Mike Wass The road from boy band fame to solo stardom is notoriously bumpy, but Niall Horan made the transition look easy with 2017 debut album “Flicker.” Eschewing the pop of One Direction for earthier, singer-songwriter fare, the Irishman carved out his own artistic identity — one hit at a time.
Horan, 29, then broadened his sonic horizons on “Heartbreak Weather,” but its release coincided with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and promotion suddenly ground to a halt.
With time on his hands for the first time in a decade, the pop star looked inward and started writing “The Show.” His third album, due June 9 via Capitol Records, finds Horan laying his feelings bare as he opens up about love and the rigors of adulthood. “If I made this album four years ago, I probably wouldn’t have written some of those songs,” the hitmaker muses. “The pandemic was a good time for me to reflect on everything that’s happened up until that point.” After the sting of his stillborn sophomore project wore off, Horan returned to the studio — somewhat reluctantly. “I had just written a thousand songs, so I didn’t do anything for a lot of the early pandemic,” he remembers.
Eventually, he sat down at the piano and wrote the title track of his third album. With its introspective lyrics and quirky, alt-leaning production, “The Show” would go on to set the tone of the whole project. “I wanted to say things I hadn’t said before,” Horan says of the song, which recognizes that giddy highs and devastating lows are inevitable side-effects of being human. “Writing a song like that makes you start to think about what else you should be grateful for.” It also encouraged him to be more vulnerable and open up about his fears and anxieties on the rest ofRead more on variety.com