Featured image: Amelia Lara Del Rey
Harry Styles is a man that’s hard to miss. From initially winning over our hearts in his X-Factor and One Direction days, Styles’ success has continued to grow across the release of his three Billboard Number 1 albums. He’s also recently invested in Manchester’s upcoming Co-op Live arena, set to open in 2024. “I was drawn to this project on every level, from the opportunities it brings,” he said. “And most importantly, that it will allow even more live music to thrive in Manchester.”
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the Northern heartthrob though, who has recently lost over 100,000 Instagram followers. This is the result of collective fan devastation surrounding his buzzcut debut, his new relationship with actress Taylor Russell, and backlash from Swifties following Taylor Swift’s re-release of her album, 1989, which heavily features songs rumoured to be about her relationship with Styles.
So, whether you’re upset over Harry’s new hair and relationship status, or you simply need some tear-jerking ballads to get you through the depressing winter months, we’ve hand-picked emotional songs for your playlist for when you need a good cry.
The fifth song on his self-titled debut album, ‘Sweet Creature’ tells the emotional tale of a couple’s breakdown. Realising something isn’t working between them, Styles sings: “Had another talk about where it’s going wrong / But we’re still young / We don’t know where we’re going / But we know where we belong”. Understanding that there is a genuine love between them, the relationship has come to a mutual end. The song closes: “When I run out of road, you bring me home”.
Like the book and film of the same name, ‘Matilda’ tells the tale of a young girl who, feeling unloved by her family, has to learn to fend for herself and find her own way through life: “You can throw a party full of everyone you know / And not invite your family because they never showed you love”. Many speculate that the song, from 2022’s Harry’s House, is written about Styles’s current backing vocalist and drummer Sarah Jones. It gives the song an added tear-jerking depth: “You talk of the pain like it’s all alright / But I know that you feel like a piece of you is dead inside”.
From The Dining Table
Another debut album feature, ‘From the Dining Table’, speaks of a lost love and the struggles of feeling stuck with nothing but memories and lack of closure, as both Harry and his ex-love move on into other relationships: “Woke up the girl who looked just like you / I almost said your name”. Fans have speculated that this song is about former One Direction bandmate and best friend Louis Tomlinson, with many believing that the pair were in a secret relationship (dubbed ‘Larry’) which was forcefully hidden by their previous management, including Simon Cowell.
Possibly his most heartbreaking song, ‘Falling’ appeared on Harry’s second album Fine Line. ‘Falling’ flows through the artist’s memories of another rocky relationship and talks about issues he faces within himself: “What am I now / What if I’m someone you won’t talk about”. The song leaves the impression that his main desire is to be needed, as he finds himself “falling again” into a dark place. He performed this for the first time at the 2020 Brit Awards, just three days after ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack passed away. Though it isn’t believed to be written about Flack, his delivery of the raw and honest song after such a tragic event made the performance heart-wrenching to watch.
The title track of his 2019 album, ‘Fine Line’ is extremely popular among fans, many of whom have the lyric “We’ll be alright” tattooed on their bodies. The song speaks of the emotional highs and lows faced through love and life. Full of deep metaphors, it assures listeners that it’s normal to “fold” into the struggles you face, but that it will be alright: “We’ll be a fine line / We’ll be alright”. ‘Fine Line’ was a surprise inclusion on the Love on Tour setlist over the summer and also creates a very personal ending to his experimental album – to many, it feels like a poignant moment of Harry warmly opening his arms to his fans.