On Monday night, singer-songwriters Julia Michaels and Niall Horan transformed The Late Late Show stage into a blooming garden full of heartbreak. Michaels and Horan visited James Corden’s show to make the television debut of their song “What A Time” from Michaels’ EP Inner Monologue Part 1.
Michaels and Horan’s performance of the song was theatrical and affecting. Michaels, strolling around the stage full of flowers and benches (designed to look like “that night in the park” she recalls in the song), performs solo until she’s joined by Horan about a minute in. They walk through the park full of memories, reminiscing about past days of happiness amid the wreckage of their relationship today.
They’re not actually a couple post-breakup, though. Michaels and Horan toured together last year, and the two have a fun, friendly rapport. Michaels and Horan sound lovely together. Anyone who knows Horan only from his work in One Direction will be surprised by how nice his voice is on its own (and harmonizing with Michaels). Michaels is a talented songwriter and pop star on the rise, and although Inner Monologue Part 1 is brilliant all the way through, “What A Time” is the record’s most shining, standout track.
Watch Julia Michaels and Niall Horan’s performance of “What A Time” on The Late Late Show With James Corden above.