Hearts are most likely melting all over the world after Harry Styles performed his first stripped down, acoustic solo track, “Two Ghosts,” from his critically-acclaimed, self-titled debut album on his mid-week performance on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”
Styles stood alone center stage, sans the full band and back-up singers we’ve grown accustomed to seeing him perform with these days. The charismatic singer dialed it way down, with just his acoustic guitar and microphone to sing the ruminating ballad fans and critics alike believe is written about his brief relationship with Taylor Swift.
The song itself is sad. The British heartthrob looks back at a lost relationship and sees himself and his former love as “two ghosts standing in the place of you and me/Just tryin’ to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat.” The opening lines reference “Same lips red/Same eyes blue” and this line is widely felt to be in direct response to Swift’s 1989 hit “Style” in which she sings, “I’ve got that classic red lip thing that you like.”
“Two Ghosts” is a quintessential rock ballad in the style of ‘70s soft rockers Bread. Everything about the track feels shimmery, yet hollow. “Two ghosts swimming in a glass half-empty” exudes a somber, kind of hopeless tone. Ghosts are often depicted as vaporous beings. You can see them but you can’t touch them. Your hand would theoretically pass right through a ghost. Clearly, what Styles used to see and feel with this girl is now a sort of mirage.
Anyone who’s seen Harry Styles stand front and center and sing in the middle of his former One Direction band mates, can see how easily he carries it off alone in this heartfelt, vulnerable performance. After landing perfectly-pitched punchlines in “The Late Late Show” monologue earlier this week and doing hilarious “singing” sketches with his pal Corden, this slow, musing number proves how versatile Styles is as an all-around entertainer.
You can watch Harry Styles’ full “Two Ghosts” acoustic performance in the attached video.
Harry Styles will finish his week-long residency on “The Late Late Show” this Friday. He’ll embark on his first-ever solo tour to support his new album this fall. Stay tuned to AXS for Harry Styles updates.