September 29, 2016
The song describes someone being unable to move on from a person they formerly dated.
This Town is an acoustic pop song. The song is written in the key of A major with a common time tempo of 112 beats per minute. Horan's vocals span from D3 to E4 in the song. Niall began writing sessions for his debut solo album in March 2016, after backpacking around the world for three months. He cited legendary acts Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel as inspirations. He explained the writing process of 'This Town' to Z100, stating "I went travelling at the start of the year. When I got back, I was like "Now I’m gonna go in the studio and do a bit of writing because I can and because I want to". Just, you know, for nothing really in particular. 'This Town' is actually one of the first I wrote. "I was like "OK, maybe we’re in a good place here, maybe I could actually do something with this". He also spoke about the lyrics, stating "The first verse of the chorus is pretty cool: “...if the whole world was watching, I’d still dance with you”. I think that’s quite relatable, a carefree kind of line. ”Everything comes back to you” is also quite a poignant line, it’s clearly the tag of the song, everyone that heard the song, before the public heard it, was going ”everything comes back to you” - so that’s the line everyone’s gonna be singing to my face. He further explained the inspiration behind the song in a December 2016 interview, stating "The track is quite special to me, it's one of the first songs I wrote and finished. I came up with the idea while I was backpacking through Asia."
On September 28, 2016, Radio Disney's official Twitter account prematurely posted a tweet saying a song from Niall was about to be released. The tweet was soon deleted. The following morning, radio stations began tweeting about a surprise world premiere and at approximately 11am EST on September 29th, 'This Town' premiered worldwide. The song was released through Capitol Records, who tweeted a welcome message to Niall and celebrated by flying a 'This Town' flag atop their famous Capitol building in Hollywood, California. Capitol also erected a billboard advertising the single in Los Angeles and bought ad space on Instagram and Spotify. In an official statement, Niall confirmed his solo record deal with Capitol: "I'm excited to announce I have signed a record deal with Capitol Records USA and released my first solo song. Thank you to all the One Direction fans for your love and support as always. I'm looking forward to the next part of this journey together." On November 1, 2016, Dutch producer Tiësto released an official remix of This Town.
'This Town' was an instant radio and iTunes hit, remaining at #1 on the Worldwide iTunes charts for three days after release. On day of release, the song reached #1 on iTunes in 49 countries. By October 2nd, the track had garnered over 4 million Spotify streams. Numerous celebrities, publications and radio stations commended the track for its easy listening, folk-acoustic vibes. On 27 November 2016, Universal Music Group announced on Twitter that This Town had acquired over 75 million streams on Spotify, by December the song had reached 90 million and in January 2017, it surpassed 100 million streams. Also in December 2016, the song acquired 1 million Shazams. Teen Vogue listed This Town at #14 on their 16 Best Songs of 2016.
Upon the song's release, Liam, Harry and Louis all tweeted their congratulations to Niall, who responded to each band member. He clarified in subsequent press interviews that One Direction had not split up, they were simply "having fun doing our own thing". When asked if he had informed the rest of the band before releasing the song, Niall confirmed "I just said to them "I’m bringing out a tune, hope it’s all okay. I’m a bit nervous about it, see ya soon." He further confirmed One Direction plan to tour again, and that his debut album will likely be released in Spring 2017. On January 18 2017, Niall won his first solo award, the People's Choice Award for Favorite Breakout Artist.
In the United States, This Town debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at #63, after one counted day of sales and streaming, and four days of radio airplay within the initial tracking period. The following week, the song moved up to #25. After falling to #61, the song rose back to #29, then back to its original position #25, in December, after a string of live performances from Niall. In the first week of January 2017, This Town peaked at #20 on the US charts. In February 2017, the single was certified platinum in the US with over 1 million combined sales and streams. The single debuted at number six on the Digital Song Sales chart, selling 48,000 downloads in its first day. The track climbed from #91 to #9 on the United Kingdom's Official Singles Charts within its first fortnight of release. In Ireland, the track debuted at #6, and in Scotland it debuted at #2. In Australia, This Town debuted at #5 on the ARIA Singles Charts, and was certified gold in November after selling 35,000 copies. In Canada, it was certified gold on December 7, then double platinum in April 2017.
Live Music Video
On September 29, 2016, Niall released a one take live video filmed in Capitol Records famous Studio A. Niall spoke to Z100 about the video, stating "Capitol is a really historic label, the building is one of the most famous around. Being a fifties rat pack swing fan, seeing all the famous pictures of Frank [Sinatra] and Dean Martin and having the chance to do an acoustic version of the song was pretty amazing. One of my favourite producers, Don Walsh, works in the Capitol building - he’s famous for a lot of big things, but most recently a lot of John Mayer records - that was cool to work with him, he wanted to work on the song. It was just good to be in that building and do it acoustically. It was something for the fans, I just wanted to drop it all at the same time, here’s the song, here’s an acoustic version of it, you can go on iTunes, you can go on Spotify, you can do whatever you want, so I just kinda wanted to do it that way." On November 23, Niall released an official lyric video, featuring 1,800 illustrations by animator Marius France.
|Released||September 29, 2016|
|Production Co||Dylan Williams, Rose Krane & Don Was|
|Location||Studio A, Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA|
|VEVO views||35,831,633 (as of May 1, 2017)|
Behind The Scenes
- ↑ Niall On40At40
- ↑ One Direction's Niall Horan releases first solo single, 'This Town'
- ↑ Z100 Interview
- ↑ Radio Disney accidental tweet
- ↑ Capitol Records Welcoming Niall To The Family
- ↑ This Town Flag Raising
- ↑ Sky News Report
- ↑ NIALL HORAN’S ‘THIS TOWN’ GETS A SURPRISINGLY DANCEABLE REMIX
- ↑ 29 September Recap
- ↑ Universal MusicGroup Tweet
- ↑ One Direction Charts
- ↑ 100 million streams
- ↑ 1D & Zayn Updates
- ↑ Harry's Tweet
- ↑ Louis's Tweet
- ↑ Liam's Tweet
- ↑ PCAs 2017
- ↑ Niall Platinum Feb 2017
- ↑ Niall Horan Makes History as First Artist to Debut at No. 1 on Social 50 Chart
- ↑ James Arthur holds on to Number 1 as 1D’s Niall Horan claims highest new entry
- ↑ GFK Chart-Track
- ↑ Official Scottish Singles Charts
- ↑ ARIA Charts
- ↑ Z100 Interview