June 29, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Faith In The Future is a motto which epitomises Louis Tomlinson’s optimistic worldview and attitude that has fuelled his surprise-laden second solo album of the same name.
In March 2021, Tomlinson first cryptically tweeted the title for the project to his 36 million followers, which sent them into a frenzy, and it’s a mantra he lives by. With the ambitious Faith In The Future, the 30-year-old had a set of core aims: to produce a collection of songs designed for the live environment and to push his boundaries sonically — two tasks he’s risen to with aplomb.
For the most part of this year, Tomlinson has been in his happy place on the road touring his debut album, Walls, playing to over 500,000 fans over 80 shows across five continents, which confirms his status as one of Britain’s most successful musical exports. After six years as a solo artist, this run has been a long overdue opportunity to have a catch-up with his international fanbase of adoring fans, who have streamed his music over 2 billion times on Spotify alone.
During the pandemic, Tomlinson didn’t let it defeat him, and he instead became a record breaker with his ‘Live From London’ live stream. Staggeringly, the event sold over 250K tickets over two shows which gave him the Guinness world record for the biggest selling live stream ever from a male solo artist. Additionally, as a thank you to his fans, Tomlinson created the ‘Away From Home’ festival, which was a free event for 8,000 fans at Crystal Palace Bowl.
After spending the first portion of his adult life working 100 miles per hour with One Direction and then launching his solo career — Tomlinson revelled in taking his time to make sure he got his sophomore album right. He’s made Faith In The Future on his watch, and collaborators include Rob Harvey, Dan Grech (The Killers, The Vaccines, Halsey), Nico Rebscher (Alice Merton), Joe Cross (Courteeners), and Hurts frontman Theo Hutchcraft. It would have been the safe option to re-create his debut, which has sold 1.2 million copies worldwide, but the 30-year-old is a natural risk-taker.
Despite experimenting on his second album, Tomlinson also knows he needs to stay true to himself artistically and doesn’t want to sound like a pastiche of others. He adds with more than a healthy pinch of self-awareness: “There’s also a difference between making the stuff you want to make and making the stuff you want to listen to.”
There’s a delicate balance to Faith In The Future, and Tomlinson exhibits the full capability of his talents while never refraining from sounding unapologetically like him for a nanosecond. Following the success of Walls, which charted in the Top 4 in the UK and Top 10 in the United States, there was understandably pressure weighting on his second outing, but it’s a challenge he’s thrived off.
Tomlinson has never been more assured about himself as an artist, and with an album as well-rounded as Faith In The Future, he has every right to be. Walls was an album he needed to get off his chest, but the Yorkshireman has now uncompromisingly expanded his wings and evolved on his head-turning second outing.