Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Music & Theatre
29 September 2016updated 29 Jul 2021 3:22pm

Niall Horan just released his first solo single, and it sounds a lot like a One Direction song

But is he rebranding himself as an “authentic” singer-songwriter?

By Anna Leszkiewicz

Niall Horan, the blue-eyed, blonde-haired Irish darling of One Direction fans, has just released his first post-boyband solo single. After Zayn’s album, most people thought Harry would be the next to release music – especially as Niall has seemingly been playing golf full-time since the split. But Horan has surprised everyone by releasing “This Town” today.

The song itself is not so surprising. It sounds a lot like an acoustic One Direction ballad – a mix of “Little Things”, “Night Changes” and “I Want To Write You a Song”. Lyrically, it ticks a lot of 1D boxes, too: references to the better times of childhood, someone walking into the room and giving the narrator chills, “who cares who’s watching?”, her perfume lingering after she’s left, homecoming.

The Evening Standard reports that the new song was co-written by Horan, alongside Jamie Scott, Mike Needle and Daniel Bryer, and the image they are pushing is definitely of an “authentic” singer-songwriter – from the scribbled lyrics in the single’s artwork to the self-professed one-take video that accompanies it.

It might not be anything revolutionary, but BBC Radio One has a real thing for white men singing longingly about their childhood memories at the moment (CR: Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” and Twenty-One Pilots’ “Stressed Out”), so it might do well in the UK charts. Ádh mór ort, Niall!

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
Defining a Kodak culture for the future
How do we restore trust in the public sector?
A better future starts at home