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Zayn's Been Teasing Some Seriously Romantic Music

Including a reworked version of 'sHe'

For most of 2018 so far, Zayn's Instagram page has essentially been his own creative playground. Last month, the 25-year-old began sharing poems (sorry, zoems) and acoustic song fragments that sounded raw and new, far removed from the sound of music that ends up on official releases.

Zayn's continued this well into February too, Tumblr-izing his IG page and offering even more glimpses into his process of creating (or at least singing). In the morning hours of Tuesday (February 20), Zayn posted three new piano-centric teases of his song "sHe" where his vocals are distant but powerful.

Unlike the slo-mo groove-heavy version that ended up on 2016's Mind of Mine, this "sHe" is intimate and forlorn, with looser inflections and more room for Zayn's voice to take space.

While this is not, in fact, a tease of any new music, it could be a compass pointing in the direction Zayn is trekking for his second album. Maybe instead of electro-kissed downtempo, Z2 will explore darker and more romantic sonic territory inspired by Frank Ocean. Or maybe not. Maybe it'll be a pop record after all.

Whatever the album ends up sounding like, it's cool that Zayn seems liberated to share his path there on social media. Too often now, when an artist "teases" something new, it's all part of a grander rollout plan for a new era or image. These breadcrumbs left here, on his Instagram, seem genuinely novel and without much of an agenda beyond Zayn messing around and figuring stuff out. We'll see where they lead.