All the fan theories about As It Was by Harry Styles

Our boy is back! But what's his new single all about?

by Douglas Greenwood
|
01 April 2022, 11:42am

It’s that time again! The campaign for Harry Styles’ third album, Harry’s House, has finally kicked off! Early this morning, we got our first sniff at the sound of it with the rather excellent synthy beach pop number “As It Was”, which has lovely flecks of A-Ha! about it. There’s also a video, in which Harry spins about London’s Barbican Centre in a custom Arturo Obegero sequinned jumpsuit, crashing into other people in a big, elaborate dance of sorts.

Be it his lyrics or his coded visuals, there’s a common theme that runs through Harry’s work: what you see is not necessarily as straightforward as you might have anticipated. The same applies for “As It Was”: as soon as the song and video dropped, stans on the internet were trying to dissect the track’s wider themes from morsels of the song and fleeting moments in the visuals.

So where to begin? Well, the themes of people’s theories vary wildly — from conversations surrounding sexuality, relationships, family upbringing and feelings of self-worth. There are, of course, plenty of Larry theories, but let’s not bother addressing the weird reaches! :)

The most prominent fan theory being banded about social media is, in fact, tied to The Matrix.

The idea being that one accepts ignorance and safety with the blue pill, but steps into the truth and unknown by taking the red. Of course, there’s allusions to pills in the song itself, and the red and blue colour scheme of the video. The only question remains: what is the truth Harry could be facing? Could he already be in it and wishing to return to an old way of life?

Hey, maybe there’s a new meaning to the music video if you watch it in reverse, like this stan has?

It’s funny, the upbeat production on the track has distracted most of us from the sadness of the song itself. Read the lyrics with no music playing and the more melancholic side of it comes out, dealing with things like Harry’s penchant for being close to other people, and disliking his own company.

Our personal favourite:

Big fan of this stan whose elaborate unpacking of the video’s hidden meaning leads them to the conclusion: “I’m fucked in the head”

There’s also slightly more upbeat theories, like this is him finally coming into himself, happier than ever.

But of course, maybe this is one of the rare times when what you see is what you get, and we’re all just sat here looking stupid while Harry browses these theories, amazed at how much close reading his stans have done after just 12 hours of this song existing on planet earth!

Go watch the video now, and decide for yourself exactly what it all means.


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Music
Harry Styles