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The album art for Harry Styles’ S/T debut solo effort; Photo: Columbia


Harry Styles of the now defunct One Direction is doubling down on viewing the negative side of things in song form. His debut single as a solo artist, “Sign of the Times,” is inspired by a mother dying after childbirth, he revealed to Rolling Stone earlier this week.

When we originally encountered the surprisingly not annoying boy band pop squall emanating from the 23-year-old in the beginning of April, Styles kept his lips sealed about the meaning of the dark new avenue in the lyrics referencing heavenly bribes and running from bullets, likewise with whether or not the track was going to be on an album.

So all we had to go from were these odd Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie vibes and the cryptic lyrics. That and a “FUCKING INSANE” endorsement from Father John Misty,

Since then his label, Columbia, dropped official news of the album “SotT” will be on, dubbed Harry Styles, along with nine other tracks, that are due out May 12, followed by a live debut of the jam and another new cut “Ever Since New York” on SNL and a feature spread with Cameron Crowe in RS where we get all these dark details.

“‘Sign of the Times’ came from [the thought] ‘This isn’t the first time we’ve been in a hard time, and it’s not going to be the last time,'” he told Rolling Stone. “The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there’s a complication. The mother is told, ‘The child is fine, but you’re not going to make it.’ The mother has five minutes to tell the child, ‘Go forth and conquer.’”

What drives a lot of his songwriting is human rights, which sometimes involves looking at the reality of some people’s harsh conditions, he said, “Most of the stuff that hurts me about what’s going on at the moment is not politics, it’s fundamentals,” adding, “Equal rights. For everyone, all races, sexes, everything…”

And even though his former One D bandmate, Zayn Malik, dissed the band’s formative years, Styles stays positive about his OG boy dude crew: “I love the band, and would never rule out anything in the future,” Styles said. “The band changed my life, gave me everything.”

So even though these new lyrics see Styles take an increasingly deeper look at the depressing and cynical aspects of life, he does have an ounce of optimism in his soul. And all you strange One D diehards have hope for a reunion. Everybody wins!