Having supported the likes of Muse and The Neighbourhood on tour, and opening for the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, The 1975 was well on their way to stardom before their debut album was even released. Despite never making it into the top 50 on the Billboard Top 100, the band is well known in America, especially in the alternative genre. I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it was released in February of 2016, and peaked at number 1 on the iTunes charts.
The opening track, The 1975, begins with the strange sounds that seem to define the band’s vibe, before transitioning into ethereal music that cuts off abruptly. After a few seconds of silence, the music begins again, with a beautifully harmonized chorus singing. The song is only a minute and 23 seconds, and leads into Love Me. In an interview for NME about the track, frontman Matty Healy claimed to be “making an observation on the glaringly obvious superficial elements that surround [my] life and the culture that [I] feed into”. The song’s feel, however, is catchy and enthusiastic. Love Me leads directly into the next song, UGH!. This song is still somewhat upbeat, but unlike Love Me, it doesn’t smack you in the face with good vibes. In a way, it’s more relaxed than its energetic former. The semi-cheerful tone in no way prepares you for the sudden realization that it’s about someone coming down off of a cocaine high, as well as the struggle with addiction.
The fifth track, She’s American, is more melancholy than UGH!, and compares cultural differences between America and Britain. Due to the fact that Healy has only ever been in a public relationship with one American woman – Halsey – many have speculated that the song is about her. But who are we to say? Conspiracy theories aside, it’s a great track and an original addition to the album.
I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it is the twelfth and title track of the album. Commonly abbreviated as ILIWYS, this song is incredibly and oddly deep. The official lyrics contain a total of 41 words in six and a half minutes, but it tells a story like no other band could. The track starts off quietly and gently, with a computerized voice seeming to sing unintelligible sounds to a background of dreamy, ethereal instrumentals. At about two minutes in, Healy sings the single repeated line several times. The song gradually begins to change, and at 3:26, does a complete u-turn. Although at this point it sounds much less complex, the beauty has in no way decreased. After a short time with the simpler tune, it increases in both complexity and intensity. The track ends with a soft tune and assorted noises.
I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it lives up to the success of The 1975, if not topping it. The album sounds like a movie soundtrack, and evokes stronger emotions than nearly any other artist today. Considering that this is only their sophomore album, the 1975 have an incredible career ahead of them.