ah, you have unwittingly stumbled upon one of my guilty pleasure subjects and that is “how 1d sounds when they aren’t 100% 1d”
honestly? I have to say that I’m surprised they sound as good as they do. because even though there have been some hiccups, they sound so good. and it’s less of “they sound so good without zayn” surprise and more of a “wow, they really got their shit together since november” surprise.
I mean, there was that one performance of smg they did in december without louis that sounded pretty good. but it still sounded pretty empty. but right now??? zayn not being there isn’t a detriment to the overall effect of the music. and that’s pretty shocking to me, considering that four months ago zayn not being there turned songs that they’ve been singing for ages into a hot mess.
I don’t know where they got the rehearsal time, but one thing is very clear to me. they have worked their fucking asses off to sound the way they do now.
there are still a lot of hiccups. they’ve performed as a five-piece for actual years and only had to perform with one less person a handful of time over those years. it’s going to take a while for them to find out how they fit with the music now.
as for specifics - like, how they will fill out harmonies now that zayn is gone. most of their songs have three vocal lines at most. the melody and two harmonies. some of their songs might get a bit more complex - it’s hard to tell what’s a bg vocal and what’s the boys’ actual parts on an album. I’m pretty sure dfwyb gets more complex than the lower harmony, melody, upper harmony structure, but I honestly haven’t figured it out yet. someday I will. maybe. hopefully.
honestly? the place they are going to hurt most without zayn are on songs like dfwyb. where they have three part harmony happening and then zayn harmonised over them. because liam is the one who takes the bulk of zayn’s harmonies and if he’s doing zayn’s harmony, he has to abandon the harmony he originally did. because liam hardly ever sings melody on choruses. which means instead of having four vocal lines, they have three.
hopefully they’ll get to a place where they can have four part harmony with only four voices. I’m honestly not sure why they always seem to need two voices on melody - yeah, it probably helps with pitch and more even sound, but it’s not necessary. I’m hopeful that someday soon we’ll have each boy singing a different, distinct vocal line.