Niall Horan is no longer the only Irish boy in British supergroup One Direction- he’s a grown man with a solo recording career to match.
The frosted-tipped, guitar-strumming former boybander was touted as the group’s jokester, a teen idol that seemed genuinely happy both on stage and off.
Now that 1D is officially on hiatus Horan has emerged as a force unto himself as a solo artist, releasing two debut solo tracks “This Town” and “Slow Hands” which both broke the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The singles were glimpses into Horan’s first solo album “Flicker,” a much-anticipated foray into the singer-songwriters departure from the bubblegum pop of his boyband days.
With Liam Payne churning out club bangers, Harry Styles channeling a rock and roll vibe, Louis Tomlinson venturing into electropop and Zayn firmly planted in the R&B genre, Horan was free to explore a solo sound all of his own. The singer’s new vibe is not quite soft pop and not quite folk, a happy middle ground that freely swings between bass-heavy bedroom music and heart-wrenching acoustic ballads.
With a muted look to match his toned-down sound, fans of the former Directioner have nothing but love for the maturation, putting “Flicker” on track to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart. The chart’s ranking algorithm is a combination of traditional album sales and streaming plays, two separately recorded metrics that “Niallers” have no problem commanding. If “Flicker” does take the top spot like it is slated to do, Horan will follow in the steps of his former bandmates as Zayn’s 2016 “Mind Of Mine” and Harry Styles’ 2017 self-titled album both debuted at No. 1.
Listen to “Flicker” in its soft-pop entirety below.
Don’t forget to check Billboard’s official website on Oct. 29 to see if Horan’s “Flicker” climbed to the top of the charts.
If it does, we’ll be as proud of the singer as former bandmate Liam Payne.
.@NiallOfficial proud of how far we’ve come bro! Everyone go out and buy his album Friday!!🔥
— Liam (@LiamPayne) October 17, 2017