When Styles nailed Jagger's look for a Celebrity Family Feud sketch, he nodded at the parallels between him and the Rolling Stones frontman/legend/fellow Brit with a penchant for dandy dress and epic choruses, etc. This wasn't just a riff on Family Feud, but a special time travel spin on the classic TV show, at that: Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey bounced questions back and forth between the celebs of today — Kristen Stewart (played by Kate McKinnon), Gwen Stefani (Melissa Villaseñor), David Blaine (Pete Davidson), and John Travolta (host Jimmy Fallon) — as well as a slew of stars from 1977, including Styles as Young Jagger.
At one point, Harvey comments on how much he loves the Stones, and additionally, how he even liked Jagger's solo stuff. “Solo? Why would anyone in a successful band go solo? That is insane!” Truth is stranger than fiction, after all.
His musical performances were even stronger than his comedic one, though, and “Sign of the Times” utterly soared, a demonstration of just how ready Styles is to soak up his solo spotlight. The SNL stage is tiny, yet Styles performed with an intensity that could've carried from the front row of London's O2 Arena to the nosebleed section.
And then, the new track: “Ever Since New York” had Styles picking up a guitar and launching a ton of speculation about who this song is about, as he wistfully sang of empty avenues in Brooklyn and how he's been “praying ever since New York.”
Is he singing about Taylor Swift, a theory Styles fans are seemingly super committed to?! Is he singing about Kendall Jenner, his on-again/off-again gal with whom Styles was photographed leaving a New York City hotel back in 2013?! Is it another woman that he happened to be hanging out with in, oh, I don't know, a city he has to travel to frequently for work stuff, and this is just as likely a reference to a lower-profile love?! No idea, but it's fun to speculate all the same.
Styles's self-titled debut is out May 12. In the meantime, here's hoping we get more to listen to from the album ASAP.