I’ve been going through @wantniallie’s excellent masterlist of Niall’s solo accomplishments to watch/listen back to all of the interviews and performances, and these are the things which make me super-excited to hear what Niall will come out with next:
* As of 17 September, he only had an ‘early doors’ version of This Town (and being a perfectionist, he didn’t want to play it for Louis at his party, because it wasn’t ready yet), so in less than two weeks he managed to produce the final version of the song, record the 1 Mic, 1 Take video, and come up with a launch plan with Capitol - while also prepping for the Ryder Cup.
* He was originally going to give it away for free on Soundcloud. And then when he decided to release it as a single, he released in on a Thursday, not on a Friday as most artists do when they are angling for the highest first week chart position. It wasn’t designed to be a lead single, it was his way of letting the world know that he had signed to Capitol and can write and sing and play guitar, with This Town being a taste of what he can offer as a solo artist.
* But the success of This Town, its longevity on the charts and radio playlists, still selling well, going platinum in multiple markets and getting played more than six months after release (its ‘long tail’ as the marketing guy from Capitol put it in that Billboard podcast), suggest that when he releases a lead single designed to chart, it can do really well.
* This Town was all about Niall being able to perform by himself, just one guy and his guitar, simple and humble but confident in his abilities. Very few artists could get up in front of an arena of 20,000 people or a TV audience of millions all by themself - no backing band, no backing track, no backing vocals - and impress people with just their voice and a guitar. He did that and more.
* But adding additional instrumentation and playing with a band for his AMAs and Tonight Show performances took it to a whole new level, and I’m really looking forward to see more of that style of production on his album - especially given that Jacquire King is producing the album, and I loved the Kings of Leon records he produced.
I’m pretty sure at some point before May 13 Niall will release a new song, and I can’t wait to hear it, but also to see how he approaches a release the second time around - especially coming soon after the hype/buzz surrounding Harry’s song.