Instead of posting each individually, here’s a roundup of The 1975 content from around the internet today. Some interviews, some reviews. This should keep you busy through the weekend.
Counter-culture will always exist. If loads of teenagers see grown-ups screaming into the internet then they’re probably going to go, ‘I’m not going to do that, because that’s for grown-ups.’ That’s kind of how cultural movements work. There’s a reason that every single teenager has a Polaroid camera now, and we sell vinyl at a rate that hasn’t been as big since the 80s. There’s this reversion to tactility and authenticity, and it’s a counter-cultural movement that’s really interesting.
“Is this record better than the first record?” Matty asks himself, thinking out loud. “It depends. It depends what your gauge is. My intention was always to soundtrack the lives of young people, or myself and by proxy the lives of young people. So, if your barometer of success or quality is how much it’s done that, then the first album is better. The first album is more nostalgic and wrapped up in peoples adolescence and journey, so it is kinda silly of me to sit here and boringly say ‘this is our best record’ because it’s a bit of a cop-out. It’s just an easy answer to sound confident.”
That’s right, yeah. I don’t [write songs about addiction] so everyone goes, “Oh, look honest he is.” It’s because it’s really genuine catharsis. It’s just how I negotiate with the world, and the ability to wake up every day and to use music to make me feel better and give me a purpose and stuff like that. That whole “a love song that’s actually about something else” happens all the time on the record. I mean, “I Couldn’t Be More In Love” — that is our most torch song by the sounds of it, and that song’s not about love at all. It’s about me being terrified of what happens when people stop caring. I know that may sound like a weak thing, but I don’t think artists admit it enough.
He goes so far as to say making punk music isn’t very… well ‘punk’ anymore. “If you’re doing something that’s been done before you are the opposite of punk. You are the opposite of alternative. You are a conservative.” This is why Healy would rather work within the realm and ideas of pop. “Going into pop music, the biggest genre in the world and changing it, changing what it means to people and subverting it, that’s ten times more punk than any bullshit view of what punk is.”
Such a riot of excess may cause the casual observer to think: Who the fuck do these guys think they are?! This is reasonable. But it is also misguided. Because the 1975 are a thrillingly unreasonable band for unreasonable times. Healy is their generational mouthpiece—a guy who’s never met a contradiction he couldn’t fully inhabit, to arresting effect.
Image isn’t everything, and for the 1975, as it is with Father John Misty, it’s something that can be weaponized. It’s a secondary mode of communication between artist and audience. The obnoxious, self-satisfied, self-aggrandizing avatar they erect front and center is a Trojan horse meant to be destroyed. Give the new album a hate listen (which is, itself, an act of interlocking irony and sincerity not far removed from the band’s whole deal in the first place). Don’t be surprised if a few salient moments on the album worm their way into your everyday.
And if you’re looking for even more, here’s some of the best profiles to come out during this cycle.