Pop Genealogy: Harry Styles

The date was August 23, 2015. It was a day in which the collective blood ran cold in millions of fans of the British-Irish boyband One Direction. However, while there was despair abound, there was also hope. Fans were left to anticipate what the members’ solo music would yield. I personally had my bets on one horse in particular: Harry Styles. Styles had always been a stand out voice and personality in the group. For years there have been rumblings from fans that Styles was destined to be the Justin Timberlake of One Direction. Jill O’Rouke from Alloy was writing about it in 2014 saying, “I think Harry’s solo career will look different from Justin’s from a musical standpoint since he seems to have a different style. But he’s still got the pipes and the charisma.” To a degree, she was pretty accurate. With Styles’ newfound creative control, he leaned more onto sounds of 1970s rock than on the more traditional, radio-friendly released of his One Direction counterparts.

Pink Floyd

From the very first track on the record, we have glaring similarities between “Meet Me In The Hallway” and Pink Floyd’s “Breathe.” The chords are similar, and the songs both share the same rich bass tone, and vocal reverbs. “Breathe” has much more going on, with dramatic ambiance and slide guitars, but while “Meet Me In The Hallway” is a much more stripped back tune, the same feeling of ambiance still hangs in the space between its components.

Elton John

Harry Styles’ song “Woman” isn’t a far cry from Elton John’s classic “Bennie and the Jets” from the initial piano/guitar stabs that kick off both songs. Additionally, both songs employ repetitive consonant hooks between “Buh-Buh-Buh-Bennie and the Jets” and Styles’ “Wuh-Women.”

The Rolling Stones

When “Only Angel” starts, its ambient organ, operatic vocal swells and delicate piano lead you to think you’re in for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” In reality, at the 53-second mark, we’re into a Rolling Stones strut more akin to “Bitch”. The lyrics illustrate similar sexually fueled relationships. Where The Stones sing: “When you call my name / I salivate like a Pavlov Dog,” Styles’ illustrates similar as he  “Broke a finger knocking on your bedroom door / I got splinters in my knuckles crawling cross the floor.”


Works Cited for this post can be found here.

Artist Profile: Jared & The Mill

Before I began this new journey to musical expansion, I had to tackle one problem in particular. How would I find new music?

When I discovered the My New Music Mix curated by Apple Music, I knew that it would become a valuable resource. The playlist refreshes every Friday with songs Apple Music thinks I will like based on my play history. It can be pretty hit or miss (emphasize the miss), but it certainly takes some of the work out of searching for new material.

The first major hit I discovered thanks to Apple Music was a band called Jared & The Mill.

Jared & The Mill is a Western Indie Rock/Folk band based out of Phoenix, Arizona; a setting so prominent in the band’s hearts that it can be heard in every song.

The band looks and sounds as if they fit just as well in a bar as they do in an arena. Each song consisting of captivating and catchy melodies, lively rhythms, and a traditional folk instrumentation is expertly crafted in ways that make each song unique.

I don’t listen to much Country or Folk these days, but discovering this band opened my eyes to genres that I have been long overlooking.

To date, Jared & The Mill have 3 records including one full-length and 2 EPs.

I listened to the releases in reverse-chronological order. Starting with their 2016 EP “Orme Dugas,” and finishing with their one full-length release “Western Expansion.”

Hearing their progression in reverse was an unorthodox way to hear how far they have come.

Every release has had something to offer, but their later releases grabbed my attention with more urgency whereas “Western Expansion” took a little longer to grow on me.

I had mentioned the significance of their hometown of Pheonix, Arizona earlier. Now, I’ve never been to the city myself, but their passion for their home has played an unprecedented highlight for me and their music. So many of their songs come tinged with just a little touch of the heartache that comes from the gratefully homesick. It’s a bittersweet tone that resonated deeply with me.

A bittersweet tone for a bittersweet life.
Jared and The Mill’s music can be found on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify.

Jared and The Mill on the web:









Pop Diversifies January Playlist

Welcome to 2017!

With the new year, I figured it was about time to get this show on the road. So without further ado, I present my first official Pop Diversifies playlist!

For the next few weeks I will be listening to this playlist, comprised mostly of bands I’ve never really listened to before, and at the end of the month I will be back to report what really struck a chord with me and what did not.

So far I’ve had a really good feeling about Golden Coast, so we’ll see what a deeper listen will reveal!

What are you listening to this month?

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