The new year always brings with it new wishes. It’s a time of restarts, reexaminations… resolutions. Imagine the whole year laid out in front of you like a winding road, and wonder what might you encounter as you wind through its endless turns?
The desire to better your life, and therefore your life’s outcomes, almost never comes without comparison to those rambling along similar paths.
All this work we do, all the expectations we place upon ourselves to achieve success at the finish line. To reach this kind of sacred, revered, untouchable place is to have won the race. But at what cost?
On Niall Horan’s new song, “Heaven,” the Platinum-certified artist grapples with exactly this dilemma. Released via Capitol Records last Friday, the sunny, atmospheric pop song captures the sentiments of ignoring, and then subverting, the expectations placed upon us to attain certain achievements at specific times.
“There’s so much pressure for people to hit certain milestones by a certain age— you get married at this age, buy a house at that age, have kids at some other age,” says Horan. “But I’ve never conformed to those ideas, and so I wanted to write about how we all should just focus on enjoying our lives and doing what feels right, instead of worrying about what might be expected of us,” Horan remarks on the song’s composition. You can watch the lyric video for “Heaven” here.
The unpretentious folksiness in the songwriting is what draws attention to Horan’s music, a consistent theme for him as a musician. He sounds at his best when he sings of forlorn love or love lost; of making heartbreak palatable and even a little hopeful; and of what exactly is fair in love. “Heaven” utilizes a stomping beat and plucky piano riff in the chorus spaced alongside background harmonies, allowing the song to elevate to a bright and hopeful place where all these expectations are allowed to be shirked, rewritten, or completely sloughed off. Where new love can cross the threshold uninfluenced by previous action.
Horan’s new album, “The Show,” will be released Friday June 9 via Capitol, and features a series of 5 collectible vinyl variants available now for pre-order, alongside an instant download of “Heaven.” This will be his first album in three years since 2020’s “Heartbreak Weather,” which earned praise from publications such as NPR, Rolling Stone, and American Songwriter, and went #1 on Billboard’s “Top Album Sales” tally.
Working with producers like Joel Little (Lorde, Shawn Mendes, Ellie Goulding) and Tobias Jesso, Jr. (Adele, Sia), Horan’s new music has a throwback 60s/70s singer-songwriter vibe that’s heavily melodic and encapsulates the upgrading of his soul-searching, reflective pop sound. Think Jackson Browne at Joshua Tree meets James Arthur in Laurel Canyon.
Niall has recently made appearances on The Late Late Show with James Corden, where he performed “Heaven,” and The Kelly Clarkson Show, where he spoke about the song’s writing process. He is also one of the newest Coaches joining the upcoming 23rd season of NBC’s “The Voice,” alongside Chance The Rapper and returning judge Clarkson, set to premiere Monday March 6.
Pre-order “The Show” today and receive an instant download of “Heaven,” and make sure to check out the album’s array of pre-order packages. “The Show” is out June 9. Check out the album’s trailer here.
Niall Horan – 2023 Festival Dates:
5/26 Boston, MA Boston Calling Festival 2023
6/16 Landgraaf, NL Pinkpop 2023
6/18 Newport, UK Isle of Wight Festival 2023
7/6 Stavern, NO Stavernfestivalen
7/7 Glasgow, UK TRNSMIT Festival 2023
7/20 Ostrava, CZ Colours of Ostrava 2023
7/22 Paris, FR Lollapalooza Paris
8/9 Odemira, PT Meo Sudoeste 2023
8/12 Budapest, HU Sziget Festival 2023
9/1 Stradbally, IE Electric Picnic 2023
Additional dates to be announced.
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