Music is an integral part of my life. I don’t just listen to music, I absorb it. Music should make you feel something: happiness, sadness, heartache, desire, or even the uncontrollable urge to dance (or in my case, attempt to dance); a good piece of music has mood-altering qualities that can seriously affect how you view the world within the duration of their playing time. Why am I talking about this exactly? Well, I have found that The 1975 who concentrate on lyrical prowess and musical imagery really deliver that all important emotional connection with their music, which subsequently has a major impact on their fans and listeners. How do I know this? I went to their gig the other week and I have a music blog – you should listen to me! (this blog does not tolerate musical coercion of any form).
I have already written a piece on The 1975 in my ‘Guide to Indie Music’ although, in light of their latest album release ‘I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,’ (wow that took long to type) which introduces their new funk-laced and pop-infused sound; I thought I would discuss the album and the bands musical transition from their nostalgic black and white visual theme of darkness, sex, love and fear to their contemporary ‘pink-everything’ aesthetic.
For those of you who are unaware of The 1975 (no judgement), their first self-titled debut album in 2013 did have major chart success making it to number 1 on the UK Albums Chart in 2013. Songs like ‘Chocolate’, ‘Sex’, ‘Girls’, ‘Robbers’, and ‘Settle Down’ were intelligently produced with flawless lyrical genius, highly melodic rhythms and creative guitar hooks – captivating listeners. When the first single from their new album ‘Love Me’ was released, I believe many, including me were confused as to why the band we loved so much had completely changed their sound, image and in some sort of way, lost that dark, mellow and melancholic essence that formed the foundation of the bands impressionability. After listening to ‘Love Me’ for a second time and then hearing it live, I realised how brilliant it actually was. As a music lover, I am very open to change especially when it sounds so good! The general basis of the song is frontman Matt Healy’s criticism of the overinflated egos and self-obsessed artists of the music industry – hence why I thought it would be intelligent to title this article ‘you look famous, let’s be friends’ (an actual lyric from the song).
The album was released on February 26th, 2016 by Dirty Hit and Interscope records and has provided the band with a whole new fan base. It’s full of earworms and I think it’s an easy listen – an album you could play in any condition and you’ll be extremely satisfied. I’m not going to lie to you, when I saw them at The O2 Brixton there were a few songs I was unsure about, although like any album you always find that. I wouldn’t say ‘I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It’ is ground breaking, but it’s pretty frickin’ great if you ask me. The band is certainly heading in the right direction as they look to get big in the States after breaking the US chart record for the longest album title at number one, performing on Saturday Night Live and also after being invited to perform on a rooftop overlooking LA’s skyline for Apple Music’s Beats 1 first live event. The event was broadcasted across the world on Apple Music and Healy described the event as “the coolest place we’ve ever played a show.”
The term 80’s throwback has been thrown around to describe the bands new sound – things that come to my mind include: synthesizer music, incredible guitar solos, crazy hairstyles and spectacular energy! The sound for the album has substantial influences from the likes of Duran Duran, Bowie, Michael Jackson and Prince. With this association of musical icons, The 1975 have created some absolute gems including: ‘UGH!’, ‘She’s American’, ‘A Change Of Heart’, ‘The Sound’ and ‘Somebody Else’. I believe ‘The Sound’ is the single that will really take the band to new heights – it’s super catchy, has a great rhythmic pattern and I think its their first song that you can properly dance to. Matty explained how “It wears its pop on its sleeve and it’s kind of unabashed.” I found myself going mental at their gig in Brixton as the preliminary disco-house infused beat started playing. It was during this moment when Matty was polishing off a bottle of red wine – it was pretty great! If you haven’t heard ‘The Sound’ yet, check it out below.
As some of you may know I’m a sucker for live music – It provides me with an unfathomable sense of joy and deep happiness… yes, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. If you are still unsure about The 1975, go and see them live – I think they’ll win you over. With a collaboration of fantastic lighting, staging props, awesome sax solos and the 5000 or so fans effortlessly singing to every song, the O2 Brixton became an intense, electric personification of musical ability and performance.
Surprisingly ‘She’s American’ is my favourite song (at the moment). Although it has some similarities to ‘Settle Down’, it is a really fun song to listen to and the lyrics are outstanding! Whenever I listen to it, I feel like I have been transported to one of those classic 80’s movies where the geeky guy gets the hottest girl in high school – I really like that for some reason…Also for anybody that knows me, you’ll know I have some sort of weird obsession with America.
The 1975 are a fantastic and versatile band and I really think it’s just the beginning for them. Let’s see what happens!
Written by Dean Bernstein – read more of his reviews here.