Harry Styles broke his two-year hiatus from music on April 1 and released a single from his upcoming album. The song, titled “As It Was,” quickly broke barriers and became Spotify’s most-streamed song in a single day in 2022 with 8.3 million streams, as well as the most-streamed song in a single day in the U.S. in Spotify history.
This is not an easy feat to accomplish. For reference, Styles’s entire last album “Fine Line” debuted with 35 million streams, and a single song from his new album has already garnered over 21 million streams globally in a single day. Many critics claimed that Styles could not top “Fine Line” and that any new music would only be a fraction of his best work. It is safe to say, though, that these claims have no basis in reality.
The song precedes Styles’s new album, “Harry’s House,” which will be released on May 20. Little is known of its contents so far; however, Styles has released several images of doors with a sliver of an image behind them that may be clues to what the album will include. Many have already discovered that he will make references to the fish and fictional island of “Eroda” in his music video for the song “Adore You” on his last album.
The music video for “As It Was” is no different, with stunning visuals and clues to Harry’s personal life and other themes on the album in its visuals.
The video features Harry dressed in a monochrome red outfit as he walks on a spinning platform with a woman dressed in a monochrome blue outfit. They seem to have a connection at first, but as the wheel spins faster, Styles falls off of it and begins to run, eventually breaking open the doors of the house he is in and dancing into the world.
The song features an upbeat melody and rhythm opposed with lyrics about Styles’s mental state and struggles with himself, which creates a beautiful dissonance that makes listeners reflect on what the song means.
Many believe that it is a reference to his parents’ divorce and that the woman in blue is his sister Gemma. The blue and red outfits seem to be a nod to “The Matrix” and the choice between reality and fiction. Several visuals from the video nod to a younger Harry and an older Harry, which would support this theory.
“The song is about metamorphosis, embracing change and former self, perspective shift and all that kind of stuff," Styles said. "It just felt like the thing I wanted to say, the thing I wanted to be doing, and the kind of music I wanted to make coming back.”
No matter the meaning Styles has hidden in the song, its beat and lyrics are undeniably works of art. Many people took to Twitter to voice their praise for the song, with author Jack Edwards tweeting: “breaking my social media detox to tweet about how good Harry Styles’ new song is.”
The song is a bop, and it is available to stream on all platforms currently. The only downside to the single is that we won’t get any more “Harry’s House” content until the 20th, so “As It Was” will have to serve as a prelude until then.
In response to questions about the album’s release and “As It Was,” Styles said that he is “very, very excited. I wrote the song quite a while ago now and the album’s been finished for a little bit and I feel like I’ve been sitting on it, keeping a secret so I’m excited to be able to finally share it with everyone and I hope everyone enjoys it.”
Not only is Styles excited for the album's release, but his fans are as well. I’m sure it will be groundbreaking, and I personally cannot wait to see what Mr. Styles has up his sleeve for all of us.