The “Slow Hands” crooner even broke down each of his upcoming tunes to The Sun
, and he described the title track as “quite a personal song.”
“‘Heartbreak Weather’ is about the start of the relationship and the song’s quite a personal song but I’ve dressed it up as a happy tune. I’m pretty decent at that,” he explained. “There’s a lot of sad songs that are dressed up as happier sounding ones. This has an eighties kind of feel to it, it makes you feel happy as soon as it starts and that’s what I wanted. That’s why I wanted to start the album with it because it really perks your ears up straight away. I absolutely love this song.”
Niall called “Black and White” his favorite on the album!
“Black and White was one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever had the pleasure of making. When we were in the studio I just had the best time. I think of this song as a wedding song. I was getting a bit nostalgic with it and the song is basically about the first person you ever go out with, when you’re like 15, you’re like, that’s it, me and you are getting married,” he said. “That’s it, I’ve seen it in the movies it looks exactly like this. So I just thought black and white would be like the black suit and white dress and it would become a bit of a wedding song. It’s got a very happy feel to it, like a stomping driving tune. I think it might be my favorite on the album.”
As for “Dear Patience,” “It’s basically about the start of the relationship, I was basically writing a letter to the feeling of patience and being like, ‘Don’t f*** it up. Take your time on this because you rush into stuff.’ That’s why it comes straight after Black and White because it’s kind of contradicting itself. It’s like, ‘Don’t mess this one up, don’t rush in too hard.’ The verse is like, ‘Can we share a drink and let go of the pressure,’ which is kind of like, ‘Me and you need to have a chat, patience.’ That’s where that came from.”
The singer described “Bend the Rules” as more of a concept song, and “not particularly personal” to him.
“Slowly the album became a concept album and was less about me and more about different relationships and maybe that feeling that at the start of a relationship, you’re not that trusting and this song kind of talks about,” he revealed. “When I call you up, you might miss a name out when I ask you who’s around and you’re not breaking the rules but you’re kind of bending them.”
Niall described “Small Talk” as a “grungier” version of “Slow Hands!”
“I love this song. It’s got a bit of a rasp to it, I always say it’s a close neighbor of ‘Slow Hands’ — a grungier version. It’s got that chorus that when it kicks in it’s very unexpected. The verse is kind of mysterious and then it’s got this mad chorus that drops in and socks you,” he explained. “But I love this song — ‘Small Talk’ and ‘Nice To Meet Ya’ would be the egotistical part of the concept where you’re out on the town and a bit of a joke, like, ‘I’m going out tonight and it’s going to be fun.'”
“I tried to tell a story in the track listing,” he continued. “‘Arms of a Stranger’ is more concept-based, and is that feeling of when you do finish up with someone. It’s that feeling of, ‘We’re done and now I’m lying in the arms of a stranger, trying to get over you.’ That’s literally what the chorus is.”
“Everywhere” is a song that Niall wrote about seeing his ex-girlfriend everywhere he went.
“When you’re walking around and you feel like you absolutely see that person everywhere you go and in my case, I was seeing that a lot,” he told the outlet. “You feel like you see them on the tube and feel like you see them everywhere you go. It was one of the first things I wrote down because that’s one of the feelings that you get when you go through something like that, you feel like you see that person all the time.”
As for the tune “Cross Your mind,” Niall explained that it “started as a piano ballad actually, it was just a four-chord piano ballad that I was playing in the Bahamas. I came in one morning and the first thing I did was sit down, press the chord of F and just started singing. I sang the whole chorus, I had the chorus in a couple of minutes and all the words came out in one go and then I wrote from there. But the more I played it as a piano ballad, the more I started bouncing on my seat and then I was like, no, this can’t be. So then I was listening to a bit of Fleetwood Mac as per usual and Empire of the Sun and stuff like that and using that kind of stuff as a benchmark of what could be produced. That’s where that came from. That will be up there as one of my favorites as well. It’s about something really sad but it’s got a really good feeling.”
The 26-year-old added that “New Angel” is about finally moving on from an ex.
“‘New Angel’ is like, ‘Now I need to get over you! All of these sad songs have gone on for too long, I’m going to need something to distract me now,'” he said, adding that “‘San Fransisco’ was a tough write too. It was based on the start of the relationship and wanting to go back to where it started. The song was called ‘Take Me Back’ but I changed it to ‘San Francisco’ because the song is basically about San Francisco and the area.”
Finally, the last track, “Still,” is definitely going to be an emotional one!
“I’m still in love with you, after all of these songs I’ve written, the punchline is, ‘I’m still in love with you’. You’re apologizing and you’re doing a bit of self-deprecation and then at the end, ‘I’m still in love with you,'” Niall concluded.