More about: The 1975
Ah The 1975, you either love them or hate them. Fronted by Matty Healy, the ultimate Marmite singer that casts aside all notions of what he should or shouldn't do or say to instead post silly little instagram stories - even his haters can't deny the man's talent. The band can create a flawless indie pop song, admit it.
The 1975’s fifth album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language, is set to be released next week, so to celebrate that, we decided to rank every song the band have ever released, from their early EPs all the way to the singles we’ve heard from the new record. Prepare for outrage...
- ‘Streaming’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
The band’s fourth album, Notes on a Conditional Form, is a bloated 80-minute odyssey containing all manner of interludes and detours, some of which should frankly have been left on the cutting room floor. The worst offender is this, a formless orchestral track that sounds like the performers are in the middle of tuning up. I’m a 1975 fan, so my tolerance for self-indulgence is pretty high, but I think this marks my limit.
- ‘The End (Music for Cars)’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
Only slightly more engaging than ‘Streaming’ is Notes on a Conditional Form’s other orchestral interlude, ‘The End (Music for Cars)’. The fact it’s only the record’s third track – coming right after the explosive ‘People’ – really makes you feel as if the album has come to a grinding halt before it’s even started.
- ‘Pressure’ (The 1975, 2013)
A non-descript track on the band’s self-titled debut, Pressure is probably the 1975 song I most consistently skip. Thankfully, the band never phoned it in quite this much ever again.
- ‘12’ (The 1975, 2013)
The most disposable of the ambient interludes on the first album.
- ‘Antichrist’ (Facedown, 2012)
Look, I know I’m going to be spurned by the rest of the fan base for ranking this one so low, but I’m not sorry! Taken from 2012’s Facedown EP, the song is something of a fan favourite, to the extent that it’s become an in-joke that the band refuse to play it live. But you know what? I think they’re right not to! It’s dated horribly, the lyrics make me cringe, and the production sounds ugly! Move on, everybody!
- ‘Woman’ (Facedown, 2012)
Some of the live versions of this song are preferable – especially the version from NPR’s Tiny Desk concert in 2013 – but the studio version is an annoying listen. The lyrics reek of underhanded sexism and it features one of Matty Healy’s more obnoxious vocal performances.
- ‘Talk!’ (The 1975, 2013)
I wish I had a more constructive take on this one, but the truth is I just find the chorus irritating on the ears. “Why’d you talk so loud?” Why indeed, why indeed.
- ‘Girls’ (The 1975, 2013)
I won’t say too much about this one because I’m wary of triggering any more discourse, but however much of a bop this 2013 single is, the fact remains that the lyrics are woefully misjudged. A commentary on age gap relationships, the song sees Healy blame young women for getting too attached, while advising his fellow men that “she can’t be what you need if she’s seventeen”. Whatever the thought process was here, it’s a yikes from me.
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- ‘HNSCC’ (Music for Cars, 2013)
This gloomy instrumental from the 2013 Music for Cars EP generates a good atmosphere, and I can imagine it serving well as intro music at a gig, but I’ll be honest – it’s not one I go back to often.
- ‘The Man Who Married a Robot/Love Theme’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
Performed by Siri, this spoken word interlude serves as the weakest moment on the 1975’s best album. For me, it’s an obvious and predictable way to underscore the record’s themes, and while it’s entertaining enough when you first hear it, it doesn’t stand up to repeat listens. On release, critics compared this track to ‘Fitter Happier’ from Radiohead’s OK Computer, and in my opinion that’s a comparison that leaves the 1975’s effort looking like a pale imitation of something much better-executed.
- ‘She Way Out’ (The 1975, 2013)
Like ‘Talk!’, this one is a song whose chorus I simply find irritating. One lyrical moment I do enjoy though is “She’s got two-tone everything”. How very 2013.
- ‘Haunt/Bed’ (IV, 2013)
This one is about as bog-standard as the band’s deep cuts get.
- ‘Shiny Collarbone’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
This short-but-sweet collaboration with dancehall artist Cutty Ranks is a rare example of the 1975 making an experimental foray into a genre outside their comfort zone and coming out of it with something that sounds ordinary rather than exciting. And by the time you get to it on Notes on a Conditional Form’s messy second half, your patience is likely to be running thin anyway.
- ‘Head.Cars.Bending.’ (Music for Cars, 2013)
While perhaps not the most radio-friendly 1975 track, ‘Head.Cars.Bending.’ is exactly the sort of unusual recording no other band would make, and I respect it for that. Having said that, a masterclass in song-writing it is not.
- ‘M.O.N.E.Y.’ (The 1975, 2013)
The production on ‘M.O.N.E.Y.’ feels a little style-over-substance and the lyrical themes (materialism and drug abuse) feel better-explored elsewhere in the group’s catalogue.
- ‘Surrounded by Heads and Bodies’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
2018’s A Brief Inquiry… is arguably the 1975’s tightest and strongest album, so this song – a meandering account of Healy’s time in rehab – sticks out like a sore thumb. Next to the God-tier tracks elsewhere on the album, it sounds a little flimsy and forgettable.
- ‘What Should I Say’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
While it’s admittedly a foot-tapper, ‘What Should I Say’ is an example of homage veering into mimicry. The song sounds painfully similar to Kanye West’s ‘Fade’, and once you’ve noticed that, it’s hard to un-hear it.
- ‘Robbers’ (The 1975, 2013)
‘Robbers’ is a fan favourite, and I’ll admit that when they play it live you’ll see me belting out the chorus with the best of them. But in the cold light of day, it starts to look a little pedestrian compared to some of the other ballads in their discography.
- ‘Medicine’ (Standalone single, 2014)
There’s no way this track would have been released as a single were it not made as part of BBC Radio 1’s re-score of the movie Drive. That said, for a bit of ephemera made in-between album cycles, it’s pretty damn good!
- ‘Don’t Worry’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
There are a lot of contenders for ‘most indulgent moment on Notes on a Conditional Form’, and this – a schmaltzy version of a song originally written by Matty Healy’s famous father Tim Healy – is absolutely one of them. Featuring vocal contributions from Tim himself, the track is admittedly a tearjerker, though I don’t think it would be too unfair to suggest that the production is a bit pound-shop Bon Iver.
- ‘This Must Be My Dream’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
That this is the weakest track on the band’s sophomore album just goes to show how strong the record’s 17 songs really are.
- ‘Bagsy Not In Net’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
Would I want every 1975 song to sound like this? No. Is it one of the better detours on Notes on a Conditional Form? Yes. Would I have included it on the track list? Probably not. Do I love the whole album unconditionally anyway? Yes.
- ‘An Encounter’ (The 1975, 2013)
One of the strongest ambient interludes in the group’s discography.
- ‘Anobrain’ (Music for Cars, 2013)
This opener to 2013’s Music for Cars EP is an effective scene-setter, and it would receive a higher ranking had the band not done the same thing even more successfully elsewhere (including on the Facedown EP as well as all of their studio albums).
- ‘Having No Head’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
Another contender for most indulgent moment on the 1975’s fourth album, ‘Having No Head’ is a 6-minute instrumental which begins as a piece of ambient music and becomes an intense, unrelenting IDM track. Matty Healy called it his favourite thing on Notes on a Conditional Form. Because of course he did.
- ‘By Your Side’ (Standalone single, 2017)
In case you weren’t aware, the 1975 covered a Sade song in 2017, with proceeds from the single going to Warchild. Their version is stylish, emotive, sexy, and exactly the sort of unexpected thing we’ve grown accustomed to the band putting out.
- ‘Lostmyhead’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
This is a song that falls victim to I like it when you sleep…’s poor sequencing – plonking it next to one of the other ambient soundscapes on the album leaves the listener feeling restless. When listened to in isolation though, the swelling, shoegazey track can stir something in you.
- ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
I’m loath to complain about any song featuring Phoebe Bridgers, and at face value this is a lovely track, however…lyrically I do find it a bit tiresome. As an LGBT person, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little when British artists – and especially straight ones – write criticisms of homophobia as it manifests itself in the US. American evangelicals, however troublesome they may be, are easy targets as far as protest music is concerned. Luckily, there’s more biting political material to be found elsewhere in the 1975’s catalogue.
- ‘Undo’ (Sex EP, 2012)
‘Undo’ is a song the boys are clearly proud of – despite being released way back on the Sex EP in 2012, it was still being played live by the band as late as 2016.
- ‘So Far (It’s Alright)’ (IV, 2013)
This track’s witty and astute lyrics might see it rank among the 1975’s best early tracks had they not released ‘Menswear’ later the same year, which does all of the same things this is doing, just way better.
- ‘Intro/Set 3’ (Sex, 2013)
At some point during the promotional cycle for Notes on a Conditional Form in 2020, Matty Healy cited this obscure non-album track as his favourite 1975 song. I’d write this comment off as contrarianism if he hadn’t recycled its melody for the chorus of ‘The Sound’ in 2016.
- ‘Me’ (Music for Cars, 2013)
This is up there with the angstiest songs the group have ever put out, and I love it for that.
- ‘Please Be Naked’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
This ambient track marks the moment when the 1975’s second album goes from tight pop record to something altogether stranger.
- ‘I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
As far as ambient music is concerned, this is the band’s magnum opus.
- ‘Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?’ (The 1975, 2013)
Not many songwriters would be brave enough to end their debut album with a song about their parents’ divorce. But not many songwriters are Matty Healy, the reigning softboy king.
- ‘You’ (Sex EP, 2012)
I do enjoy this indie anthem. What I enjoy less is sitting through the ten plus minutes of silence afterwards while you wait for the Sex EP’s hidden track.
- ‘Mine’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
The fact this is only the third-best heartfelt ballad on A Brief Inquiry… says a lot.
- ‘Settle Down’ (The 1975, 2013)
I don’t revisit this one often, but I have to admit that in many ways it’s the platonic early-career 1975 track.
- ‘Inside Your Mind’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
Lyrically this is without a doubt one of the most intense songs Matty Healy has penned, containing lines like “I have dreams where there’s blood on you/All those dreams where you’re my wife”. According to a 2018 interview, his then-girlfriend found this a sexy sentiment. Each to their own.
- ‘Yeah I Know’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
By far the best bit of studio mucking-about from Notes on a Conditional Form, ‘Yeah I Know’ is an exercise in testing just how pared-back melody and lyrics can become before it isn’t a song anymore.
- ‘The 1975’ (The 1975, 2013)
It’s an unhinged choice to open your debut album with a high-drama introduction about receiving fellatio in a car. I’d expect nothing less from Healy and co.
- ‘The 1975’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
It’s an even more unhinged choice to do that again on your second album.
- ‘Human Too’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
Healy puts on his Justin Vernon hat for this silky and laid-back number. Shout out to Ross MacDonald’s sexy bass part.
- ‘If I Believe You’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
There’s something a little cynical about writing an atheist anthem in the form of a gospel pastiche, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t work.
- ‘The City’ (The 1975, 2013)
The 1975 are a band whose work has become an extended commentary on relationships in the internet age, so it’s interesting that their debut album begins with a song whose refrain insists that “If you wanna find love then you know where the city is”. In 2013, Healy said his music was about “the apocalyptic sense of being a teenager”, and I think this is one of the tracks that captures that theme best.
- ‘Heart Out’ (The 1975, 2013)
This 80s-inspired single from the debut album is one of the strongest indicators of what was to come for the band, including their first prominent use of the saxophone, an instrument which has now become a staple of their sound. Speaking of which, make saxophonist John Waugh an official member already!
- ‘About You’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
Wall-of-sound production is not necessarily what I go to the 1975 for, but it’s hard to claim that this song doesn’t come with an impressive sense of scale. The guest verse from Carly Holt, wife of guitarist Adam Hann, adds a homely touch.
- ‘Milk’ (Sex EP, 2012)
Originally a hidden track on the Sex EP in 2012, ‘’Milk’ was given a new lease of life when it was rereleased as a standalone track in 2017, and deservedly so.
- ‘The 1975’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
Consistent with the rest of the album’s quality, A Brief Inquiry…’s version of the eponymous intro is the best version.
- ‘Facedown’ (Facedown, 2012)
I’m fond of the title track of the Facedown EP – and evidently so are the 1975, since they reused part of its lyrics and melody four years later for ‘Lostmyhead’.
- ‘People’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
I’ll never forget the feeling of pressing play on the lead single from a new 1975 album and it sounding like…this. One of my favourite things about the band is their ability to jump from genre to genre, and ‘People’ is perhaps the best example of that. Metal purists may turn their noses up, but I think the boys do a pretty good impression of a rock band for three minutes here. Rage Against the Machine who?
- ‘Nothing Revealed/Everything Denied’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
This song could consist of its self-referential opening lines alone and its position in the ranking would not change. “I never fucked in a car, I was lying. I do it on my bed lying down not trying”. I’m still laughing more than two years later.
- ‘Looking for Somebody to Love’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
The 1975 do their best impression of Springsteen-via-the Killers on this absolute banger from their new record. Its hack message about school shooters does leave me slightly rolling my eyes though.
- ‘Be My Mistake’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
How you feel about this song depends on whether you can stomach lyrics like “You do make me hard but she makes me weak”. What you’d struggle to argue with is that it’s one of Healy’s most vulnerable bits of song-writing.
- ‘The 1975’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
For their fourth album, the band replace their by-then-routine blowjob anthem with…a 4 minute monologue from Greta Thunberg. I screamed then and I’m still screaming now. Only the 1975.
- ‘I’m In Love With You’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
With an infectious chorus which carefully skirts the line between catchy and annoying, the track sees Healy eschew his usual nudging and winking in favour of lovey-dovey earnestness. And he pulls it off – although I can’t help but smirk at the fact FKA Twigs has had a song this structurally conventional written about her.
- ‘Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy)’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
A standout from Notes on a Conditional Form, it’s remarkable that this track was never released as a single.
- ‘Oh Caroline’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
The band channel Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long (All Night)’ on this track, which includes one of Healy’s most stylish vocal performances.
- ‘She Lays Down’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
True to form, the 1975 close off the best pop album of 2016 with an acoustic ballad about Healy’s mother’s post-natal depression. It’s heart-breaking, sensitively-written, and somehow improved by the fact he sounds totally knackered on the recording. The softboy king strikes gold again.
- ‘I Think There’s Something You Should Know’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
This garage-inspired track is one of the unlikely highlights of the group’s fourth album.
- ‘When We Are Together’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
‘Witty country-ballad’ seems to be an emerging subgenre in the 1975’s music, and I’m in favour. Recorded at the eleventh hour by Healy and Daniel, this song is the perfect way to end the band’s fifth album.
- ‘All I Need to Hear’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
This stark and straightforward ballad, released in the lead-up to Being Funny in a Foreign Language, has somehow cast a spell over me and I just keep going back to it. If I didn’t know better, I’d interpret its unblinking earnestness as a sign that Healy may have taken off his irony hat for good.
- ‘Guys’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
The final track on the 1975’s fourth album is an ode to…the 1975. If you don’t go just a little bit glassy-eyed when hearing Matty Healy telling his bandmates they’re the best thing that ever happened to him, then I don’t know what to do with you.
- ‘102’ (Unreleased)
I’ve been a bit cheeky including this, since a studio recording has never officially been released by the band, but there are plenty of recordings of it out there, and it’s truly a fan favourite. Healy claims it’s the first song he ever wrote, and while it’s nowhere near as strong a song as many that came later, it’s a remarkable blueprint for the honest song-writing he’s now known for.
- ‘Wintering’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
‘Christmas song’ was definitely not on my Being Funny in a Foreign Language bingo card, but I’m not complaining.
- ‘Roadkill’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
A stream-of-consciousness depiction of life on tour, ‘Roadkill’ sees the 1975 conspicuously borrowing the signature sound of New Jersey country rockers Pinegrove – to fantastic effect. (Insert hot take about Matty Healy saying the f-slur here).
- ‘Chocolate’ (The 1975, 2013)
It’s overplayed to the point of parody, but it is bloody good.
- ‘Love Me’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
I like to think that when the 1975 released this song in 2016, Prince heard it, and recognised that he’d successfully passed on the mantle. I suppose what I’m trying to say is...this song killed Prince.
- ‘Playing on My Mind’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
This acoustic ballad – which benefits from a ghostly Phoebe Bridgers guest vocal – contains some of the best lyrics in the 1975’s catalogue, including the all-too-relatable line “We’ll find something to watch then watch our phones for half the time”.
- ‘Nana’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
Against all odds, Healy manages to avoid cliché completely with this ode to his late grandma. I get weepy the moment I hear “I wish you’d walk in again – imagine if you just did”.
- ‘She’s American’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
The truth is that I find the lyrics of this one a little misogynistic – it’s unfortunate that in his attempt to skewer US superficiality and materialism, Healy ends up pointing the finger at women. And actually there are much better choruses than this elsewhere on the album. Why then is it so high? Well…it’s literally down to the drum fill at the start of the song. I don’t know what to tell you.
- ‘UGH!’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
If someone were to ask me what the 1975 sound like, I’d probably play them this.
- ‘The Sound’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
- ‘Loving Someone’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
In many ways a proto ‘Love It If We Made It’, ‘Loving Someone’ sees Healy picking up social issues, giving them a little sniff, and then putting them back again. It’s the sort of 1975 track that their detractors would probably especially hate. I like it!
- ‘Fallingforyou’ (IV, 2013)
matty healy if you’re reading this i am free on thursday night. if you would like to hang out i am free on thursday night when i am free to hang out. i am free to hang out on thursday night so if you want to hang out on thursday night i am free.
- ‘Frail State of Mind’ (Notes on a Conditional Firm, 2020)
Something would be amiss if a band as in-tune with the zeitgeist as the 1975 hadn’t released a mental health banger in 2020. Taken from their fourth album, this anxious electronic single feels as if it’s haunted by the ghost of UK garage.
- ‘How to Draw/Petrichor’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
This experimental track from the third album may appear to be made up of two totally disconnected songs, but the tension it builds in its first half makes the latter half feel extra cathartic.
- ‘Spinning’ (Standalone single, 2021)
As a massive fan of both acts, I couldn’t believe my luck in 2021 when I found out that the 1975 and Charli XCX had worked on a song together, and ‘Spinning’ absolutely did not disappoint. An honourable mention goes out to the AG Cook remix.
- ‘The 1975’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
The band change tack for the self-titled opener on their fifth album, opting for a fully-fledged song which sees Healy address his audience directly, declaring poignantly “I’m sorry if you’re living and you’re seventeen”. It’s a disarming way to open a record, even if the song itself is perhaps too outrageous a rip-off of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friends’.
- ‘I Couldn’t Be More In Love’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
Matty Healy channels his inner Phil Collins on this 80s-inspired ballad, which even goes as far as to include a dramatic key change. An uncomfortable love letter to the band’s fan-base, the song paints a desperate picture of co-dependency.
- ‘Then Because She Goes’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
This shoegaze track stands out in the band’s catalogue because there isn’t really another 1975 song like it. Cacophonous and dreamlike, its brevity and its elusive title leave you wondering what you’ve just experienced.
- ‘I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
Though its title at first appears nonsensical, ‘I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)’ soon reveals itself as a song attempting to make sense of how existentially threatening feeling sad can be. It’s the perfect album closer.
- ‘Narcissist’ (Standalone single, 2018)
This collaboration with No Rome is a bop too often forgotten by 1975 fans.
- ‘Sincerity is Scary’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
This self-awareness anthem is the song that saw the band fully and completely embrace the saxophone, and they’ve never looked back. I’ll say it again: hurry up and make saxophonist John Waugh an official member!
- ‘Love It If We Made It’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
The centrepiece of A Brief Inquiry…, this is the song that got Matty Healy in hot water when he tweeted a link to its music video at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. It was no doubt tone deaf - but it was also a case of Healy forgetting what he’s good at. At their best, the 1975 ask question after question and refuse to ever provide proper answers, and that’s part of their magic. Rather than a definitive political statement ‘Love It If We Made It’ is just a list of traumatic bits and bobs rearranged with a pop chorus in the middle. And I think there’s a place and time for that…but admittedly that place and time probably isn’t as part of a global civil rights conversation.
- ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’ (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)
Juxtaposing sunshine-and-rainbows instrumentals with devastating lyrics is one of the 1975’s most reliable tricks, and this pop anthem about being addicted to heroin is an example of that trick working very well indeed.
- ‘Menswear’ (The 1975, 2013)
The lyrics of this witty vignette – which detail Healy’s chaotic antics at a wedding – don’t begin until halfway through the song, with the instrumental first half cycling around a silky, hypnotic groove. It’s still one of the coolest and most peculiar tracks the band have ever put out.
- ‘Somebody Else’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
How this Tears for Fears influenced ballad manages to be so sexy while simultaneously being so drippingly sad I will never ever know. A career highlight.
- ‘Give Yourself a Try’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
Driven by a deliciously tinny guitar riff and drum machine, this track is the perfect opener to an album about a society poisoned by the internet. I don’t think it’s too much of a reach to suggest that the lyrics, which repeat the titular mantra in the choruses but are jaded and cynical in the verses, represent a scathing attack on toxic positivity.
- ‘Part of the Band’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
Wacky production, opaque stream-of-consciousness lyrics, and a lack of a discernible chorus make this a surprising choice for a lead single, but the 1975 are anything but predictable. Some people might be wishing Matty Healy talked about his dick less in his songs; others might be put off by the presence of Jack Antonoff, pop’s most prolific producer. I for one have listened to this song hundreds of times since July.
- ‘Me & You Together Song’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
If the band’s early material is about “the apocalyptic sense of being a teenager”, then this song is about making you misremember your adolescence as something magical and romantic. As soon as I hear those jangly early 00s guitars, I’m whisked back to every teenage crush I ever had.
- ‘If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
This track has one of those choruses that it’s hard to believe hadn’t been put to tape by anybody before 2020. Infectious and effortlessly cool. Make saxophonist John Waugh an official member!!!
- ‘Happiness’ (Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 2022)
Please forgive me if this is recency bias at work, because the song only came out a couple of months ago, but at the moment it’s the song I enjoy dancing to more than any other. I can completely change the course of a bad day by putting this on and boogieing in my room.
- ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
What better way to represent the existential anguish of living in the digital age than screaming “I’m scared of dying” through an auto-tune filter over a trap beat? This song makes me feel things I didn’t know I could feel. It should hang in the Louvre.
- ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, 2018)
I wish I could explain why this flimsy song is one of the best pieces of pop music I’ve ever heard in my life.
- ‘Sex’ (The 1975, 2013)
I’d be lying if I said this song hadn’t dated quite poorly – the production is very of-its-time and the lyrics refer to skinny jeans, high tops, and backcombed hair. It also blatantly steals its opening line from an LCD Soundsystem song. But despite all this I think it still stands up as the 1975’s best attempt to capture the harrowing, horny adolescent experience. A triumph.
- ‘A Change of Heart’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
The band channel Madonna’s ‘Crazy for You’ on this brutally honest ballad. I’d say it contains Matty Healy’s best lyrics, if the next three songs on this list didn’t exist.
- ‘The Birthday Party’ (Notes on a Conditional Form, 2020)
Healy speak-sings his way through a witty and moving country ballad about the struggle of staying clean. I get goose-bumps every time that saxophone comes in at the end.
- ‘The Ballad of Me and My Brain’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
Sometimes artists can alienate their audience when they write songs about being famous, but I think the 1975 pull it off here. The production is compellingly weird, Healy’s vocal performance is maybe his best ever, and watching him perform it from an inside a giant iPhone at the O2 Arena in 2019 is something I’ll never forget.
- ‘Paris’ (I like it when you sleep…, 2016)
It’s the song that made me fall in love with the band, so my number 1 was never going to be anything other than this. Widely regarded as a fan favourite for good reason, ‘Paris’ is a song that combines an infectious pop melody with some of the bleakest lyrics you’ve ever heard in your life, to devastating effect. At a recent concert, Healy introduced it by saying “This is my favourite song”. Me too, Matty. Me too.
Being Funny In A Foreign Language is out now.
Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.
More about: The 1975