Niall Horan’s once again donning his hero attire – an electric guitar and chain loafers – to croon positive reinforcements in our ears. And we’re curling up on our favorite side of the bed in the knowledge that we’re safe. That is, until our leg starts jerking when the 180 bpm kicks in, and all visualizations of him delicately declaring, “When it all melts down, I’ll be there,” fizzle into feisty wolves trying to gnaw our insides in tangible dreams, almost as if they’re the true waking world. ‘Meltdown’ is what Niall calls it, and though it feels more frantic than the gentle sweeping of ‘Mirrors,’ another mental health anthem, hidden on Flicker, we’re, uh, still with him.
Niall’s so good at calming us down that we wondered what it’d be like if he went one step further, opening up a lover’s hotline. It’s up the alleyway of one of those Cosmo advice columns where a puzzling reader writes in, asking for advice for a situation they can’t exactly find their way out of. What precisely are those circumstances?
Well, we’ve turned three songs of his into scenarios, and then, with the help of his lyrics and a bit of analysis, we’ll figure out what his advice would be. We’re clearly in the business of pitching Niall side jobs, so we may as well begin, yeah?
Hey Niall, Our Idea Of ‘Dear Patience’ Is Having A Death Staring Match With An Hour Glass!
Our first problem draws inspiration from ‘Dear Patience,’ and though the version of Niall Horan who penned the tune is having a tough time applying the mantra “Just know this too shall pass,” he’s still able to calm himself down in order to sweet-talk the subject into showing up for him: “The way you make time disappear / I hope that I find you, my dear.” We, however, don’t, and thus fall into dips where we can’t channel the current moment, hoping that the good times will arrive on our doorstep right now! We’re millennials, after all, you feel? We don’t wait around for anyone, not even patience.
If we’re applying this issue to love and waiting for our soulmate to finally turn up, then we can look no further than ‘On My Own.’ It’s this cheeky tune set to an Irish-themed intro featuring the ambient sounds of a jig, very true to Niall’s heritage! It’s the background music playing when walking in stag to a wedding, and spending the entirety of a day by our lonesomes, because could we ever find a lyric more accurate than the one nestled into the chorus? Yeah, maybe “’Long came the devil, caught my eye,” but unless they come in with the right intentions and are ready for a relationship, then songs like these remind us that a full-on adventure awaits in our single era.
Dear Niall, We’ve Accidentally Developed A Crush On Our Bestie That We’ve Known For ‘So Long!’ How Do We Tell Them?
Okay, Niall Horan, but what if the supposed soulmate comes in the form of our childhood bestie that we’ve suddenly stopped seeing as the toddler waddling around attempting to shovel crayons up their nose and now as the beyond attractive person posting thirst traps on Insta? What then? We arrive at ‘So Long,’ of course!
Suppose you haven’t been paying attention to Niall’s B-side tracks. In that case, we encourage you to watch the acoustic wonder below, stacked with ivory keys, and the harmonizations coming from an orchestra. Oh, lyrical gems like, “Now we’ve got to make up for all the wasted time.” That all being said—that they return the feelings; what if they don’t? Do we still tell them? Niall, help. It’s enough for us to have a ‘Meltdown!’
Are we even surprised that Niall Horan’s romantic notions would toss ‘Black And White’ your way in an effort to have you confess? Our Irish fella loves love so much that he’s built an entire discography centered around its ebbs and flows, and though it’s hard to find a clear favorite that we’d mark as an anniversary song, this one’s already been set to some couple’s first wedding dance, and guess what? It’ll be your besties-turned-lovers, too, once you officially ask them out.
Niall, Let Us ‘Cross Your Mind’ Because We’ve Become The Human Embodiment Of The “He Is Literally Just A Guy, Hit Him With Your Car” TikTok Meme!
It’s all well and good to think of healthy love, but what if a day comes when it turns sour, and you know that the signs are leading you to end it? Like, we’re already on a one-way track to recording our own version of the TikTok meme that we don’t need a viewer to turn into Bart Simpson by slowly rewinding the video to the exact frame where your heart crushes, syncing up to the lyrics, “Pull my heart right out my chest, drive a train through / Still get up and forgive you,” you know?
While we’re here, too, ‘Cross Your Mind’ even has a possible lyric parallel to The Show with “It’s your show and I’m just watching / Losing you is not an option.”
The flip side of having a discography of syrupy love tunes is that there’s always the possible chance of pulling up all of those yucky feelings you want to toss out in the middle of a breakup along with their things.
So, as much as morose ballads are cathartic for Niall Horan to write, they’re also great warning signs. Unless you get out as soon as you can, it’s going to grow into an even more toxic zone. ‘On The Loose’ is one of those flashing red warnings, telling of a girl who leaves a trail of heartbroken men in her wake: “She’ll run with your mind and pull you in tight / Then trade you in for something new.” So, it kinda feels like Niall would tell you to ditch them.
Whenever I’m having some kind of issue, the easiest thing is to sit at the piano and let it all out, and it’s not until I listen back that I realize, ‘Jesus, that was honest.’
Now that Niall’s broken a sweat by answering our problems, it’s time for him to retreat to his own with ‘Meltdown,’ co-written by Amy Allen, Joel Little, and John Ryan, which has struck a similar chord to ‘Heaven.’
Maybe it’s our intuitive guidance, but before he even told the backstory of those two tracks being written in the same retreat—his 1 a.m. rendezvous in Joshua Tree—we had a sneaking suspicion that they linked and together foretold the understory of The Show. The hints start in the intro with the choir’s harmony. There’s the same supernatural buzzing as if one of those white lights has captured Niall in a spotlight, ready to uplift him into the afterlife, which isn’t, in fact, the pearly gates, remember?
But the dream world – speaking of which, in our last analysis, we highlighted the opening lyrics of ‘Heaven,’ “Strange light revolves around you / You float across the room” – and thereby told, in the second verse, we find, “Sleep is so thin (Yeah) out of habit / Hard to tell the real from the dreams you imagine (Yeah).” Of course, those dreams could be nightmarish, but it’s undoubtedly interesting that he’s used this convention twice in his lyrics. We shouldn’t even say that because it’s in the fabric of his storytelling this time; just pay attention to the lyric visualizer for ‘Meltdown.’
“Baby, don’t you look back (Don’t you look back) / Don’t you look back (Baby, don’t you look back).”
Clouds were big in the promotion for ‘Heaven,’ seen as a decoration for the Los Angeles pop-up on February 19, and then also in the infamous candle. Sure, the clouds don’t hold any tinges of white and are more drained of color in a daunting black, but they also tie into this portal to another world. Then, the lyric visualizer also has this astral projection effect; we’re quite literally floating, again, like the candle. It was also floating! Look, we’re clowning right along with you.
Additionally, it looks like Niall used background vocals in ‘Meltdown’ – words that we find in the speech bubbles on Genius, by the way – to either talk back to himself in reassurance or as his muse’s response. At first, it’s just a simple “yeah” to agree to what he or they are doing, for example, “Talkin’ to yourself (Yeah) in the bathroom.” However, it gets real messy in the bridge, where it turns from agreement to arguing: “Baby, don’t you look back (Don’t you look back) / Don’t you look back (Baby, don’t you look back).” It gives the effect of losing control of themselves, as we all know feeling anxious can do.
“When there’s wolves in your track (Wolves in your track).”
A line is also found within that bridge: “When there’s wolves in your track (Wolves in your track).” Any fan who has been around since his One Direction days know there’s a track called ‘Wolves’ on Made in the A.M. that he helped co-write with Liam Payne. We wanted to, however, look at the meaning of wolves popping up in dreams, especially ones that are hot on your trail! According to Crystal Clear Intuition, they imply an inner struggle, your shadow self wanting to shift and grow so you don’t stay comfortable, and isn’t that true for the song itself? A situation may look hard to get through right now, but if you take a breather, it’ll fade away.
Which lyric from ‘Meltdown’ is specifically helping you to sleep at night? Let us know through our Twitter @thehoneypop, and maybe we’ll reply with “twinsies” as it’s exactly the one helping us too.
As for The Show, if you need reminding—we don’t see how you would—it comes out on June 9th, and you know we’ll be covering it, so click the follow button on our Facebook and Instagram pages if you want to fangirl right along with us!
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