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Just all the hidden meanings in Harry Styles' new album, Harry's House.

Harry's House - the third album from boybander turned rockstar-singing-about-cunnilingus Harry Styles - is here.

We've all been invited in, and if you pay close attention, you may feel a little... awkward. Is it PDA if it's inside your own home? Unclear, but it doesn't appear to bother Harry either way. 

The former One Director star is famously coy about his private life in public, but here - on this album, or should I say, in this house? - he's given a teeny bit of insight, mostly in the form of... thirst.

In the lead-up to its release, Harry was clear this was his 'most personal work yet'. Yes, all musicians say that, so we'll all listen with added interest. But is it true? 

Watch: Harry Styles' 'As It Was' performance at Coachella. Post continues below video.


Video via Coachella.

There are certainly obvious nods to his personal life here, including his relationship with Olivia Wilde. But he still keeps his cards close to his chest, sharing more ~vibes~ than intense personal feeling.

Harry has never released diary-esque lyricism like other popstars/ex-girlfriends, sticking mostly with vague mentions of being in love, or fake stories about a woman who tells him she's having his baby (for the uninitiated, see: 'Kiwi', from his debut).

However, Harry's House is a solid third outing, ranging from synthpop bangers to folksy ballads. There are songs to dance to, and at least one to cry about, and we've poured over them to figure out what they all mean. 

Let's run through it track by track.

'Music for a Sushi Restaurant'

A... curious title. And unlike 'Watermelon Sugar', it doesn't appear to be a euphemism for sex.

Harry explained how the song came about in an interview with NPR.

"I was in a sushi restaurant in LA with my producer and one song came on from the last album. I said, 'This is really strange music for a sushi restaurant,' then I thought, 'That would be a really fun title,' so as the song was being made [it stuck]."

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The song's scatting (really) will confuse you greatly, but ultimately, it's a jam. Lyrically, this one doesn't give too much away, but it is yet another example of Harry's uncanny ability to make food horny.

"Green eyes, fried rice, I could cook an egg on you," he sings in the opening line. He truly brings a whole new meaning to the word foodie.

'Late Night Talking'

'Late Night Talking' points to that fun, giddy feeling at the start of a new relationship, where you want to spend all your time talking with this person late into the night.

He certainly doesn't namedrop current partner Olivia Wilde anywhere on the album, but there are lines that could point to their relationship - which developed on the set of their upcoming thriller Don't Worry Darling, where he starred and she directed.

Key lyrics include:

"And nothing really goes to plan / You stub your toe or break your camera / I'd do everything I can to help you through", with the mention of the camera hinting at Wilde's director career (and the fact that there's an entire song very obviously about her called 'Cinema' later in the track list).

"I've never been a fan of change / But I'd follow you to any place/ If it's Hollywood or Bishopsgate, I'm coming, too," he also sings. Bishopgate is in London, where Harry lives most of the time, and anyone who's seen any pics of the pair knows how regularly they seem to travel between LA and London.

But ultimately, it's vague enough to keep us guessing - but also feel hyper-relatable about that really safe space in the middle of the night, where you just open up about everything and anything to a person you're really into.

'Grapejuice'

A song about... wine. So yeah, this one is also relatable.

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In 'Grapejuice', Harry sings about the "grape juice blues", thanks to what seems like a breakup or relationship disagreement.

"Yesterday, it finally came, a sunny afternoon / I was on my way to buy some flowers for you / Thought that we could hide away in a corner of the heath / There's never been someone who's so perfect for me / But I got over it and I said / 'Give me something old and red.'"

The Heath is most likely a reference to Hampstead Heath, a massive park area in London.

He sings about a bottle of rouge, throwing in the year 1982 in the bridge - but no, that's not a Wilde reference (she was born in 1984). It's actually the year of really fancy wine - 1982 Bordeaux wine is one of the greatest ever vintages. So... I guess Harry's not drinking $14 bottles like I am.

'As It Was'

The album's first single is a bop. But lyrically, it's actually quite sad. A sad bop! 

There's a line that absolutely hints at Wilde ("Leave America, two kids follow her"), because the pair have spent a lot of time in London together, and Wilde has two kids with ex Jason Sudeikis.

But Harry has said the song is about the "metamorphosis of just life".

"It's about growing as a person, your kind of natural evolution, and losing yourself, finding yourself, that time when you look back... There's a lot of times in life when different people want us to be different things and stay as one thing, and I think it's essentially, you know, even if you wanted to you can't go back to being the person you were before."

'Daylight'

In an interview with Howard Stern, Harry said 'Daylight' was "a stream of consciousness".

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The lyrics tell the story of being infatuated with someone and dealing with long-distance keeping them apart. Also, there's another food reference.

"If I was a bluebird, I would fly to you / You'll be the spoon, dip you in honey so I could be sticking to you."

It's not an in our faces Wilde reference, but it's also not not an in our faces Wilde reference, ya know?

'Little Freak'

When you get over the strangeness of the name, 'Little Freak' is a retrospective look at a relationship that ended before it really began. It's not bitter, or jealous, just... reflective.

It's also... uncharacteristically specific.

"I disrespected you / Jumped in feet first, then I landed too hard / A broken ankle, karma rules / You never saw my birthmark," Harry sings in the bridge.

No one's figured out who this is about yet, but it's actually an old song. Harry told Zane Lowe in an Apple Music interview that 'Little Freak' was written before later track 'Boyfriends', which came to life while working on his second album, Fine Line. So, it could be about French model Camille Rowe, as their breakup informed a lot of that project.

'Matilda'

You might need tissues for this one.

Matilda is by far the saddest song on the album, and Harry told Lowe that when he played this one for his friends "all of them cried".

The lyrics tell the story of a person overcoming trauma, having spent their life being disrespected or treated poorly.

"You can throw a party full of everyone you know / And not invite your family, 'cause they never showed you love / You don't have to be sorry for leaving and growing up".

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Matilda is a pseudonym, a nod to the Roald Dahl story about a child who is emotionally abused and neglected by her parents. 

Harry said he had not played the song for the person he wrote it for, and didn't give any hints about their identity.

"I wanna support you in some way," Harry said of writing the tune. "But it's not necessarily my place to make it about me, 'cause it's not my experience. Sometimes it's just about listening. I hope that's what it did. I hope it just says, 'I was listening to you.'" 

'Cinema'

Firstly: the absolute whiplash that comes from transitioning from 'Matilda' into the absolute hornfest that is 'Cinema' is WILD.

"If you're getting yourself wet for me / I guess you're all mine / When you're sleeping in this bed with me," Harry sings. It's... a lot.

Anyway, if you're looking for a link to his personal life, here is it. 'Cinema' is 100 per cent about Wilde (even if Harry is too coy to confirm it himself).

I mean, the title and movie theme is a direct reference to how they met on the set of her film.

Then there are these lines: "I bring the pop to the cinema / You pop when we get intimate".

Pop... music... to her soon-to-be-in-cinemas film?? Pop... corn? The elite cinema snack??? Let's just ignore the "when we get intimate" part. 

Howard Stern asked point-blank if the song was about his girlfriend, but Harry expertly dodged the question.

"When I write songs, they kind of start out just, I guess, mine," he said. "I think it's important to write about what you're going through at the time and trying to turn life into what you make. I guess it's like, the most you can kind of capture a moment is kind of being true to that."

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Bonus fact: the electric guitar on this track is sick, perhaps on account of it being played by John Mayer.

'Daydreaming'

'Daydreaming is very simple lyrically, so there's not a lot to go off here. But it has similar themes to 'Daylight', about wanting your partner to 'give you something to dream about' when they're gone.

It's a bit horny, so there's... that.

Another John Mayer guitar cameo, FYI.

'Keep Driving'

This is road tripping bait and... I'm okay with that.

The song begins with another camera reference, which points to Wilde: "Black and white film / Camera, yellow sunglasses".

The song reflects on domesticity and the ups and downs of a serious relationship, and also lets us know what Harry likes for breakfast ("Maple syrup / Coffee, pancakes for two / Hash brown, egg yolk / I will always love you").

A widely circulated theory is that the repetitive "keep driving" lyric is representative of continuing their relationship while ignoring all the public and media speculation.

The bridge of the song sounds like a stream of consciousness and fractured thoughts that can relate to a relationship, but also life in the pandemic.

Also, there's a cocaine shout out and mention of "choke her with a sea view". Sounds like Harry's pandemic experience differed somewhat from the rest of us??

'Satellite'

I've never met a synthy sad bop I didn't love, so 'Satellite' is an elite Harry song in my mind.

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In the song, Harry relates himself to a satellite, hovering around an ex who is having a hard time until they are ready to open up and talk about whatever is bothering them.

"Spinnin' out, waitin' for ya to pull me in / I can see you're lonely down there / Don't you know that I am right here?" he sings.

'Boyfriends'

When Harry introduced 'Boyfriends' as one of his new songs during his 2022 Coachella set, he said: "To boyfriends everywhere, f*** you".

Nevermind the fact he is also someone's boyfriend.

It's absolutely pandering to his mostly young, female fanbase, but, hey. Know your audience, I guess. 'Boyfriends' is a song about boyfriends who don't treat their partner's right, inspired by being reflective of his own behaviour and watching his sister and friend's date.

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"It's both acknowledging my own behaviour. It's looking at behaviour that I've witnessed. I grew up with a sister, so it's watching her date people and watching friend's date people, and people don't treat each other very nicely sometimes," he told Apple Music.

And FYI, the gibberish sound at the beginning of the song is the last line "Feel a fool, you're back at it again" in reverse.

'Love Of My Life'

The album is called Harry's House, so it makes sense to end with a love letter to his home, England.

He told Apple Music that it was "a song about home" that was the most "terrifying" to release, because of its sparse, acoustic sound.

In the second verse, he sings: "In a hotel, usin' someone else's name / I remember back at Jonny's place, it's not the same anymore", which his childhood friend Jonathan Harvey confirmed was about him.

The overall theme of the song is that he misses home and feels sad about how little time he is able to spend there because of his life on the road.

"It's not what I wanted / To leave you behind / Don't know where you'll land when you fly", he sings.

And that's it. That's the tour of Harry's house, done. Unless you want to go from the top again.

Chelsea McLaughlin is Mamamia's Senior Entertainment Writer. For more pop culture takes, sarcasm and... cat content, you can follow her on Instagram.

Feature Image: Sony Music/Lillie Eiger.

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