Harry Styles’ upcoming debut solo album is poised to be one of the towering commercial achievements of 2017. His lead single “Sign of the Times” has already edged his friend and collaborator Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” out of the #1 spot on the singles charts in the UK, and shot into the top 5 in America. With its shades of early-’70s David Bowie and The Walkmen if they had been primed for The X Factor, the actually-pretty-good “Sign of the Times” also separates Styles from his ex-One Direction bandmates, who stepped out with mediocre singles leaning on R&B, folk, and EDM.
Before Styles releases his rock-heavy debut, here’s a roundup of everything we think we know about the album.
Harry Styles will be released on on Styles’ own label, Erskine Records, on May 12. Here’s the track list, which spans a brisk 10 songs.
- Meet Me in the Hallway
- Sign of The Times
- Two Ghosts
- Sweet Creature
- Only Angel
- Ever Since New York
- From the Dining Table.
The album was executive produced by Jeff Bhasker
Bhasker is a longtime veteran of pop music, having worked heavily with Kanye West on808s & Heartbreaks and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as well as Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Drake, Jay Z, The Rolling Stones and many more. He also co-wrote and produced the entirety of fun.’s debut album Some Nights. On Styles’ record, Bhasker included frequent collaborators collaboratorsAlex Salibian and Tyler Johnson.
The album was largely recorded in Jamaica
According to Rolling Stone, Styles headed to a retreat in Port Antonia, Jamaica to work with a fixed band on the album, after filming his supporting role in director Christopher Nolan’s new WWII epic Dunkirk:
At Geejam, Styles and his entire band were able to live together, turning the studio compound into something like a Caribbean version of Big Pink. They occupied a two-story villa filled with instruments, hung out at the tree-house-like Bush Bar, and had access to the gorgeous studio on-site. Many mornings began with a swim in the deserted cove just down the hill.
Apparently, the band frequently watched romantic dramas on Netflix “to wind down”; Styles told Crowe he had become an expert on theoeuvre of Nicholas Sparks.
Styles ditched a song he wrote with Ed Sheeran for the record
In a March interview, Sheeran clarified that he had written a song that was in the running for Styles’ solo debut, but that it hadn’t made the final cut. “He came round like two years ago and we jammed out a song,” Sheeran said. “I think he’s gone in a totally different direction now.” Previously, Sheeran wrote numerous songs for One Direction, including “Moments,” “Little Thing,” “Over Again,” and “18.”