No, Noel Gallagher, Harry Styles Isn’t Noodling on a Guitar — He’s Got a Dulcimer

It seems as though whenever Noel Gallagher gets slightly bored, he spins a wheel of artists to publicly criticize and goes after whoever it lands on. This week’s lucky winner just so happens to be Harry Styles, fresh off his first release in two years, “As It Was,” which Gallagher says he couldn’t have possibly written.

“You’re not telling me Harry Styles is currently in a room somewhere writing a song,” Gallagher said in a recent interview. “I can assure you he’s not got an acoustic guitar out trying to write a middle eight for something.”

As sweet as it is that Gallagher, like the rest of us, spends copious amounts of time thinking about what Harry Styles is up to — he’s wrong. The singer has taken it quite a few steps further than the acoustic guitar. For Fine Line cut “Canyon Moon,” he tracked down Joellen Lapidus, the woman who built the dulcimer that Joni Mitchell herself plays throughout her classic 1971 album Blue.

Still, according to Gallagher, anyone who rose to fame through a talent show like The X Factor, as Styles did via the One Direction pipeline, is automatically not a “real” musician because they don’t work as hard. “The X Factor is a TV show, it’s got nothing to do with music, it’s got nothing to do with music whatsoever,” he said. “And anything that has come from that, that’s got nothing to do with music.”

The irritable former Oasis guitarist also sprinkled in some misogyny for good measure, adding: “With any joy, he’ll be surrounded by a lot of girls.”

Styles’ fanbase of predominantly young women is actually responsible for catapulting the singer into the realm of stardom he now resides in — and he knows it. “Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music — short for popular, right? — have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts,” Styles told Rolling Stone in 2017. “Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans — they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.”

Representatives for Harry Styles did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.