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"Flicker" is the debut studio album by Irish singer and songwriter Niall Horan. It was released on October 20, 2017, through Neon Haze Music and Capitol Records. "This Town" was released on 29 September 2016, as the album's lead single, followed by 2017 singles "Slow Hands" and "Too Much to Ask".

Background

In June 2016, Horan confirmed that he was working on his debut studio album stating "I've been in the studio writing bits and pieces. It's just for fun at the moment. I've made relationships with different writers up and down the years so I'm putting them into action now." In September 2016, it was announced that Horan had signed a solo deal with Capitol Records.

Talking to Daily Star, Horan said: "I have been working on it since March 2016. It has been a year and a half in the making and it is finally time for people to hear it." In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Horan stated that his upcoming new album was inspired by classic rock acts, including Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. "Whenever I would pick up a guitar, I would always naturally play chords like that, and finger pick a lot and play that folky kind of style." He also described the collection as having a "folk-with-pop feel to it."

In August 2017, Horan debuted several songs from the album during a live show at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London. He also revealed that he had contacted Maren Morris to contribute to his song "Seeing Blind". On 15 September 2017, Horan announced the album through his social media accounts, revealing album's title, cover art and release date as well as the release of the third single from the album, "Too Much to Ask". The track list of the album was unveiled on 22 September 2017. Horan told Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 Radio show that the album's title track, "Flicker", means the most to him and "was a very poignant moment in the recording process", to the extent that "it changed the way I recorded the rest of the album".

Singles

The album's lead single, "This Town", was released along with its accompanying music video of a live performance on 29 September 2016. It is Horan's first single outside of the boy band One Direction. Since its release, it has peaked at number nine on the UK Singles Chart, and number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The second single, "Slow Hands", was released on 4 May 2017. Upon release it received favourable reviews from the critics. Billboard described the song as a "R&B-inflected rock tune". The single charted within the top 10 in a number of countries and reached number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

"Too Much to Ask" was released as the third single on 15 September 2017. The music video was uploaded to YouTube on 21 September 2017.

Promotion

To promote the album, Horan has embarked on his first headlining concert tour, Flicker Sessions 2017. The tour was announced on July 10, 2017, via Horan's social media accounts and website. The concert tour launched on 29 August 2017, at Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

Commercial performance

In Ireland and the Netherlands, Flicker debuted at number one. With 152,000 album-equivalent units and 128,000 copies sold in the United States, it also opened atop the Billboard 200, tying One Direction with the Beatles for the most members (three) with a solo US number-one album. Horan also became the group's third member to top the Canadian Albums Chart when the record entered at the summit with over 16,000 consumption units in the nation. Elsewhere, the album debuted at number two in Australia and Italy while opening at number three in New Zealand, Scotland, and the United Kingdom.

Track listing

Standard
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "On the Loose" John Henry Ryan, Niall Horan & Julian Bunetta Julian Bunetta 3:43
2. "This Town" Niall Horan, Jamie Scott, Mike Needle & Daniel Bryer Greg Kurstin 3:52
3. "Seeing Blind" (featuring Maren Morris) Matthew Smith Radosevich, Maren Morris, Ruth-Anne "Rooty" Cunningham & Niall Horan Jacquire King 3:05
4. "Slow Hands" John Ryan, Tobias Jesso Jr., Niall Horan, Julian Bunetta, Ruth-Anne "Rooty" Cunningham & Alexander Izquierdo Julian Bunetta 3:07
5. "Too Much to Ask" Niall Horan & Jamie Scott Greg Kurstin 3:43
6. "Paper Houses" Iain Archer & Niall Horan Jacquire King 3:34
7. "Since We're Alone" Daniel Dodd Wilson, Ruth-Anne "Rooty" Cunningham, Greg Kurstin & Niall Horan Greg Kurstin 4:02
8. "Flicker" John Ryan, Julian Bunetta, Niall Horan Jacquire King 4:18
9. "Fire Away" Ruth-Anne "Rooty" Cunningham, John Ryan, Julian Bunetta & Niall Horan Julian Bunetta 3:26
10. "You and Me" Ruth-Anne "Rooty" Cunningham, Matt Rad & Niall Horan Jacquire King 3:04
Deluxe Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
11. "On My Own" Ben Kohn, Pete Kelleher, Tom Barnes, Ed Drewett & Niall Horan TMS 4:00
12. "Mirrors" Mike Needle, Daniel Bryer, Jamie Scott & Niall Horan AFTERHRS & Julian Bunetta 3:38
13. "The Tide" John Ryan, Julian Bunetta & Niall Horan Jacquire King 3:20


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