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Mitch Rowland shares ‘Here Comes The Comeback’ with backing vocals from Harry Styles

Rowland, Harry Styles' live guitarist and frequent co-songwriter, tells Rolling Stone UK about the decision to go it alone.

By Nick Reilly

Mitch Rowland (Picture: Luke Atkinson)

Mitch Rowland has told Rolling Stone UK about ‘Here Comes The Comeback’ and his close creative partnership with a certain Harry Styles.

Rowland, who co-wrote some of Styles’ biggest tracks including ‘Watermelon Sugar’ and ‘Golden’, is also a live guitarist in the solo star’s live band, alongside his wife – drummer Sarah Jones.

The latest solo track follows ‘Come June’, the title track of Rowland’s debut album which arrives on October 6.

Explaining the decision to go it alone for the first time, Rowland said: “I think we first flirted with the idea in 2019 but Harry was about to release his second album and then the pandemic happened. That’s actually where some of this began, the writing for it. It sounds like an album that would have been born during that time, but it would have sounded like that if I did it earlier too – I love that kind of music.”

The “kind of music” that Rowland speaks about is clearly displayed on ‘Here Comes The Comeback’, which features backing vocals from Styles and wears a love of rootsy 70s rock on its sleeves.

The connection also runs into Rowland’s record deal – he is signed to Styles’ own Erskine Records after the pair, together with the singer’s own manager Jeffrey Azoff, realised it would be a natural fit.

“I quickly went from wishing I could be on a certain label to realising that I was in a pretty unique spot with Harry. It feels good and it’s all the same people I’ve worked with so everything is familiar and that’s just amazing,” he said.

“I think I would find this pretty weird if I had to start without knowing anybody and I’m pretty lucky in that kind of way.”

There is personal depth on the record too. The title track, ‘Come June’ is inspired by Rowland’s own experiences of falling out of love with life in London.

“I was living in London for a handful of years and this was the first song that came from that period of figuring out what I wanted to be. We were living in Stoke Newington at the time and acid attacks were happening all the time. Stoke Newington was pretty safe and it still is, but all of a sudden there was a stabbing half a mile from the front door.

“It kind of got this song going because it was about me realising I needed a bit of caution. I love London but I was sick of it at the time.”

He’s now living in Hereford and taking some well-earned time off after the conclusion of Styles’ mammoth Love On Tour, but rest assured there’s likely to be a few of the singer’s fans showing their support at his own shows.

“It’s a truly special thing and it’s grown exponentially, we consciously started out playing in theatres or what Harry considered to be small places and it’s just grown every time. But I do miss playing the smaller rooms and that’s where I’m going to be. I can’t wait to get back to that.”