As Louis Tomlinson was wrapping up his first world tour this summer, fans were eagerly anticipating news of his sophomore album. On August 10th, 2022, without warning, a vinyl edition of “Faith in the Future” (FITF) by Louis Tomlinson became available for pre-order on Amazon. For $29.98, the listing included the full tracklist details but not a release date. Amazon’s Twitter support replied to a fan and confirmed that the release was legitimate. As word spread around Twitter, I put in my preorder and expected Amazon would quietly cancel it to cover the error. The listing was taken down without comment, but those who placed pre-orders saw them remain active for a few more weeks.
Individuals claiming to be in the know lamented how unlikely it would be for a mistake of this magnitude to occur, and at Amazon of all places. As fans we’re always suspicious; there have been so many “leaks” associated with One Direction and its former members that it’s barely a surprise anymore to wake up to one. It’s often believed that leaks are, at least in part, an inside job. Many fans hoped the premature album announcement had been an intentional, albeit odd, first step out of the “Walls” era and into FITF. The following day, Louis tweeted and deleted “Absolutely Gutted.” Now we could only assume he was sharing a broken-hearted confirmation that hadn’t been the case.
Whether or not the Amazon situation officially began the FITF promo cycle it certainly elicited excitement for an album long in the making. Towards the end of August, several candid-appearing photos were shared by Louis’ official YouTube Community page. The first image, in black and white, shows a pensive-looking Louis sitting on a sofa with a series of framed photographs on the wall behind him. The closest photo is signed, in very small print, “AAREN CLEVIE FORROW LOTTY.” The subsequent photos also contained random seeming text, some of it hidden and some obvious.
Since no one knew what a YouTube Community was (or was it just me?), word about the cryptic photos wasn’t spreading. The messages hidden in these photos were not getting through and as Louis later admitted, he needed to drop some hints. On August 25th, the well-known Larry update account @UpdateHLD tweeted the series of photos, noting that “there seem to be some secret messages in the posts in Louis’ community.” By using HLD to share the clues, it seemed that Louis “I blocked HLD” Tomlinson specifically chose to point Larries towards this puzzle game we were raised to play.
The first anagram, AAREN CLEVIE FORROW LOTTY, solves as “Written All Over Your Face,” track two on “Faith in the Future.” All of the anagrams in the YouTube Community photos, it was quickly found, spell out song titles from “Faith in the Future.” Song titles we know only because the tracklist was shared by Amazon. It may have been possible to solve some of the anagrams without prior knowledge of the titles, but it’s realistically improbable.
Over the years Louis has repeatedly acknowledged how clever and clued-in his loyal fans are. In 2019, prior to the release of his first solo album “Walls,” Louis used Twitter to share a map of coordinates around the world where fans could collect a series of video clips. When compiled, the clips created a promotional video of Louis talking about his upcoming single “Two of Us.” Just a day after sharing the coordinates Louis tweeted, “You’re all fucking amazing!!!” You can read the transcript and see the video here from LTHQofficial.com.
On August 31st, 2022, Louis officially announced that his second album “Faith in the Future” is to be released on November 11th. He followed that news with an official link to pre-order and a few hours later, announced that the first single, “Bigger Than Me,” and its music video would be released the following day.
As of this writing, Louis’ second single “Out of My System” has been released and the excitement for LT2 continues to build. The album was produced by Mike Crossey, a Northern Irish songwriter and mix engineer. Crossey has previously worked with The 1975 and Wolf Alice, an English band you may be familiar with since Harry Styles followed them around Europe for weeks just this past summer. Louis will tour “Faith in The Future” throughout Europe beginning in August 2023.
Stream Louis’ newest single “Out of my System” HERE