Niall Horan is the second former One Direction member to release a solo record after the boybands hiatus (we don’t talk about
Zayn Zach, here). Considering Horan was One Direction’s biggest fan, and the self-proclaimed lover of boybands (See the One Direction movie “This Is Us”), his debut release would surprise the casual listener if they didn’t actually know a lot about this irishman and his background. Ahead of release, he described the record to Entertainment Weekly as “folk-with-pop feel to it;” however, since it’s been available to the public, Horan has been embraced by the country scene, even being invited to since at the Grand Ole Opry with Maren Morris during the 2017 CMAs. However, Horan is rooted in classic rock.
Horan says that the Eagles have had an enormous impact on what he listens to and how he writes. There are definitely some melodic inspirations and warmth from prominent Eagles songs such as “Peaceful Easy Feeling”.
I can personally hear a lot of pop-era John Mayer in a couple songs off Flicker. For example, Horan’s “Since We’re Alone” is made up of a chorus of completing guitar tones and textures that echo songs from Mayer’s Heavier Things.