One Direction have released their first single since Zayn Malik left the band. It arrives one day after Malik announced that he had signed a new record deal with RCA and would make “real music” from now on.
Drag Me Down is the band’s first release since their single Night Changes, which made the UK top ten eight months ago. Its performance will be seen as a gauge as to how well the band can continue without one of their original members.
The track surprised many fans, who had no warning that a new single was imminent. Another surprise for fans is that it features a strong Chicago footwork influence ... ok, ok, we’re joking, it sounds like a One Direction track. “All my life you stood by me when no one else was ever behind me/All these lights that can’t blind me/With your love, nobody can drag me down,” run the lyrics, as the chorus builds from a simple, Police-esque bassline.
Earlier this week Malik tweeted: “I guess I never explained why I left, it was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who i really am! #realmusic #RCA !!”
Some have speculated that the surprise 1D release was intended to steal their former bandmate’s thunder. The band are currently in the middle of their fourth North American tour.