, a musician, and of course, as a songwriter,” he explained in the video. “Can’t say I’m not a little nervous, but hopefully you’ll still like this version of me when you listen to the new record.”
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