During a recent interview with Billboard, the guys gave a little hint of what's to come, with Louis Tomlinson explaining: "Some of the songs have got a classic, natural, quite simple [sound to] some of it. Not too over-produced."
Zayn Malik talked about how the group is maturing with their sound, noting, "I think it's just a progression on the last stuff we've done. We haven't tried to go too different with it. We tried to keep what is our sound, but just kind of grow with it as we've obviously grown up. We've grown a bit more facial hair. And our lyrics need to get a little bit older as well. So we just kind of want to grow with our fan base."
And, more good news! It's confirmed that 1D pal Ed Sheeran has written a song for the new album. Zayn dished to MTV, "The one that he wrote is more of a ballad. But I think we are going in that kind of lane. It sounds cool, we'll take that."