‘Lights Up’ is a constitutive advancement from the brooding, contemplative sonic landscape of ‘Harry Styles.’ The track emerges from the same singer/songwriter-turned-psychedelic foundations as his emergent 2017 studio effort. But 2019 finds Styles allowing the public a glimpse into his own self-discovery.
The song boasts indie cred, mostly as a result of Styles’ smoky vocal performance, which creeps through the haze-induced declaration of self-assertion with innately intriguing vulnerability.
Thematically, ‘Lights Up’ flirts with the notion that retaining ambiguity arms one with their own deap-seated power. The phrase ‘Lights up when they know who you are’ would suggest that Styles has no interest in divulging the pieces of himself that arrest the imaginations of millions across the globe, or perhaps just a few in his personal life.
The song’s accompanying music video’s main performance shot, centering on a shirtless Styles in the midst of a mob of similarly semi-naked people who are all clawing and clambering to touch him, would symbolically aid an ache to remain anonymous, despite his medial placement within. ‘Lights Up’ cements Styles’ status as not only a bonafide pop star, but as a prolific songwriter. Though each of the One Direction guys have forged their own solo paths, Styles will outlast them all.