“The 1975 is what happens when we let rockstars front pop bands”
So it’s 22:38, on a Tuesday evening. The bottle of frankly shambolic red I opened around 24 hours ago has gone, and I’m watching The 1975’s Reading 2019 set for the third time in a similar period.
Trying to relive the festival? Probably.
Trying to gather inspiration? Maybe.
Trying to work out just what makes this one of the hottest bands on the face of the Earth right now? Yeah, definitely.
On the one hand, it’s pretty easy to see why. The Cheshire four-piece epitomise the pop boyband, with clean cut, pretty boy images apiece. Dig deeper, though, and those clean cut images appear to have been pasted on – roughly cut and pasted with PVA, like a semi-psychotic ransom note.
Frontman Matty Healy is a notorious child of fame and has spoken openly about his tribulations with narcotics. Watch him in interviews and he appears cool and collected if a little mysterious and edgy. See him on a stage, however, and he appears like the psychotic twin of ‘interview Healy’. Literally, you can watch him scream lyrics into the stage in front of thousands of people.
The band are on course to release their fourth album, Notes On A Conditional Form, in February 2020. Intro single ‘The 1975‘ offers a platform to Greta Thunberg, using one of her most famous speeches in a powerful, artistic moment. The band also refused to print new merchandise for this album, instead, re-printing over old merch, so as to do less ecological damage. Seemingly, the theme is clear: the world is dying, and we’re gonna tell you all about it.
So, this band is pretty, but a bit fucked up. They are mindful of modern issues, and arguably, in this writers opinion, some of the most creative writers in the industry today. But something tells me that isn’t the end of it. The 1975 is what happens when we let rockstars front pop bands. And honestly, I think we need more of it. Watching someone with no fear of saying “fuck you”, someone who is not afraid of breaking rules and making enemies in the process, front a pop band that has influence over almost inconceivable numbers of young people is exhilarating.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re either so bored that this is the best option, or you’re enthused. Assuming the latter, let me narcissistically give a few recommendations for starting points:
For Fans Of:
Rock: Sex; The City; People; Give Yourself A Try
Ambient: fallingforyou; How To Draw/Petrichor
Songwriting: She Lays Down; Be My Mistake; I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)
Hip-Hop: So Far (It’s Alright); I Like America & America Likes Me
Manchester Rock: I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes); I Couldn’t Be More In Love; Inside Your Mind
Pop: Girls; Robbers; Chocolate; She Way Out
Something You’ve Never Heard Before: The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme