Niall Horan is a world-renowned musician who has been adored since he first began his career with One Direction in 2011. The Irish heartthrob and former boyband member has been making his own music since the band’s “hiatus” began in 2016. Niall recently released his sophomore album as a solo artist in March of 2020. The album titled “Heartbreak Weather” has experienced great success worldwide. In fact, his album took the #1 spot in the UK for the first time since he began making solo music. “Heartbreak Weather,” a heartbreak album, took about a year and a half to create and it was well worth the wait.
Each song on the album represents different phases and perspectives of those experiencing a break-up. He is an extremely gifted songwriter who loves the process and loves being on the road touring even more. He’s a self-professed Gryffindor (he thinks he and Ron would be best mates) who loves performing mini-concerts on Instagram live and watching Derby County play football. Niall recently answered some of his fans’ most pressing questions in a WIRED autocomplete interview. Though every song he writes is its own masterpiece, here are the top 10 songs by Niall Horan:
1. This Town
Although it was difficult to pick Niall’s #1 song as a solo artist, the decision had to be made. “This Town” was the first single that Niall released after the hiatus of One Direction. Fans were ecstatic that he was finding his own sound and it is just the most quintessential Niall song to date. This tune is a track found on Niall’s first album, Flicker, that came out in September of 2016. Niall says the song is about his hometown of Mullingar and all the nostalgia that inevitably arises when he goes home. While it’s meant to connect with everyone, it is definitely based on his personal experiences with childhood crushes and young love.
2. Finally Free
This might be one of Niall’s lesser-known songs, as it didn’t appear on either of his albums. Niall wrote this single for the Warner Brothers animated movie “Small Foot” that came out in September of 2018. The rhythm of the acoustic guitar with a time-honored happy-go-lucky melody is perfect for any animated adventure, created a windows-rolled-down kind of song. Billboard writer, Alessandra Rincón, summed up the song well when she wrote, “[Finally Free] is a toe-tapping pop/folk tune that touches on feeling liberated, and achieving your true potential with the right people by your side.” You might have to go take a drive, just to listen to this upbeat tune.
3. Put A Little Love On Me
This fan-favorite has a special place in Niall’s heart because it was the first song to make the cut for Heartbreak Weather and he wrote it “within an hour or so”. The words describe the heartache of a break-up that lingers long after the relationship ends. Niall undoubtedly drew from his own experience with heartbreak to write these bittersweet lyrics. It’s about the awareness of a relationships’ flaws and the questions that remain. “Is it wrong that I still wonder where you are? Is it wrong that I still don’t know my heart?” and later, “Are you all dressed up with nowhere to go? Do you hate the weekend ’cause nobody’s calling?” Niall’s vocals in this song are enough to make you melt. The line “I’ve still got so much love beneath this skin” proves Niall’s innate ability to put words to feelings.
4. Small Talk
Niall Horan wears a smug little smile because he knows how to write a song that can make anyone feel sexy. This bouncy, beat-driven song is anything other than subtle when it comes to its provocative tone. The lyrics “Tell me what you want because you know I want it too. Let’s skip all the small talk and go straight up to your room…Just say nothing, small talk only gets in the way” make it very clear what kind of song he’s writing. One of Insider’s music reviewers had a lot of praise for this song during her first listen. She commended, “So far, I’m super impressed by Horan’s ability to craft a song that gets better and better as it goes on.” Trust us, you’ll want to crank the volume up for this one.
5. Black and White
During a Buzzfeed UK Deep Cut interview to promote the album, Niall picked Black and White as his favorite. He explained that the time in the studio while writing that song was one to remember. “The whole time we were in the room listening to the song I had goosebumps. If the song flopped tomorrow, it probably wouldn’t make a difference to me because the feeling I had when we were writing it was just unbelievable. And I think for that reason, it will be one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written.” Niall made a lot of dreams come true by writing this classic upbeat first dance wedding song. The imagery, “Yeah, I see us in black and white…I promise that I’ll love you for the rest of my life. See you standing in your dress. Swear in front of all our friends,” is incredibly sweet.
6. On The Loose
No matter if you listen to the original or the acoustic version, this song is a bop. It’s about the push and pull, or the chase of a relationship. It’s dangerous; the can’t stay away from it even though you should kind of infatuation. The bridge of the song says, “She’ll run with your mind and pull you in tight. Then trade you in for something new. I know what it’s like, I fell for it twice. And now I’m just warning you.” This song debuted Horan’s own style of rock that would follow him through his career. In 2018, Niall told Rolling Stone that the way he ensures that his music stays personal is by creating it alongside his friends. Niall posted a behind the scenes look of the music video, which revealed the songs muse and the filming locations around LA.
This ballad ends the album in a beautiful way. The softly sung chorus says, “Tell me you want it. A thousand miles away from the day that we started. But I’m standing here with you just tryna be honest. If honesty means telling you the truth. Well, I’m still in love with you.” Niall really lets us into his heart with this one. We know from Niall’s time on Buzzfeed Deep Cut, that he wrote this song in one sitting on a guitar that was “effectively out of tune.” He opened up that “when it’s something sad and you’ve written it that fast, you know it meant something to ya.” We also know from the interview, that the lyrics first made their way out of his head onto a leather-bound book. Goodness, it like this guy comes straight out a Jane Austen novel.
8. No Judgement
With “No Judgement,” Niall wanted to sum up that phase of a relationship where you get a little too comfortable with your significant other and boy did he deliver. It’s a special bond when you can be completely and utterly yourself around someone else…it can also get a bit weird. Niall hit the mark with this hilarious music video, which got over 9 million views on Youtube. The chorus states, “When you’re with me, no judgment. You don’t have to prove nothing. You can just be yourself,” proving yet again that Niall would be the best kind of boyfriend.
9. Nice To Meet Ya
This track was the first single from “Heartbreak Weather” and it is both incredibly catchy and undeniably sexy. Niall has a knack for writing songs that make you want to move and this is no exception. The music video is just as cheeky as he and got over 38 million views. Niall sat down with Capital Records to explain the song’s significance. The song is about a real night out when Niall caught eyes with a woman and “the rest was history.” He explains, “Like I said in the song, I felt like every time I turned around she disappeared.” The lyrics mimic the first conversation and all of its inevitable awkwardness and naivete. The guitar riff served as a guideline for the rest of the instruments. When talking about the music he jokes, “everything is a bit all over the place and I kind of like that about it.”
10. Seeing Blind
“Seeing Blind” featuring Maren Morris is definitely Niall’s token country music song. They surprised fans by performing the song at her London show. The acoustic guitar and those chords are unmistakably country. The two collaborated to make a call and response song about a love that took them both by surprise. The lyrics, “Oh, no I, you’re too good to be all mine. Now I’m looking in your eyes. Oh, I must be seeing blind,” describes a love so sweet it has to be too good to be true. During an interview with Music Choice, he explained that after writing the first line of the tune, he knew it needed to be a duet. After seeing Maren’s success at the Grammy’s he wanted desperately to collaborate with her and fortunately, she said yes! On behalf of all of us, thank you Maren.
Every time Niall Horan releases new music, it gets harder and harder to pick a favorite song. It also has become increasingly more difficult to categorize his music into a single genre. He is quite multi-faceted when it comes to types of music, but some have summarized his sound at “the folkier side of pop.” The words he sings stir up feelings we all know well and his melodies are sweet as honey. If you want more where that came from, check out Niall’s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. So, what are your favorite Niall songs?
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