More about: The 1975
Love them or hate them - the UKs favourite marmite band are set to return ASAP. With cryptic clue after cryptic clue, it’s looking like The 1975 will be making their comeback on July 7th with a new single - ‘Part Of The Band’ - as a teaser for the album to come.
After their big break way back in 2013 with their Music For Cars EP, the band soundtracked my Tumblr-scrolling youth, with their early black and white aesthetics and angsty lyrics. Going on to experiment around the sounds of pop, indie, electro and rock - the ever-evolving nature of the band means not everything is gonna be beloved, and some incredible tracks will fall between the cracks of the credit they deserve. Demanding some justice for some of those tunes - here are 11 of the most painfully underrated tracks from The 1975.
'Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy)'
Going in hot with the most underrated track from their latest record - an album definitely didn’t receive anywhere near the hype that any of their previous releases gained. But regardless of your thoughts on Notes On A Conditional Form, ‘Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy)’ is layered, full-bodied perfection. Despite starting off sounding like another strange vocal-effect filler track, the song exploded into full vibey power. Pairing a strong soulful beat that harks back to big tracks like ‘Sincerity Is Scary’ with a simple yet insanely solid chorus, I'd say it's the most listenable track on that entire album. Way better than the singles - it deserves more.
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'I Couldn’t Be More In Love'
A sweet dedication to their fans, the closer on A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships is The 1975 like we’d never heard them before. Part rich ballad, part choral heaven - Matty Healy’s voice really shines through here. Coming a long way from the strange inflections on ‘Chocolate’, there's something almost Elton John-y here in its total piano purity. It’s glorious, and just when you don't think it can get any better, the backing choir pipe up, sending shivers from your headphones to your toes.
'This Must Be My Dream'
I’d argue that the entirety of I Like It When You Sleep etc etc is underrated, purely because the album is perfection and anyone who speaks ill against it should be smited. But no one gives ‘This Must Be My Dream’ enough love. It should be played in clubs, should be on your pre-drinks playlist every summer, should be your hype up song - it’s just that good.
To me, ‘Menswear’ represents all the magic and weirdness of early 1975. Dedicating half the song to an atmospheric instrumental, and the other half to silly lyrics about getting black out drunk at a wedding and throwing up on your date, nothing could represent the band's origins quite as well. Seamlessly merging two wildly different parts into a cohesive tune - it makes no sense, but it's perfect regardless.
Sure, it was a single, but ‘UGH!’ deserves more love. Lost in the radio-play chaos of tracks like ‘The Sound’ and ‘Somebody Else’, this catchy little tune went underappreciated. Endlessly funky with catchy licks, beats that have you swaying immediately and vocal melodies that scratch your brain in the right way, i don’t know what Matty laced this song about addiction with, but i’m hooked. Making a catchy almost-love song about the topic of his recovery, ‘UGH!’ feels the most representative of this 1975 era. Merging 80s elements with their signature sounds to create a high-low of dark lyrics and cheery sounds, a whole new flavour of 1975 magic was born here. And ‘UGH!’ is a vital part of the recipe.
Also beyond all that, the lyrics: “This conversation's not about reciprocation no more / But I'm gonna wait until you finish so I can talk some more” deserves some literary prize.
Another pick from their latest release, ‘Roadkill’ is Meta-matty at his best. Packing the lyrics with sharp observations, self-deprecation and real-life considerations of fame and consequence, this western-guitar track packs a punch. Singing about girls hearing the songs he wrote about them, referencing lyrics from ‘Robbers’ and saying it perfectly with the tight lyrics “they’re playing your song on the radio station / mugging me off all across the nation'' - only The 1975 could write something that silly yet smart. All held down with a steady rhythm and simple vocals, it should be on your regular rotation.
'If I Believe You'
I don't even think it's a stretch to label ‘If I Believe You’ Matty Healy’s best lyrical work. While still full of the 1975 signature synthy sounds and harsh beats - something about this track feels stripped back purely because of its lyrical vulnerability. Tackling the complexity and contradiction of religion, the hypocrisy of believing in a God creating you and then being told that the same god hates the way you love or act - the nuance and importance of the lyrics makes this an immediate best track. Sure it won't get the crowd going wild, and it isn't even quite slow and sad enough to earn a place on sad girl playlists, but carving out this happy-sad, smart-smooth midground is what the band do best.
If ‘Antichrist’ has a million fans I am one of them. If ‘Antichrist’ has 100 fans, I'm there. But if ‘Antichrist’ has zero fans… I have died.
Arriving on their first ever EP way back in 2012, what other band would launch their career with a four-minute-something storytelling saga about a man being haunted in his home. Spiralling through the story with different effects, moving from gothic, lo-fi into a huge relentless climax - the strength of vision behind the track is astounding for such a band in their infancy like that. As a huge fan-favourite, ‘Antichrist’ is underrated by the band themselves and they should play it live more… cowards.
Maybe it's a cop out - but this unreleased track is painfully underrated and deserved prize of place on an album. After years of fans listening to a grainy soundcloud demo, the band randomly uploaded an acoustic version of ‘102’ to YouTube in 2018 and never spoke about it again. For fans of the band's sad, slow songs, this is the holy grail, with lyrics so simple and soft that they feel fresh from the notepad pages. Before any of the weirdness and the long titles, the chance to hear Matty’s voice and lyric with no distraction is heavenly, and the subject matter of unrequited love is so classically 1975 but done in a heart-shattering way.
'I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)'
A cheery title for the world's most euphoric song about death. The track that soundtracked a million depressed walks to the uni library, a million train rides staring out the window; ‘I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)’ is arguably their most main character track. Closing out A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, the bands take on depression and darkness in this song spoke to an entirely different perspective, worlds away from sad anthems like ‘Me’ and ‘Antichrist’. Instead, this weirdly happy, kinda meta track seems to tackle the commercialisation and the overwhelming relatability of depression, and its position in their careers. Taking some of their darkest lyrics and putting them on top of a huge instrumental, complete with full strings, harsh guitar moments and one of Matty’s best vocal performances. The best album closer of their career thus far - i can’t imagine them beating it.
The choice for this last slot was the hardest decision I've had to make in months. Despite being a huge band, I feel like so much of their work doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves for their incredible lyrical crafting, and a big sad girl, all the sad songs would have scored a slot. But instead, I'm going to flip it on its head and give it to ‘M.O.N.E.Y’, a track so weird it doesn’t even feel like The 1975.
It's weird, if anything The 1975 have got less and less experimental as they’ve gone on, with their debut housing some strange sounds that leaked out way beyond the indie label. And this is a perfect example, more beats than guitars, more spoken word than singing. Never quite forming into a proper song, but still hooking you in - there’s something weirdly addictive about it from the catchy beats to the silly lyricism and odd vocal effects. It speaks to a confidence in the young band, and the bravery to make whatever they want with the strength in their self-belief to know it would work out. And oh boy did it!
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More about: The 1975