As One Direction continues their extended hiatus to focus on individual projects, band member Niall Horan has made a huge preliminary stride at a solo music career by surprise-releasing his first solo single “This Town” on Thursday.
Horan, who inked a solo deal with Capitol Records USA, tandem-released the accompanying “1 Mic 1 Take” video that finds the Irish singer in the historic Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California as he offers a raw performance of the poignant acoustic love ballad.
“Saw that you moved on with someone new / in the pub that we met he’s got his arms around you / it’s so hard, so hard / and I want to tell you everything words I never got to say the first time around,” he woefully sings on the track, which was produced by Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Kelly Clarkson) and co-written with Jamie Scott, Mike Needle, and Daniel Bryer.
Immediately after the world premiere of “This Town,” Horan phoned in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest to discuss the meaning behind the track, which appears to cite a former romantic relationship.
“In terms of an individual, not so much,” he said. “It’s kind of got a double meaning I guess. It’s my hometown. It’s funny how things never change in this hometown, but everything comes back to you when you go home and stuff like that. It’s also got that double-meaning and people from small towns will understand.”
On the song’s alternative meaning, he said it can be interpreted as a ballad about reuniting with someone from your past: “there’s always that one individual that you end up seeing when you go home or whatever.”
Horan said “This Town’s” down-tempo style, influenced by Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, is not a complete reflection of his forthcoming debut solo album, which will also feature upbeat acoustic guitar arrangements. On the as-yet-untitled album’s status, he revealed it is still incomplete and its arrival is still undetermined.
“I’ve like written 15 to 20 songs, so I’m kind of gonna start picking,” he teased.
Though Horan’s solo release continues to stoke the flames of One Direction’s rumored disbandment, the singer said the band — who formed on The X Factor in 2010 — is still on good terms and may still reunite after their indefinite break.
“Everyone’s enjoying their own thing. Harry did the movie, I’m doing this, and Louis [Tomlinson’s] got his things going on and so does Liam,” he said of his bandmates, who actually heard “This Town” way before its release. “I still talk to them all the time, we still talk to each other … We’re stable. We’re just kind of doing our own thing, but I definitely won’t rule [a reunion] out.”
“This Town” is available for download now.