Changes in Style just “Sign of the Times”


Art by Krystal Nava

When you hear the name Harry Styles, the first group you may think of is the popular, Brit-pop boy band commonly known as One Direction. Harry was just starting his career at this point in the game and representing the band as the lead singer. Listeners, especially pre-teen and teenage girls started to take note of his incredible talent, looks and stardom. He was accompanied by Niall Horan, Louis Tomilson and Zayn Malik. Tensions started to rise in the band and they broke up in December of 2015. This split opened up a new chapter of Styles’ life and his ongoing discovery of his identity. Besides Harry’s discovery of his identity, many of his other, more physical factors have changed as well. He chopped off all his hair in 2015; he also started to incorporate more feminine elements into his style. Even his voice modulated into a lower octave. As well as this, his main audience changed. Instead of catering to squealing, lovesick teeny-bopper girls, he mainly caters to more of a mature, young adult audience group.

Physical changes really set a mood for someone’s identity, however, Harry’s identity change is more than just physical. His main switch occurs in his music and persona on stage and off stage. In his beginnings, Styles was always known for the catchy tunes made in his music. When he was an active part of One Direction, he often sang about immature experiences that he had, “Story of My Life” was a very popular song that talks about one of many adolescent relationships that he had in his teenage years. The songs were often about surface level topics and had no depth to them. Besides this, the album covers were not professional looking at all. As the band divided, Styles started to realize that he was better off on his own.

His first solo album, coincidentally titled “Harry Styles”, came out back in 2017, just two years ago. This studio album shows his more mature, brit-pop sound, displaying his growth and maturity as an artist. Some of his songs even lean to the more alternative side of music as well. The first song in the album titled “Meet ME in the Hallway,” displays his alternative side of his ‘style’.This song is filled with lyrical swings, soft guitar and key changes. To a listener, this shows an immense amount of emotional depth. Another song that has a similar effect is called “Sweet Creature.” This song reminisces a past, more mature relationship that Styles had in his early adulthood. The lyric, “When I run out of rope, you bring me home,” really emphasizes the maturity that he possesses, reflecting about his past experiences. His song “Kiwi,” completely changes gears and is a more classic rock styled song. Each song has its own distinct message and genre. Styles even admitted his change in maturity when he hosted, starred in and promoted his sophomore album (Fine Line) on the popular comedy sketch show, SNL. In his opening monologue, he even comedically exclaims, “I’m not in a boy band anymore, I’m in a man band!”

While on SNL, he previewed two of his new singles on the album called “Lights Out” and “Watermelon Sugar.” “Fine Line” gets released on all music streaming platforms on December 13, 2019. Enjoy noticing Styles’ style changes and happy streaming!