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Whoa. Listen to Harry Styles’s new, very Bowie-esque single

The former One Direction star debuts Bowie-esque new single, ‘Sign of the Times’

By Amy Smith
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Harry Styles premiered his new single ‘Sign of the Times’ this morning on Radio 1's breakfast show – and compared the experience to giving birth.

After months of silence, the former One Direction star teased his legions of fans with cryptic blank Instagram posts last week. He has recently been spending time between the recording studio and dressed in a World War II uniform to shoot the new epic war film 'Dunkirk'.

‘Sign of the Times’ is a bombastic ballad highlighting Styles’s frankly beautiful voice. Slow and punchy, and following a pretty classic rock progression, there are big nods to the rock pomp of ’70s Elton John and Ziggy-era Bowie in there. Think the Bowie-comparison is a bit excessive? Well compare it to the triumphant strings of ‘Life on Mars’, the tempo and groove of ‘Five Years’ and the chiming piano intro of ‘Lady Stardust’, plus the slide-guitar rushes of ‘Space Oddity’ in particular. Nuff Bowieness there, we reckon.

Noticeably, Styles hasn’t gone down that pretty tired teen-star-goes-overtly-sexy route – maybe because he was always the sexy one. Directioners will no doubt enjoy the sweeping chorus and his falsetto but this is ultimately a Radio 2 anthem in the making and it’s no surprise the song has already entered their playlist. 

Record number of international listeners tuned in as Styles co-hosted the pre-recorded breakfast show with Nick Grimshaw for two hours. The two friends chatted about Will Smith, being single and sheep placenta facials, and Styles revealed he prefers to sauté his sprouts. He also revealed that he had asked buddy Ed Sheeran for feedback on his album – but decided not to take it.

He is the fourth member of One Direction to release new music following Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson. Recent dad Liam Payne – and the last One Direction member to unleash new material – is said to be premiering his first solo single in May.

LISTEN TO ‘SIGN OF THE TIMES’ HERE

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