Harry Styles is back with a new, gloriously NSFW video. The clip, for new single “Lights Up,” was released late Thursday night and has already racked up over 3 million views. It’s a steamy, moody, Ryan McGinley-esque piece of work, shot in Mexico, which features Styles grinding shirtless against a pack of ravers, wading through water while bathed in red light, and riding on the back of a motorcycle. And the track is a banger, a shimmering pop song that’s different from Styles’s ‘70s Laurel Canyon-inspired recent output. The star begs to “Step into the light/So bright sometimes/I’m not ever going back.”
While the video features Styles clad in his beloved Gucci, stylist Harry Lambert also selected pieces from two gender fluid labels, Harris Reed and Swedish brand Lazoschmidl. Reed has worked with Styles extensively, designing his outfits for his last world tour. Reed even appeared alongside Styles in a recent Gucci campaign, and they dressed the star in a bespoke blue silk moire suit for “Lights Up.” As they wrote on Instagram, “It all started with a sketch in New York on a bar napkin… and then all it needed was a lot of love. Was my absolute pleasure and privilege to create this custom look for a man who continually inspires and supports me. He has believed in my vision without question in this early stage of my career. @harrystyles, to say thank you would be an understatement, but truly as always, thank you for letting me be a part of your vision and your art.”
“Lights Up” dropped after Styles launched a campaign on Mental Health Awareness Day. A website popped up called “Do You Know Who You Are?” Fans were encouraged to type in their full names and find out. They were then sent compliments from Styles, including the acronym TPWK (treat people with kindness). It feels like some sort of major data mining experiment for Columbia Records, but if it brings the stans joy, who are we to argue?
Posters captioned with “DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?” popped up all over London and New York yesterday. They were also branded with the Columbia logo and “TPWK,” so it seems like we know the name of Styles’s upcoming second solo album (he also repeats the refrain “Lights Up/Do you know who you are?” throughout the new single). We don’t have a release date yet, but in the meantime watch “Lights Up” below.