On Friday (December 6), Horan released “Put A Little Love On Me,” which is a far cry from his rock-fueled, Arctic Monkeys-esque lead single. Notably, the wintry gem reunites Horan with producer Greg Kurstin, who worked on the Flicker ballads “This Town” and “Too Much to Ask.” Like those two tracks, “Put A Little” finds the Irishman going full-on balladeer as he reflects on the remnants of a shattering relationship. “When the lights come up and there’s no shadows dancing / I look around as my heart is collapsing,” he sings over a gentle piano medley. “Because you’re the only one I need / So put a little love on me.” In the accompanying video, he sings at the piano while a woman in a red dress (who, it must be said, bears a strong resemblance to his ex Hailee Steinfeld) dances around him.
Horan announced “Put A Little Love On Me” earlier this week by sharing a phone number that, when called, lets fans hear a voice memo of him writing the song. He added that the ballad is “one of my favorite songs I’ve written and a song very special to me.”
The 26-year-old further said in an interview with The Sun, “It wouldn’t be my album if it didn’t have a sad, sad, sad ballad on it. … I’d just gone through a breakup and it was all very real. It was very easy to sit down at the piano and speak and see what happens.”
Horan also revealed that he had only one request when approaching Kurstin, who previously worked with Adele on the breakup hits “Hello” and “Water Under the Bridge.” Horan recalled, “When I gave him this song and asked him to produce it, I said, ‘Adele the shit out of this.'”
Mission accomplished, Niall — you’ve managed to completely tug at our heartstrings with this one.