Music / The 1975

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Adam Hann, Matty Healy, George Daniel, and Ross MacDonald.

The 1975 is an English band from Manchester, United Kingdom. Its members are Matthew “Matty” Healy (vocals, guitar), Adam Hann (guitar), Ross MacDonald (bass), and George Daniel (drums).

A four-piece Alternative Rock/Power Pop/Alternative Dance/Funk Rock/New Wave/whatever they want to be group, their style has been described by music magazine Paste as “equal parts ethereal and synth pop” with “haunting” and “smooth” vocals. Matty Healy has cited Prince, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Sigur Rós and My Bloody Valentine as his musical influences, but states his greatest influence is the filmmaker John Hughes. Their lyrics explore discovery and novelty in sex, love, drugs, hope, death, and fear, among other themes.

The band is known not only for their unique and eclectic sound but also for their specifically crafted image in the media. The band requested that all paparazzi photos were shot and released in black and white, and all their music videos up until 'Sex' were black and white as well. According to Healy, this was inspired Hughes-esque juxtaposition of black and white film with major keys and “classic pop sensibilities."

The band began in 2002, when Matthew Healy, son of Denise Welch and Tim Healy, met Ross MacDonald, Adam Hann and George Daniel in high school. Through a community organization, they began playing gigs in 2004. Healy was originally the group’s drummer but became the vocalist once George Daniel was recruited.

Some of the group's older work can be found under the names "Talkhouse," "the Slowdown,” “Bigsleep,” and most prominently “Drive Like I Do.” Their current name was inspired by a Beat poetry notebook that Matty Healy found on holiday. The book was dated “1 June, The 1975.” Healy states that his attraction to the name was only Rule of Cool.

After almost a decade of playing together, the band released their first EP, Facedown, in August of 2012. Its lead track 'The City' found airplay in the United Kingdom on BBC Radio 1. Their next EP, Sex, had its eponymous track finding great success again. Music For Cars was The 1975’s next EP, released early 2013. The lead single, 'Chocolate,' has garnered the major mainstream success and reached number 19 on the UK singles chart. IV, their final EP, was released on May 20, 2013 and its lead single was a new version of 'The City.'

In the years leading up to and throughout the release of their EPs, The 1975 toured extensively, and supported Muse, The Rolling Stones, and The Neighbourhood. They also played festivals including the 2013 Reading and Leeds Festival.

On September 2, 2013, The 1975 released their self-titled debut album. The lead single was a revamped version of 'Sex.' The album received mainstream success and was greatly acclaimed, debuting at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart.

Most recently, the band played at Coachella 2014 and in the Royal Albert Hall. Matty has stated that they are working on their second studio album, slated for a 2015 release before being pushed back to 2016. It is currently titled I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. The song 'Medicine' was intended to be the first single from the album, but was later revealed to be just a part of the 2014 rescore for Drive. In mid-2015, the band released the album's first true single, 'Love Me'.

The 1975 Discography

  • Facedown EP (2012)
  • Sex EP (2012)
  • Music for Cars EP (2013)
  • IV EP (2013)
  • The 1975 (2013)
    Singles: 'The City' (2012/2013), 'Sex' (2012/2013), 'Chocolate' (2013), 'Girls' (2013), 'Settle Down' (2014), 'Robbers' (2014), 'Heart Out' (2014)
  • 'Medicine' (2014)
  • I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It (2016)
    Singles: 'Love Me' (2015), 'UGH!' (2015), 'The Sound' (2016), 'Change Of Heart' (2016), 'Somebody Else' (2016)

We're never gonna quit troping, no, we're never gonna quit troping, no...

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: 'Sex':
    "And she said 'use your hands in my spare time..."
  • Ambiguously Bi: Discussed in 'The Sound':
    "She said 'I've got a problem with your shoes and your tunes, but I might move in' and 'I thought that you were straight, now I'm wondering.'"
  • Alcoholic Parent: 'She Lays Down' is about Matty's mother—who had issues with alcoholism and drug addiction when he was growing up.
  • Arc Words: 'Soft sound' in their debut, and 'lost my head' in 'I Like It When You Sleep'.
  • Black Comedy: It's frequently noted that a lot of songs on I Like It When You Sleep are pretty droll considering they're about mental illness, heartbreak, fame and drug addiction.
  • Book Ends: 'Sex' opens and ends with a loud whirring sound.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Adam.
  • Call Back: 'A Change Of Heart' references lyrics from 'The City' and 'Robbers'.
  • Careful with That Axe: Matt's a tenor, so this is expected naturally. That being said, their first album's most chilling (and saddening) moment comes from his epic scream on 'Robbers':—> Now everybody's DEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAD!!
    • "WELL I THINK I'VE GONE MAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!"
  • Corpsing: Matty (silently) loses it at the end of the 'Girls' video.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Matty has a famously eccentric stage presence and fashion sense, and he frequently comes across as being somewhat strange written interviews.
  • Darker and Edgier: Although The 1975 has its darker moments, it mostly sticks to the themes of romance and heartbreak, wheras I Like It When You Sleepprimarily deals with the themes of mental illness, drug addiction and death. It's somewhat ironic, considering the aesthetic for the second album is much brighter and more colourful, and the first album's aesthetic was monochrome and moody.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ross.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: All of their videos except for the second version of 'Sex'. This changed as of 2015, at the start of the new album cycle.
  • Dope Slap: 'M.O.N.E.Y.':
    "I'm searchin' for you, mate, your jaw's all over the place / Can't talk, quick slap in the face..."
  • Drugs Are Bad: 'M.O.N.E.Y.' Ironically, on the album this song is on, this song is followed by 'Chocolate'. See Drugs Are Good below.
  • Drugs Are Good: Replace all instances of the word "chocolate" with "marijuana" in 'Chocolate', and it makes incredible sense.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: 'Sex'.
  • Fading into the Next Song: On The 1975, 'Heart Out' —> 'Settle Down' —> 'Robbers'
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: 'Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?'
  • Genre Roulette: The 1975 features influences of Post-Rock, Power Pop, Funk Rock, New Wave, Shoegazing and Jazz.
  • Going Cold Turkey: 'UGH!' centres around the narrator failing to do this.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Matthew Healy is infamous for his hatred of religion, even referring to religion as a disease. Both 'Antichrist' and 'If I Believe You' talk about how if God were real, he wouldn't allow him or other people so suffer as they have.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Occurs often due to Matty's rather eccentric voice.
  • Intercourse with You: A handful of their songs are about this trope, including 'Sex'.
  • Irony: The main hook of the song 'Talk!',
    Why you talk so loud? / Why you talk so?
    • The ordering of 'M.O.N.E.Y.' and 'Chocolate' on The 1975 album. See Drugs Are Bad.
    • Their music is influenced more by the 1980s and the 1990s, rather than the 1970s, but 'Pressure' kind of sounds 1970s-ish, what with the guitars, effects and saxophone.
  • Last Note Nightmare: 'The 1975' ends with a loud clang, detracting away from the song's ethereal feel. It's also heard briefly at the beginning of the song, and also twice in 'Anobrain'.
    • Book Ended with 'Sex', which opens and closes with an ear-shattering...moan of some sort. At the very end of the song, however, after the moan ends, it closes with a nice guitar chord.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The protagonist in 'M.O.N.E.Y.' is apparently so bad that even Matty himself calls him out for what he's done. See Lyrical Dissonance.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: 'Is There Somebody Who Could Watch You?'.
  • Long Title: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: They are very fond of this trope. 'M.O.N.E.Y.', for example, is an upbeat funk song about a boy who wastes his money on cocaine to be cool, but eventually gets hurt badly by it ('Tabs with unlimited 0's / New clothes, bloody nose / Powders and walking back home / Has he got enough weed? No / Broken phone, retching on the floor alone...'), is even called out by the narrator ('I can't believe that we're talking about him!') and eventually gets arrested ('I'm searching you, mate, your jaw's all over the place... / Look, the dog won't bark if you don't lark about...').
    • 'UGH!' counts, too. It's a very catchy, upbeat song about a cocaine relapse. The video, which consists of bright lights and Matty's dancing, doesn't hurt, either.
  • The Masochism Tango: Much of their music features this, although 'Robbers' is the most obvious example.
  • Mind Screw: The 'Somebody Else' video. It's revealed, by the end, that at least part of the video is a hallucination. How much of it isn't real, however, isn't made entire clear.
  • Miniscule Rocking: 'The 1975', 'An Encounter', '12', 'Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?' and 'Anobrain'.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly
  • Never Trust a Title: You'd think, understandably, 'Please Be Naked' might be a song about sex, but instead, it's a chilled out, lyric-less, piano-instrumental.
  • Non-Appearing Title: 'The 1975', 'An Encounter', 'Robbers', 'Menswear', '12', 'Antichrist', 'Ballad of Me and My Brain' and 'Nana' among others.
  • Not Safe for Work: The videos to 'Robbers' and, obviously, 'Sex'.
  • One-Word Title: Nearly all of their songs. Some are even combinations of words, such as 'Menswear' (as in 'men's wear', not 'men swear'), 'Facedown', 'Fallingforyou' and 'Lostmyhead'.
  • Overly Long Title: Their second album is called I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It. It was the longest-titled album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200, no less.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Matty and George.
  • Precision F-Strike: 'You':
    "And it's not my fault/that I fucked everybody here"
    • 'Sex': 'And I'm not trying to stop you, love/But if we can't do anything, we might as well just fuck'. (It's funny how iTunes in America gives 'Sex' an 'Explicit' label, but not the others. Could double as using a Censor Decoy for Getting Crap Past the Radar.)
    • 'Heart Out': "Your obsession with rocks and brown and fucking the whole town/is a reflection on your mental health".
    • 'Girls': "Well, shouldn't you be fucking with somebody your age instead of making changes?"
  • Quirky Curls: Matty Healy has naturally very zig-zaggy, all over the place, curly hair, as well as the eccentric personality to match.
  • Rearrange the Song: I Like it When You Sleep opens with a complete rework of their self-titled song, "The 1975", with this new version focusing more on vocal layering and less on instrumentals and background noises.
  • Refrain from Assuming: 'Sex' is NOT called 'She's Got a Boyfriend Anyway', nor is 'Chocolate' called "We're Never Gonna Quit It' or 'Guns Hidden Under Our Petticoats'.
  • Retraux: Matthew Healy says that the band's sound is influenced by John Hughes movies from the 1980s. On songs like "Sex", "Girls" or "Heart Out", it shows.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: Both 'Ballad of Me and My Brain' and 'lostmyhead' are pretty straight examples, although the former is much more comedic than the latter.
  • Screw Yourself: The reveal for the video for 'Somebody Else'. See Mind Screw above.
  • Self-Deprecation: A common theme.
    Loving Someone: "I'm the Greek economy of cashing intellectual cheques."
  • Self-Titled Album: Their debut.
  • Shout-Out: The video for 'Heart Out' could be seen as one to the "Badder" segment in Moonwalker, as it centers around a performance of the song done by kids at a talent show.
  • Shrinking Violet: Adam is by far the least talkative member of the band, as well as the most softly spoken.
    • 'You' to the Lesley Gore song 'It's My Party', with the lyric "It's my party and i'll cry until it ends".
    • Britney Spears, of all people, 'in Ballad of Me and My Brain.'
  • Take That: "Caught up in fashion, Karcrashian Panache/and a bag of bash for passion."
  • Those Two Guys: Adam and Ross.
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: The 'Girls' video is both a spoof on this trope and somewhat of a 2010s spin on Robert Palmer's 'Simply Irresistible' video.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: The Somebody Else video.
    • 'Ballad of Me and My Brain' details the narrator having some kind of psychotic breakdown, and it's revealed at the end that he's likely in some kind of mental hospital.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Matthew Healy speaks with a typical deep English-accented voice, but when he sings he has a much more high-pitched voice.
    • Also when the band played a gig at Glastonbury in 2014. When 'Robbers' played, a high-squeaky voice could be heard behind Healy's. It is assumed it is George Daniel's despite George having a very, very deep speaking voice in real life.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: George is apparently 'petrified of snakes'.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: A little. Matty's lyrics can sometimes be a bit random, but they make sense in the context of the lyrics surrounding them.
  • Word Salad Title: 'She Way Out', 'Set 3', 'Anobrain', 'HNSCC', 'Head.Cars.Bending'.
  • Your Cheating Heart: In 'Paris'.
    "I got two left feet/and I'm starting to cheat on my girlfriend again."

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