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Harry Styles – Falling (Live) 

Link: Harry Styles – Falling (Live From The BRIT Awards, London 2020)

1) Share some background info about the song and each performer

Harry Edward Styles is an English singer, songwriter, and actor who was born on February, 1st, 1994. As a solo candidate on the British competition series, “The X Factor”, he launched his musical career in 2010. During this competition, he was eliminated but called back along with four other boys, who formed One Direction. The group went on to become one of the best-selling boy bands of all time until taking an indefinite break in 2016. When the “band break” occurred, Harry started his solo career, and “Falling” was one of the songs that he came out with as a solo artist. 

The song “Falling” by Harry Styles was featured on his second solo album called “Fine Line” and is one of the great hits on his record.

2) Discuss what story and/or emotions are being communicated by the lyrics

“In an interview with RADIO.COM, Styles explained the truth about Falling, saying it was about a period of time where one starts falling back into a dark place. ‘Falling is about getting right before a place that you recognize as a low for you’, he said. ‘You kind of feel yourself falling back into that down period, I guess, and being sad about what you lost”.

Wright, Minnie. “Harry Styles Reveals Heartbreaking Meaning Behind Falling in Candid Interview.” Express.co.uk, 3 Mar. 2020, www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/1250122/Harry-Styles-Falling-lyrics-meaning-interview-2020.

3) Using musical elements vocabulary (form, tempo, timbre, etc.) and time stamps (when something happens in the song)

“Falling” is a very simple song. All it associates itself with is Harry’s voice and a piano. The tempo in this song is also very slow. It takes around two seconds before the pianist hits the other note. Harry’s voice range also does not vary that much. His pitch is either high or low. In his verses, he tends to sing in a low tone, and in the chorus, he sings in his high tone or frame. From the time stamp of 2:43 to 2:54, Harry hits one of his highest vocal ranges and he stresses the last word as well on that high note. You could see the effort that he puts into hitting that note, as you can see the strain in his neck. His veins are very visible. 

Little Mix – Falling (Harry Styles Cover) Live

Link: Little Mix – Falling (Harry Styles cover) in the Live Lounge

1) Share some background info about the song and each performer

Little Mix is a British girl group made up of four women, Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson. Jesy broke away from the group in 2020 and shortly after the release of their sixth album, “Confetti”, the group decided to take a break and follow in their own careers, after the completion of their Confetti tour. The group promises to always come back together at the end of the day, that Little Mix will always be together. The girls have no bad blood with each other, they are sisters who will always be there for each other no matter what circumstance, always and forever. 

2) Discuss what story and/or emotions are being communicated by the lyrics

[Same as previous #2 statement] [This group did a cover to this song.]

3) Using musical elements vocabulary (form, tempo, timbre, etc.) and time stamps (when something happens in the song)

Compared to Harry Styles’s version of “Falling”,  the girls made it their own. Even though the lyrics are the same, the tempo, the pitch, and the way it is sung are polar opposites to each other. The first obvious difference is that the tempo got picked up, it is much faster in the Little Mix version. Instead of just having a piano and voice in their version of the song, they are also accompanied by a guitar. The guitar helps assist and clarify the difference in the tempo. The song structure is another major difference. They did not sing the song in the same melody and rhythm that Harry Styles did. Their vocal range was also aimed more specifically toward the higher ranges as well. From the time stamp of 3:00 to 5:13, a lot of improvisations to the song are occurring. From the way they sang the bridge, “And I get the feeling that you’ll never need me again”, to the added verse to the song, that is not in the original lyrics. (I do not know if they wrote those lyrics or got it from somewhere else.) This verse was sung by two artists in the group. Even though “Falling” was sung very differently from Harry Styles’s version, it was still a brilliant execution by the girls that gave me goosebumps when I first heard their versions. 

Comparing And Contrasting The Two Songs

1) Identify at least two similarities and two differences between the performances

Two similarities between these two performances were the tone in which the song was sung, both songs had a very calming sense to them, and the baseline of the piano remained the same throughout the song in both performances as well. Two differences between these two performances were the tempo, Harry’s version was slower compared to Little Mix’s version, and the way the song was sung as well, the song structure, was different.  

Emotions And Story Of Music

1) Consider how the different musical settings affect the story and/or emotions of the lyrics.

The musical setting of a song can have a major effect on how a song is depicted. For the song, “Falling” by Harry Styles, he made a music video to go along with the song. The video portrays Harry, as a lost man, who seems to be depressed, and nothing in his life is the way he imagined it to be. He is in a room with his piano and an alcoholic drink. As he is singing, the piano is spilling out water and towards the end of the video, the entire room and Harry are under. The water took over. Harry is illustrating this image of drowning, which is very similar to the feeling of falling. That you are drowning there. You can also really see those feelings of hurt and being kind of angry in Harry’s facial expressions as he is singing the song. The video to this song helped convey those emotions of sadness and despair.

1 Comment

  1. Hey Punesha, I liked how you gave a very detail explanation of not only the background information but the description of each artists. It help me get a good idea of how different of similar the two performance of the songs would be since I already knew what the original sounded like not the cover by Little Mix. After listening to both, I do agree that the styles each performer uses when singing is indeed different. Harry styles can be heard more as a slow tempo but his pitch gets higher and lower at certain parts.While when listening too Little Mix because I felt they put their own twist to the way they sang this song. It was more at a higher pitch and more exaggerated for various lyrics.

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