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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos



Image: Supplied.

It’s never a dull day when Harry Styles graces us with a new body of work. Arriving complete with 13 tracks, Harry’s House offers insight into the musicians own mind, offering up inner thoughts and personal conversations presented through refined and mature lyricism, and brought to life by nostalgia fuelled sounds and mesmerising melodies.

Opening with the instantly catchy Music for a Sushi Restauraunt, we’re treated to to a fusion of 70’s funk and jazz inspired sonics, heralded by a thumping bass line. Styles drops some bubbling scat melodies atop bright harmonies, likening creating a sushi roll to a lustful desire for love. Late Night Talking solidifies the 70’s infused exploration of the record, whilst sprinkling in some early 80’s influences. The musicians honeyed vocals glisten throughout the cut, whilst groove-laden instrumentation unfurls below intimate lyricism that capture the longing to be with your loved one when distance is in-between.

The intimacy continues on Grapejuice, a Beatles reminiscent love song that recalls on the quieter shared moments of a relationship, before leading into the albums lead single, As It Was. Styles’ mesmerising vocals float above dynamic guitar melodies that cut through a swirling soundscape that continues the albums retro-pop based exploration. Conceptually, the track recalls on a relationship and the changing nature of the world around us, whilst also touching on his own mental health. Laced with vulnerable and introspective lyricism, the emotionally charged track is juxtaposed by bright and dance ready sonics, that when paired together show a whole new side to Styles.

The musician recalls a past love on Daylight and Little Freak, with the former exploring the unrequited love they shared brought to life by dream-of-consciousness lyricism. The track juxtaposes the more sombre thematic standpoint of the track with a bopping synth-pop soundscape, building towards warped guitar lines. Little Freak provides a warmer moment on the record, with Styles’ hazy vocals glowing within a subtle folk-infused soundscape. This time around the musician expresses regret on his approach to the relationship, failing to open up and bare the hidden parts of himself.

Finger-plucked acoustics ring in Matilda, laced with soothing harmonies that wrap around your earbuds throughout the songs bridge. The reassuring track offers support and comfort when building a new life from the ashes of trauma and heartbreak, co-written with previous collaborators Amy Allen, Tyler Johnson and Kid Harpoon, it places weight on the importance of listening to each others stories and providing a safe space to be vulnerable and open. We return to the vastly funky nature of the record on Cinema, which features guitar work from John Mayer. The track is a harmonious blend of disco and funk-pop bringing nostalgic sounds into a contemporary landscape made complete with a groovy bass line and shimmering synths, with the songs lyricism alluding to the musicians current relationship.

Mayer lends his talents once again on Daydreaming, an upbeat offering that will have you grooving the night away. Commanding horns stomp above lively percussion and glittering piano melodies, whilst Styles’ vocals reach new heights on the textural track. Incorporating a sample of The Brothers Johnson’s Aint We Funkin Now, the lively cut oozes sex appeal. The musician takes us on a road trip in Keep Driving, ignoring all the warning signs that a relationship is nearing its demise, instead living in a picturesque world. Satellite continues the exploration of distance between a couple and miscommunication, whist creating one of the albums most dynamic moments. Styles’ falsetto vocals float above swirling synth work and driving percussion, as the track leads toward a rock-infused ending.

Styles comments on toxic masculinity and mistreatment on Boyfriends, inspired by relationships Styles has observed in his personal life. Finger-plucked guitar accompanies the musicians harmonious vocals, darting back to the moments of folk showcased earlier in the body of work. The intimate track offers a moment of quiet and contemplation before the albums endearing closer, Love Of My Life, as he ruminates on his feelings of a relationship after it meets its end.

On Harry’s House, Styles invites us into his own personal space, full of intimate moments, warm embraces and compelling conversations that greet you as an old friend catching up over a cup of coffee, or swapping stories after a night sharing a bottle of red wine. Taking its name from Joni Mitchell’s 1975 release Harry’s House/Centerpiece, the album was written and recorded across the UK, Los Angeles and Tokyo, and embodies the age old thought that home is where the heart is.

4/5 Stars.

Harry’s House is out now!

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