Harry Styles might have been off acting with the stars in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, but One Direction fans had nothing to fear because he’s back, and his debut solo single “Sign of the Times” has proved quite a shock to our system this early on a Friday.

Harry has clearly been listening to Ziggy Stardust’s back catalogue as far from the bubblegum pop sounds of the X Factor boy band we expected to hear, the trippy, space age David Bowie influences are unmistakable. It’s much rockier too, channelling the falsetto of Queen and the driving oomph of The Killers towards its climax. In short: it’s fresh, progressive, and totally unexpected.

There’s no music video yet, but that’s on the way soon, featuring the creepiest stunt double ever seen wearing a Harry mask during helicopter scenes. Here it is, consider yourself warned:

Harry will be performing his new single on Saturday Night Live on 15 April. Fans are hoping to hear more of his solo material then as acts usually sing two tracks, but that’s TBC.

To say they’re excited is an understatement, as you might be able to tell from just a handful of the deluge of tweets currently flooding Twitter:

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