Just over a week ago, Liam Payne revealed the reason we still hadn’t heard his debut LP, which he’d been teasing for months and at one point had confirmed a release date for. That reason, it turned out, was very personal. “As you may know, the last few months have seen some big changes for me,” the singer wrote on Twitter. “I looked at some of the songs on my album which were done a while ago and they felt from another age. I’m determined for my debut album to truly represent me.”
In the meantime, Payne has finally dropped a proper release with a brand-new EP called First Time on Friday (August 24), and its four tracks follow the template for mid-tempo, lightly moody, and romantic R&B-influenced pop he’s set up in the years since One Direction began its hiatus in 2016.
First Time is primarily a showcase for Payne’s voice. There’s a brief piano ballad called “Depend on It” that finds him tenderly pleading with someone to get back together and return to the days of “loving, touching, kissing, fucking like our lives depend on it.”
The title track (and new single) sees French Montana and Payne acting like a pair of heartbreakers — including in the just-dropped new music video as well — while “Home With Me” and “Slow” are ready to be added to and queued up on your bedroom-jams playlist.
As for the “big changes” Payne alluded to in his note earlier this month, it was revealed in July that he and Cheryl Cole had split after two years together. Last year, the paired welcomed a son named Bear.
On social media, Payne thanked fans for their support and added a supplementary photo of himself looking especially moody on release day, which seems crazy because, like, your EP is out, dog! Have a smile.