"Lights Up" marks the former One Direction member's first musical release in over two years

By Georgia Slater
October 11, 2019 10:15 AM

Harry Styles is back — and more shirtless than ever!

The 25-year-old’s newest single, “Light’s Up,” which dropped Thursday at midnight with a steamy music video, shows a sexy and more emotional side of Styles.

The track, which is believed to kick-off the artist’s upcoming untitled album, marks the former One Direction member’s first musical release in over two years.

The glitz-filled video shows the star dancing sweaty and shirtless in a crowd, riding on the back of a motorcycle, as well as shots of him nearly drowning in a pool.

As Styles teased in an August Rolling Stone profile titled “Sex, Psychedelics and the Secrets of Stardom,” fans can expect his new album to be “all about having sex and feeling sad” — concepts clearly presented in the “Lights Up” video.

The video, which also shows images of Styles garbed in a black sequin blazer while wadding alone in the middle of the sea, takes a very “psychedelic” approach as the singer revealed that he “did a lot of mushrooms” during his songwriting process for the new album.

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“We’d do mushrooms, lie down on the grass, and listen to Paul McCartney’s Ram in the sunshine,” he said of the creative process, adding that one day when he was “doing mushrooms” he “bit off the tip of my tongue.”

“So I was trying to sing with all this blood gushing out of my mouth,” he shared with Rolling Stone. “So many fond memories.”

The racy video also features Styles swarmed by a cluster of skin-baring partygoers rubbing against him while he repeats the line, “do you know who you are?”

RELATED VIDEO: Liam Payne Says He Coped with One Direction Fame by Drinking: ‘It Got a Little Bit Toxic’

On Friday, Styles announced the release of his single in an Instagram post, marking his return to the social media platform for the first time since July 2018.

Since embarking on a solo career after years of being One Direction, Styles told Rolling Stone he’s lost a lot of his old anxiety and fears.

“I was constantly scared I might sing a wrong note. I felt so much weight in terms of not getting things wrong. I remember when I signed my record deal and I asked my manager, ‘What happens if I get arrested? Does it mean the contract is null and void?’” he told the outlet. “Now, I feel like the fans have given me an environment to be myself and grow up and create this safe space to learn and make mistakes.”

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While he went on to share that he didn’t “feel like I was held back at all” by being in the group, he’s not sure whether the group will ever come together again.

“I don’t think I’d ever say I’d never do it again, because I don’t feel that way. If there’s a time when we all really want to do it, that’s the only time for us to do it, because I don’t think it should be about anything else other than the fact that we’re all like, ‘Hey, this was really fun. We should do this again,’” he said.

“But until that time, I feel like I’m really enjoying making music and experimenting,” Styles continued. “I enjoy making music this way too much to see myself doing a full switch, to go back and do that again. Because I also think if we went back to doing things the same way, it wouldn’t be the same, anyway.”

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