Niall Horan was one of the first members of One Direction to announce and release solo material, as he did in September 2016 with his debut single “This Town”.
Since then, Horan has been at work with writing and recording some more tunes for his debut album, and has been teasing with new songs that were ‘coming soon’. On Thursday 4th May, he released a highly anticipated follow-up, called “Slow Hands”, and the tune made its UK airplay debut on the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show on Friday 5th May.
Unlike “This Town”, this new tune begins with a quicker tempo and a steady drumbeat. The build-up is careful and even in this case, Horan’s vocals have taken a change since his debut. There is a slight echo in his voice that fits the new sound of “Slow Hands”.
The strumming of the guitar keeps to Horan’s trademark – he would even play acoustic and electric guitar when on tour with the band – but this time, he is showing his versatility with his musical talents.
The beat of the tune is easy to enjoy, and easy to dance to, and it gives the listener a sense of personality. It’s as if the song is a performance right in front of us; from one person to another, Horan gives an experience that every listener will envision differently in their mind, and this is solely through his voice and his instruments. That is a talent, if you can give the listener a look into your life, your mind and your heart. Through the years, I could see that with Horan when around the others – now he has proven he can be just as strong on his own.
However, I must admit that the contrast of musical direction reminds me of that very familiar “Direction”. But with this, let’s not forget Horan did play a part in writing for the band’s tunes from 2011/2012.
This familiarity assured me from the first listen, inside my mind, that I was going to enjoy this music and it solidified that I was going to enjoy all that Horan himself has in store for us. If he can go from guitar-led softness to a more intimate, heavy sound, I’m not worried about Horan’s future going solo.
Would definitely suggest to those One Direction fans who were wary about the new directions these boys were going to take – or at least if you wondered about the Irish lad’s own solo adventures.
Looking forward to more, Nialler!