Moments before he took the stage to host NBC’s Saturday Night Live, musician Harry Styles surprised fans by dropping his new single “Watermelon Sugar,” the second song to be released from his upcoming sophomore album, “Fine Line.” He’d debut the song live later that night.
Despite it being November, Styles brings listeners back to the summer with his warm, laid-back beats and frequent references to the “summer evenin’” and the “summer feelin’”. From the moment I heard the first verse, I was imagining myself at the beach.
Styles has a way of capturing his experiences with his lovers through creative imagery in his lyrics, and “Watermelon Sugar” is no exception. He’s a storyteller, using metaphors and symbols to give his listeners a clear message.
The lyrics show the musician’s yearning for someone he loves, or perhaps once loved. He sings “Baby, you’re the end of June / I want your belly and that summer feelin’ / getting washed away with you,” articulating his yearning for a summer love. He wants to once again feel that feeling, or as he calls it repetitively in the chorus, that “watermelon sugar high.” It’s a fairly creative description, and one that evokes the addictive sweetness of romance well.
Styles hinted about the song on Twitter before its release, tweeting “Kiwi walked so Watermelon Sugar could run.” Evidently, the comparison between “Kiwi,” a song from his first album, and “Watermelon Sugar” was just him playing into a popular meme, as the two songs are almost nothing alike despite their fruity namesakes.
“Kiwi” was much sexier and fell closer to the rock genre, while “Watermelon Sugar” is, fittingly, much sweeter and more romantic than seductive. Its simple pop style makes it clear that Styles is trying out new sounds and branching away from his first album — the self-titled “Harry Styles” was much more folksy-rock.
With his solo career well established, Styles has room to explore new genres and production styles. While he seems to be leaning towards more simple beats with this album, the lyricism on display shows that he still has originality to spare. There’s been a drought of content from Styles for over two years now. “Watermelon Sugar” quenches the thirst — at least until his album drops on Dec. 13.
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