Influenced by Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, and many other symbolic artists, the 1975 are an alt-rock band hailing from Manchester. They started playing music together at underage gigs in high school, covering punk songs. Although no alcohol was allowed at these shows, the audience would quickly descend into chaos during the sets – all as a result of the music played. Their self-titled album was their most recent, released in 2013, but a new album is coming out on February 26.
A title track is the first song, starting with an ethereal sound before going into strange, echoey vocals not unlike “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap (better known as the original “Mmm Whatcha Say”). Headphone users, beware – while the music is gentle and smooth, it’s surprisingly loud. After just one minute and 19 seconds, The 1975 fades into the second track, The City. Within the first few seconds, it is clear that the two tracks completely contrast each other. Heavy drumbeats, bass, and synth set off this track, and the vocals display a very prominent accent. The second track still has a bit of the ethereal theme from the first, but not nearly as strong. The third track, M.O.N.E.Y., is almost a mix of the first two, with the same heavy drumbeat quality, but adding in the strange, layered vocals. Chocolate, the fourth track, was the band’s first single, making it into Britain’s top 20. This one has a brighter sound than the first two, with the very same prominent accent as The City. The lyrics are pretty symbolic, too, proclaiming “we’re dressed in black, from head to toe, we got guns hidden under our petticoats”. Chocolate is extremely likely to get you up and moving to its catchy beat. Around 2:22, the song changes a bit for the bridge, and goes into the short, dreamlike instrumental bit at 2:42. However, the chorus picks it back up again. Sex, the fifth track, is another popular song, known for its clear guitars. Halsey covered this song, bringing a bit more attention to both artists. Talk! is the next track, beginning with a syncopated beat and layered vocals that are toned down more than on the other songs. Heart Out, the seventh song on the album, features higher notes than most of the others, and a more open beat. Girls, a song with a slightly retro vibe to it, is also more well known, mainly for its lyrics. Portraying a strange message, Matty Healy sings “I love your face despite your nose, seventeen and a half years old… where’s the fun in doing what you’re told?”. Menswear, the fourteenth track, is more muffled than its counterparts, and has multiple strange sounds in the background, one of which almost sounds like someone cracking their knuckles. It has little to no vocals, until about 1:42. The sixteenth and final track, Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You, is the closest to being an acoustic or stripped song, with mainly piano and vocals. It’s also much slower than the other tracks.
At sixteen songs, The 1975 is a fairly long album, compared to other similar bands. The deluxe version was released in 2014, featuring THIRTY-NINE SONGS. It’s a good thing they released such a long version, though, because the band is rumored to be on hiatus. However, their release in February, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, should be just as weirdly excellent as this one.