If I knew what you'd do,
Collapse my veins wearing beautiful shoes,
It's not living if it's not with you.
The 1975 are an English band from Manchester, United Kingdom. The band members are Matthew Matty Healy (vocals, guitar, piano), Adam Hann (guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Ross MacDonald (bass, backing vocals, keyboards) and George Daniel (drums, backing vocals). For live performances they are joined by John Waugh (saxophone, piano, keyboards, synthesisers), Jamie Squire (synthesisers, keyboards, piano, rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and the twins Kaylee and Taitlyn Jaiy (backing vocals, dancing).
A four-piece Power Pop/Alternative Dance/Sophisti-Pop/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 has cited Prince, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Sigur Rós, My Bloody Valentine and The Blue Nile 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 actors 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 groups 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 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 1975s 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. Their second album was released in 2016, and is 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'. Matty initially declared that the third album would be called Music For Cars in a shout out to the EP, but wound up renaming it A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, to be released in 2018. He also announced that there would be another album to be released in 2019, called Notes On A Conditional Form.
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), "A Change Of Heart" (2016), "Somebody Else" (2016)
- A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (2018)Singles: "Give Yourself A Try" (2018), "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME" (2018), "Sincerity Is Scary" (2018), "It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)" (2018)
- Notes On A Conditional Form (to be released May 2019)
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...'"
"And we left things to protect my mental health, but you'll call me when you're bored and you're playing with yourself"
- "The Sound" as well:
- Affectionate Parody: In the video for "Love Me", as well as some of their live shows, Matty tends to purposefully imitate frontmen like Jim Morrison, Robert Plant and Mick Jagger.
- Album Intro Track: The song "The 1975" on both albums, and will be on A Brief Inquiry. Doubles as an Establishing Character Moment for each album.
- Alcoholic Parent: "She Lays Down" is about Matty's mother, who had issues with alcoholism and drug addiction while he was growing up.
- 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.'"
- Arc Words: "Soft sound" in their debut, and "lost my head" in the second.
- The phrase "poetry is in the streets in full living colour" and variants thereof has appeared in several of their music videos.
- Auto-Tune: The 1975 haven't been shy with pitch correction in the past, but used the software's famous "zero" feature on "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME" and "I Like America & America Likes Me" on A Brief Inquiry.
- Big Brother Instinct: "Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?" is about how the protagonist feels responsible for his little brother following their parents' divorce.
- Big Rock Ending: The last four measures of "Sex" gradually slow to a hault as the entire song collapses in on itself, before ending with a synthesizer-based take on this trope.
- Black Comedy: As a lyricist, Matty has the tendency to write about serious topics in flippant, sometimes sarcastic ways. Take 'Menswear', which is about a wedding going rapidly downhill, and includes the protagonist snorting cocaine in the bathroom and telling the bride he never really liked her in his speech. All of this is Played for Laughs.
- Songs like 'UGH!', 'M.O.N.E.Y.' and 'Paris' all revolve around drug addiction but have somewhat humorous lines/aspects.
- Book-Ends: "Sex" opens and ends with a loud whirring sound.
- British Rockstar: Matty, although his playing up to the stereotypes of this trope is mostly irony.
- Butt-Monkey: Poor Adam.
- Call-Back: "A Change Of Heart" references lyrics from "The City," "Robbers," and "Sex."
- "Lostmyhead" is based entirely around the final stanza of "Facedown".
- Careful with That Axe: Matty'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.
- Cover Song: They've done a few of these. The most well known examples are their covers of "Sorry" by Justin Bieber, "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit, "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction, "By Your Side" by Sade, and "thank u, next" by Ariana Grande.
- Inverted when several artists, most notably Lorde, covered "Somebody Else".
- Darker and Edgier: Although The 1975 has its darker moments, it mostly sticks to the themes of romance and heartbreak, whereas I like it when you sleep primarily 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 from their first album, except for the second version of "Sex".
- 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..."
- Downer Ending: The final three songs on I like it when you sleep... are all Tear Jerker songs about heroin use, Matty's dead grandmother and his mother's cocaine addiction, respectively.
- 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.
- "UGH!" describes a cocaine addict (aka Matty referring to himself in the third person) making an ass out of themselves at a party.
- Several songs on A Brief Inquiry detail Matty's heroin addiction and subsequent rehab. "I Couldnt Be More in Love" is even about his fear that the 1975 fanbase will call it quits by the time that he is done rehab.
- 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?"
- Fan Disservice: Watching Matty masturbate/make sex faces in the "Somebody Else" video should be something you want to see, but the mind screw element is difficult to get over, making it seem unsettling and incredibly fucked up instead.
- Fun with Subtitles: In concert, the A Brief Inquiry version of "The 1975" has its lyrics displayed one word at a time on the backdrop screen. The lone piano chord that strikes after the line, "Go down go down, soft sound," is given a full screen "(PIANO)".
- The Gadfly: Matty has received notoriety within the music press for just this.
- Genre Roulette: Their debut album The 1975 and the preceding EPs are routed in Indie Rock with elements of Ambient music, Post-Rock, Shoegazing, 80s-style Synth-Pop and Electronic Music.
- I like it when you sleep further incorporates Synth-Pop, while dipping into Art Rock, Sophisti-Pop, Neo Soul and, in one instance, a full-on gospel song.
- A Brief Inquiry toned down the 80s sheen of previous albums, incorporating 90s Britpop and R&B, as well as a few genre exercises in a post-punk song, a UK garage song and a 1930s jazz ballad.
- Going Cold Turkey: 'UGH!' centres around the narrator failing to do this.
- Grief Song: "Nana" is a pretty straightforward example.
- Hidden Track: "Milk", at the end of "You".
- 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'. It should be noted, though, that few if any of them are just about the act, instead usually being about varying couple dynamics.
- Irony: The main hook of the song "Talk!", which is basically shouted: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.
- "If I Believe You" is an anti-religious song... with a gospel choir in it.
- It Will Never Catch On: The band were notoriously rejected by every single major label, who claimed they were too eclectic and radio would hate them. As of 2016, they've had six top 40 singles, and are frequently praised for their eclectic sound.
- Last Note Nightmare: "The 1975" on 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.
- List Song: "Love It If We Made It" is effectively the "We Didn't Start the Fire" of the 2010s. The commodification of black lives in America, the profiting off the poor that fuels the prison industrial complex, the Syrian refugee crisis, internet apathy, the dismissal of facts as opinions, and a verbatim quote from American president Donald Trump in which he all but confirmed his previous sexual assaults are just some of the things that appear in both the song and video.
- 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.
- "The 1975", which nearly becomes a gospel song in its I like it when you sleep version, is about receiving oral sex.
- "M.O.N.E.Y." 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..."). The song even has Matty sighing at the end like he's just so completely done with the boy and his misdeeds.
- "UGH!" is a very catchy Scritti Politti-style song about a cocaine relapse. The video, which consists of bright lights and Matty's dancing, doesn't hurt, either.
- "A Change Of Heart" is a chill pop song about a relationship that's falling apart because the people involved are finally seeing each other as they really are.
- "The Sound," one of the band's biggest singalongs and a standout single, is also about seeing someone else's true self after the relationship has crumbled, but bonus points for the pre-chorus line of, "You're so conceited, I / said that I love you / What does it matter if I lie to you?"
- "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME" is a chill little number about a really dysfunctional relationship: the narrator cheats on his girlfriend and lies to her, and they regularly fight.
- "It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)" is a very upbeat song about Matty's heroin addiction.
- Machine Monotone: "The Man Who Married a Robot" is narrated by Siri.
- The Masochism Tango: Much of their music features this, although "Robbers" is the most obvious example.
- Mind Screw: The "Somebody Else" video. It opens with a 3 minute homage to David Lynch's Rabbits, for starters. The main plot is also hallucinatory, with parts of the video being revealed to have been a fiction of Matty's mind.
- Miniscule Rocking: "The 1975", "An Encounter", "12", "Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?" and "Anobrain".
- Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Average around an 8 due to frequent hard drug references and generally heavy angst, especially in the early EPs and I like it when you sleep...
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The band's specific combination of 80s Synth-Pop, 00s Indie Rock, Electronic Music and Art Rock is commonly referred to as "Shiver Pop," in some music circles.
- Never Trust a Title: You'd think, understandably, "Please Be Naked" might be a song about sex, but instead, it's a lyric-less piano-based ambient piece, reminiscent of Brian Eno's recent album The Ship.
- No Accounting for Taste: "Paris" centres around a couple whose relationship hinges on their shared drug use, even though the narrator doesn't really seem to like his girlfriend at all.She's a pain in the nose, I'm a pain in woman's clothes, and you're a walking overdose in a greatcoat.
- Non-Appearing Title: "The 1975", "An Encounter", "Robbers", "Menswear", "12", "Antichrist", "The Ballad of Me and My Brain" and "Nana" among others.
- Not Safe for Work: The videos to "Robbers" and, obviously, "Sex".
- Ode to Intoxication: "Chocolate". See Drugs Are Good above. 'Paris' could also qualify, if you go by the interpretation that 'Paris' is really just a metaphor for hard drugs.
- On Three: Subverted in live performances of their concert closer, "The Sound". The audience is asked to go berserk for the guitar solo and final chorus "on the count of four." The countdown, as spelled out in giant letters on the backdrop screen, goes "ONE, TWO, FUCKING GO"
- One-Word Title: The majority of their songs early on. 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. When Matty began using drugs again, George personally got him back on track.
- 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?"
- "Somebody Else": "'Get someone you want? Get someone you need?' Fuck that, get money."
- "UGH!" "I don't have the capacity to be fucking / You're meant to be helping me."
- "Give Yourself A Try": "And you'll make a lot of money and it's funny / 'Cause you'll move somewhere sunny and get addicted to drugs / And spend obscene amounts on fucking seeds and beans online"
- "Love It If We Made It": "We're fucking in a car / Shooting heroin / Saying controversial things just for the hell of it." Bonus points for being the opening line. There's a second in "'I moved on her like a bitch!'", but the band were fine with it as the line is a verbatim quote made by American president Donald Trump, made in 2005 that re-surfaced during his presidential campaign.
- Quirky Curls: Matty has naturally very zig-zaggy, all over the place curly hair, as well as the eccentric personality to match.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Several of the drug escapades and mental breakdowns detailed throughout I like it when you sleep and A Brief Inquiry happened in full or in part to lead singer Matty:
- "UGH!" is an out-of-body experience about being on cocaine at a party, shifting between first- and second-person narration.
- "She's American" references Matty's on-stage mental breakdown in Boston during their first tour.
- "It's Not Living (If It's Not with You)" is a frank dicussion of Matty's time in rehab for heroin, speaking through the character of Danny.
- "Surrounded by Heads and Bodies" is about a woman named Angela, whom Matty had grown up with on the same street, appearing in rehab alongside him.
- "I Couldn't Be More in Love" is about Matty's frank concern that his life and band will entirely unravel once he enters rehab. The vocal take was recorded just before doing so, and the pain shows through.
- Rearrange the Song: The song "The 1975" opens each album, each time in a new variation that doubles as that album's mission statement:
- The 1975 received a plaintive, indie rock version complete with a field recording that echoed their style at the time.
- I like it when you sleep's version uses a choir and bass synth to sound lush and anthemic, highlighting the dramatic 80s sweeps throughout this album.
- A Brief Inquiry's version is a straight recording of Matty singing alone with a piano, but the vocal is manipulated through a plug-in known as the Prismizernote , generating an impenetrable field of robotic Mattys, echoing the falsity in the wealth of online content that the album discusses.
- 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'.
- Religion Rant Song: Matty 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 to suffer as they have.
- Retraux: Matty 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 'The 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.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: One of the most notable modern examples.
- 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.
- "You" to the Lesley Gore song "It's My Party", with the lyric "It's my party and I'll cry until it ends".
- The extended intro in the video for "Somebody Else" is one to David Lynch's Rabbits.
- The concert segments of the video for Its Not Living (If Its Not With You) are a love letter to Stop Making Sense, complete with backup singers and Danny wearing David Byrnes iconic white business suit.
- Shrinking Violet: Adam is by far the least talkative member of the band, as well as the most softly spoken.
- Stealth Insult: Word of God is that I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it is actually a backhanded compliment.
- Take That!: From "Love Me": "Caught up in fashion, Karcrashian panache/and a bag of bash for passion/You got a beautiful face but got nothing to say (oh!)"
- Take That, Audience!: The lyric "As the crowd cheers for an overdose" from "Paris", which is possibly an allusion to this.
"Look, he's having a breakdown! Oh what a shame, I think he might die!"
- And once again in "She's American", satirising the sensationalist response from social media to incidents like the above video, as well as Matty's complete mental breakdown during a show in Boston:
- Take That, Critics!: The entire premise of the video for "The Sound". As a band plays in a glass cube, onlookers dress in white appear to be miming the act of giving criticism. As pink title cards fill the screen with actual comments made about the band ("Unconvincing emo lyrics", "I only heard 'Chocolate' once but I hated it"), the band ends up swapping places with the critics as the cube fills with pink smoke.
- Take That, Audience!: The lyric "As the crowd cheers for an overdose" from "Paris", which is possibly an allusion to this.
- Those Two Guys: Adam and Ross.
- Three Minutes of Writhing: The "Girls" video is both a spoof on this trope, and a spin on Robert Palmer's series of videos involving a all-female backing band, specifically "Simply Irresistible".
- Through the Eyes of Madness: The "Somebody Else" video.
- "The 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. His lower register was finally showcased on "Inside Your Mind".
- 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: Subverted. Matty's lyrics can sometimes sound random, but they make sense in the context of the lyrics surrounding them.
- Word Salad Title: "She Way Out", "Intro/Set3", "Anobrain", "HNSCC", "Head.Cars.Bending".
- Worth Living For: The bookends of A Brief Inquiry, "Give Yourself a Try" and "I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)"; the latter has as a final lyric, "If you can't survive; just try".
- Your Cheating Heart: In "Paris"."I got two left feet/and I'm starting to cheat on my girlfriend again."
- The narrator of "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME", though he claims that his girlfriend texts another guy sometimes.