One Direction surprised fans on Tuesday morning with a montage-style music video for “History.”
The song marks the third single from the band’s fifth album, Made in the A.M., and the video is a touching see-you-soon to fans now that the band — comprised of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson — are on indefinite hiatus. Indeed, the end of the video sees the four of them walking in separate directions, nodding farewell to each other.
The music video is simple but emotional, and is comprised primarily of footage that spans the band’s careers from their start on The X Factor U.K. — when Simon Cowell grouped them together — to their reported last bow, a performance of the same song on the X Factor finale. The latter performance was their last ahead of the hiatus, and had a similar vibe; as the four performed, their career was flashed in short snippets on the big screen behind them. The video also features some never-before-seen footage — even including departed band member Zayn Malik.
Fittingly, the track was recorded with the help of fans, who joined Horan and 1D writer-producer Julian Bunetta in the studio to lay down the chorus. In a conversation with EW, Payne revealed that the idea was his own, given the song’s relationship with the fanbase that propelled them to stratospheric success. “It’s really great because obviously that song is mainly about the fans and what they’ve done; I think it was important that they were a part of it, to close the album,” he said.
And though “History” acts as “a little bit of closure for this chapter of One Direction,” as Payne told EW,Tomlinson assured fans that the break — which follows a grueling five-year schedule of nonstop touring and recording — “isn’t as big and dramatic as it’s been made out. … I think we deserve a little break.”
Check out the video above, and no, you are the one who is crying.