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Tear Jerker / The 1975

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It is well known that this British indie band from Manchester have their fair share of songs that are able to tug on one's heart strings for many reasons.

  • "Menswear" could also count- it's about a wedding that's going downhill rapidly.
  • "You". It's about an extremely dysfunctional relationship that the singer is still holding onto without really knowing why.
  • "Robbers" has a powerful tone and lyrics about a love affair that's about to go downhill. It ends in a Downer Ending that will make your heart get crushed into ashes.
  • "Sex" is often overlooked as just an Intercourse with You song, but if you take the time to actually delve deeper into it's meaning, the intercourse in question is being had with a girl who, despite the protagonist falling head over heels for her, already has a boyfriend (hence the constant repetition of "She's got a boyfriend anyway"). Coupled with the incredible instrumentation (the EP version features distorted and reverberated background guitars that sound like angels crying) and the desperate-sounding vocals (just listen to the way he sings the chorus), it's actually really, really saddening, especially if you've ever felt unrequited love for someone in a relationship, and have actually come that close to getting them.
  • "Me" has the protagonist flatly admitting that his actions have had serious consequences and that he's suicidal. Combine that with the melancholy music and Matty's emotionally-crushed tone, and you've got a song that's enough to make anyone break down.
  • At the end of 'Nana', Matty's voice cracks as he sings 'I'm bereft, you see/I think you can tell/I haven't been doing too well.'
  • All of 'She Lays Down'. They've only played it live once, and half way through, Matty has to start again after bursting into tears.
  • "A Change Of Heart" is a very direct and honest account of a relationship falling apart as two people fall out of love and start seeing each other as they really are. As light-hearted as the music sounds, the song's overall tone is chock-full of emotional exhaustion and despair.
  • "Paris", with lyrics that describe a progressively collapsing relationship fueled by a mutual drug addiction, coupled with a bittersweet Jesus & Mary Chain-esque instrumental that really tugs at the heart strings.
  • Matty's aforementioned twitter tribute to Tom Searle.
  • Their cover of "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction. They completely re-arranged the song from a happy pop song to a piano-led ballad that sounds downright depressing. The most amazing thing about the dramatic shift in the mood is the lyrics and most of the vocal melodies remain completely the same.
    • It was made even more tearjerking when they performed it with the full orchestra.

  • A fair number of the songs by the band are based or inspired by Matty's strained relationship with his famous parents (Denise Welch and Tim Healy) and family, especially during their highly publicised divorce in 2012. "Me", "Pressure" and "Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?" are very heartbreaking to listen to knowing this, especially the latter which is dedicated to Matty's younger brother Louis who was struggling during this time.
    • During an infamous concert date at the House of Blues in Boston in 2014, Matty's emotional connection to the song came to light as Matty had an emotional breakdown onstage during this concert , infamously whispering into the mic "I just want to go home" whilst performing this song as well as yelling at a female fan and openly weeping during several songs during the concert which resulted in Matty smashing his guitar and bursting into tears in the middle of the stage during the final song of the encore being carried off stage by his fellow band members.
      • Matty later commented on the breakdown by saying "There was girl stuff. There was family stuff. There was financial stuff. There was drug stuff. I remember hearing the crowd and having an identity crisis. I thought: 'If you want to see a show, I'll give you a fucking show. If you've come to see the jester drink himself into a slumber, I'll give it to you.' I felt like I'd become an idea as opposed to being a person. What did I say to the poor fucking girl? "You don't have the right to love me. You don't know me. I love you but you don't get to love me", Jesus! Can you imagine your favourite band shouting that at you? What a dickhead. What a horrible thing to say to a kid who fucking does love me."
      • Matty later made fun of himself and the incident during the song "She's American" referencing several quotes from fans which can be heard during concert footage of the Boston show "Look he's having a breakdown. Oh what a let down, shame, I think he might die."
  • "Antichrist" is a song that also has struck a chord with many people over it's somber and Joy Division-esque nature of the song which is the darkest song released by The 1975 and is the only song in their entire discography to sound like that. The song is mostly about Matty's thoughts on religion and losing faith which was supposedly rumoured written around the time his nana was suffering with cancer. Matty spends the song calling out God's existence and his ability to allow suffering in the world. "How can I relate to somebody who doesn't speak? I feel like I'm just treading water. Is it the same for you?" as well as the hypocrisy of those who are devoted to religion who commit atrocities and injustice to please their "benevolent" deity. "Blood is on your tongue as well as your hands. Archaic and content, you just wash them off."
    • The song has an emotional toll on Matty and the band in particular as the song has never been performed live even though it is a massive fan favourite. Even with fans petitioning the song to be played, the song hasn't been performed live at all with Matty stating due to the state of mind he was in when he wrote it, he doesn't feel comfortable playing it.
  • The instrumental "HNSCC" is dedicated to Matty's Nana who died from Head and Neck Squamous-Cell Carcinoma (also known as HNSCC) in 2013. The track from the Music for Cars EP was created as a musical therapy aide for both Matty and guitarist Adam Hann who's mother was diagnosed with Cancer around about the same time. Whilst under the influence after a night of drinking, Matty, Adam and George created the track one late night as an experiment with a guitar and pro-tools and George unknowingly recorded this late night experiment and even sober, the band thought it sounded really good and then added some distorted samples to the track we hear today.
    • Matty explained in an interview with Bang Tidy music in 2013, "My Nana who I was close to died of cancer this year and it was around about that time that the guitarist’s mum got diagnosed with cancer and it felt like it was a big impact, the fact that something you have no control over can really mess with the dynamics of people’s lives. It’s actually a live guitar take. I was playing the guitar plugged in the computer and George was putting it through every plugin you can imagine. He recorded it without telling me so I was in the zone. This was 2am on a Saturday night so we were under the influence. I recorded the guitar take and we listened to it back hammered and we were like ‘this is really pretty man, nah let’s get some sleep’. We woke up the next day and we just spent like half an hour putting little moments of vocals and synth and that was that. I think Music for Cars is the most honest record in regards to things like that"
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  • The song Nana is more of an obvious tribute to Matty's nana Annie (Denise's mother) who Matty was very close too. The song details Matty's grief of losing his nana and how he wrote the song to keep the good memories alive "I got my pen and thought that I'd write a melody and line for you tonight, I think that's how I make things feel alright" and "Made in my room this simple tune will always keep my close to you." but he still struggles to comes to terms over the loss even years later with lines such as "But I'm bereft you see, I think you can tell I haven't been doing so well" and "I sat with you beside your bed and cried for things that I wish I'd said. You still had your nails red. And if I live past 72, I hope I'm half as cool as you" Matty (a well known Atheist) even questions his stance on religion by saying And I know that God doesn't exist and all the palaver surrounding it, but I like to think you hear me sometimes"
  • The song "Medicine" (which was written specifically for Zane Lowe's re-score of the film Drive using a selection of songs by popular Mainstream and Indie artists such as CHVRCHES, Biffy Clyro and Bring Me The Horizon) is another touching song for many people. Although the song's true meaning is very cryptic in nature with Matty not revealing who (or what) the love note type song was written for. Some people have speculated the song is about either drug abuse or an unrequited love or a one night stand affair Matty was rumoured to have with a girl named Ashley. The true meaning of the song we'll probably never know about.
    • In a recent change of events after Matty opened up about his battle with heroin/opioid addiction in 2018, he confessed that Medicine is actually about heroin in a Twitter post. As he puts it 'There is no metaphor' Matty also calls Medicine his favourite song he's written and performing it Live At The O2 was simultaneously one of the happiest and saddest moments of his life.
  • "She Lays Down" is a song that is dedicated to Matty's mother Denise and her battle with depression, particularly post-natal depression after Matty was born "My hair is brown, she's scared to touch". Denise's depression led to her spiralling into cocaine use "In the end she chose cocaine but it couldn't fix her brain" and several suicide attempts and battle with suicidal thoughts, which is mentioned during a section of the song where Matty sings about visiting his dad Tim on the set of the TV Show Benidorm in Spain which he plays a regular role, "She prayed we fell from the sky simply to alleviate the pain" and "The engines go bust, we turn to dust and I've no reason to complain". Denise was thankful to Matty that he wrote this song in secret for her and through this song, several people have reached out to Denise to share their stories of depression.
    • In an interview with NME (who named I Like It When You Sleep..., the album of the year for 2016), Matty opened up about the song in which he said: 'The song that's most personal to me, I mean, well She Lays Down is about my mum. It doesn't get more personal than that. I'm sure my mum won't mind me saying this but she told me a story when I was about 17 that she was so gripped with Post-Natal Depression and she remembers coming into my room when I was about a couple of months old, lying on the floor and actively trying to love me. How fucking brutal is that? That is brutal, especially considering how close me and my mum are 'cause we are insanely close but that resonated with me so much, I think writing music is such a catharsis and such a personal thing that I think that had to come out. I mean there's song on there about my nana who died and the whole record's completely personal because that's the only reason it gives a purpose for me. I doesn't matter otherwise, I don't care if I'm not figuring something out there's no point."
  • Even some of the rarer and older stuff by the band can count as tearjerking, for instance the song '102' (which is either considered to be a solo track by Matty Healy or a Drive Like I Do track depending on who you talk to) can be considered to be a tearjerker as it focuses on a friendship turned unrequited love and feeling jealous that the person you want is with someone else which is a common thing in most of Matty's work.
    • This song has touched so many people that it was resurrected by the band as part of the Japan exclusive bonus tracks for 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships' and was given it's own official music video in an acoustic form by the band.
  • 'Me'. This is a very touching and perhaps THE saddest song by The 1975. Written around the time that Matty's parents were divorcing although it hasn't been confirmed that this is what the song is indeed about. If we were to look at the song from that point of view, Matty takes the role of both father and son in this song using a similar approach to the song "I'm Not In Love" by 10CC in which the line "Don't you mind?" is repeated to represent the narrators's guilt of their actions they confess to in each verse. "I think I did something terrible to your body, don't you mind?". It is implied that the focus on the lyrics are a mixture of perspective between Matty and his father Tim which can make the song even more heartbreaking when thinking about Tim and Denise's public divorce as well as Matty's breakdown whilst the band were touring the US. The twinkling keyboard, droning synth and saxophone at the end doesn't help things either which really drives the sombre mood of the song and brings Music For Cars to a sobering and hypnotic close.
  • 'Paris'. The lyrics focus on a toxic relationship between a rock star and his girlfriend who has a drug addiction which spirals out of control as the singer yearns for happier times in 'Paris' which be a metaphor for the bliss they share when they are high together as that's the only time they can truly stand each other or wanting to ditch his partner to find someone/something new. Those final lines of the last verse 'She said I've been romanticising heroin' are even more haunting now knowing Matty's struggle with heroin use.
  • 'fallingforyou'. Although not particularly a sad song but more of a hopeful one, it's a really beautiful song about a unrequited love between two friends as one falls for the other, similar to the unreleased track "102". The narrator is trying to voice his affections to his crush, however they land of deaf ears as the couple enjoy each others company but are afraid to take this any further.
  • 'Give Yourself A Try', the bands first single from 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships' is a message of hope for the youth of today encouraging them to accepting themselves for who they are and not what they think they want to be. The letter reads almost like a letter that Matty has written to his younger self detailing his struggle with depression and drug addiction (which he sought help for right after finishing touring with The 1975 in mid 2017) and encouraging himself (and the listener too) to stop doubting themselves, go outside, step away from the internet and social media and essentially 'give themselves a try' and be comfortable in their own skin.
  • 'It's Not Living (If It's Not With You) is a very deceiving but beautiful song. On face value, the lyrics seem very embedded in 80's cheesy love song territory (with most people comparing it sounding like Heaven Is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle) however diving deeper into the lyrics and it's actually quite sad as it's detailing Matty's struggles with Heroin addiction. Matty has now also claimed that this is the sister song to 'Medicine' in which details two perspectives of being an addict.
  • Underneath it's heavily autotuned and distorted appearence, 'I Like America & America Likes Me' is a sad plea for the youth against the state of gun laws in America in which Matty has been a very outspoken critic against on social media.

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