January 31st, 2021, marked the one year anniversary of the release of Louis Tomlinson’s debut album Walls. The 29 year-old singer-songwriter took to Twitter to celebrate, thanking his fans for their continued support. For their part, fans celebrated by listening to the album in a “streaming party.” Some took part in a fanart competition that consisted of making art related to each track off of the album. The winners had their art displayed for 24 hours on the Spotify canvases for the respective song.
Walls is an album that has indie rock and britpop influences, with Tomlinson stating that he was inspired by bands such as Oasis and Arctic Monkeys. Thematically, the album ranges from familial loss to relationships to Tomlinson’s own days of self-doubt. The album consists of 12 songs, five of them singles, and it has a run time of 39 minutes.
The first single to be released was a ballad entitled “Two of Us.” The song, released in March of 2019, is an ode to Tomlinson’s late mother, the impact of her death on him, and how she inspired him to pursue a solo career.
Next to be released was “Kill My Mind,” which would later become the opening track on the album. As it differed from any of his previously released work, the ‘90’s sounding britpop song was written as a “statement of intent” that encompasses “the space [he] want[s] to move into.”
Following that was “We Made It,” which speaks to the singer’s self-doubts and struggle to find his place during his rise to fame in boyband One Direction. He sings about how he used to worry about “singing something pop-y on the same four chords,” but he has since learned to not pay attention to what others are saying.
The next of the singles released was “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart,” an anthem about “moving forward in the face of hardship.” Backed by electric guitar, Tomlinson sings about lost love and struggles that he faced; despite this, he maintains strength and refuses to let all of these things “break [his] heart.”
The titular track Walls was the last single to be released before the album. Tomlinson has been cited saying that he loves “the indie sound” of the single as well as the “circular nature” due to the fact that the song opens and ends with the lyric “Nothing wakes you up like waking up alone.”