It’s embarrassing how long it takes Louis to recognize his
own song. Niall had sung it as a bright, hopeful love song, and that’s
honestly how Louis had always assumed it should sound. But this new
voice, slow and rough, stripped of any backing instrument, has infused
the lyrics with just the tumultuous mix of fear and defiance that Louis
can remember so clearly from the night he wrote them.
It’s not a comfortable thing, to feel like someone is singing all your secrets back to you.
Louis is a songwriter trapped in a lie that could ruin his best friend’s career. Harry owns a record store, distrusts everyone in the music industry on principle, but loves Niall Horan’s newest album. A modern retelling of Singin’ in the Rain.
Harry/Louis | 31k | angst | hate to love | explicit (b!Louis)
Later, whenever Louis tells the story, he starts with Pitchfork. When questioned, he always argues that the day Pitchfork reviewed Niall’s album was the day things really started going to shit.
It’s not quite true, of course. The seeds of destruction had actually been sown months ago by Simon Cowell, head of one of the largest record labels in Britain and also, incidentally, Louis’ boss. Simon was the one who had pushed for Niall to be branded as a singer-songwriter: “you know, speaking from the heart. Just you and your guitar on stage, like all that Ed Sheeran bullshit? It’ll be huge.” Simon was also the one who told Niall to pass Louis’ music off as his own, using words like “gift” and “happy compromise.” And then, when they’d both initially refused, using words like “legal battle” and “PR disaster” instead.
Louis knows he should regret the album that resulted. Although Louis and Liam have a bit of a reputation in the industry as hit-makers, they mostly write pop songs for boy bands and X Factor winners, and Louis had never intended for the songs in his personal notebooks to see the light of day. He can’t bring himself to regret that they have. Which is why Louis can’t blame Niall, or the album, or even Simon (mostly). And every time Louis suggests blaming himself, Liam launches into an earnest monologue that Louis doesn’t have the heart to forestall.
Instead, Louis decides to blame Pitchfork. He thinks Pitchfork exemplifies the type of pretentious, name-dropping, overly metaphorical nonsense that makes for the worst kind of music reviewing these days.
So, you know, they probably had it coming.