As I sit here looking at a blank page, pondering about how I’m going to approach writing about The 1975’s gargantuan third album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, I turn to my dear friend procrastination and flick open Twitter on my iPhone. After a few minutes of scrolling through an endless timeline, disgusted and amused simultaneously, I had the belated (and probably way too obvious) realization that A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is an exploration of our codependency of the things – whether it’s drugs, sex, the internet – we use to temporarily numb the sting of loneliness.
Much has been written about The 1975’s leader Matty Healy decision to spend six weeks in a rehab facility in Barbados to fight his addiction to heroin – a stint that helped Healy reflect not only on his life, but the lives he was affecting. His decision to get clean came shortly after the band started writing A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, so unsurprising a lot of the lyrical content is derived from the recovering addict’s time spent in therapy.
On June 1st, 2018, The 1975 finally announced that the name of their new album would be A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships and released the brilliant single, “Give Yourself a Try.”
The first and most recognizable part of the song is the looped Adam Hann guitar riff that sounds almost abrasive, however the lyrics and Matt Healy’s vocals quickly bring the listener in with his trademark croon. The drum beat from George Daniel is precise and consistent, with very little variation. This beat is likely intentionally simplistic to bring the attention back to the lyrical content and soaring choruses. The bass line from Ross MacDonald complements the drum beat, however it’s not in the forefront as much as it was on the band’s previous two full lengths. The guitar and vocals are clearly what propel this song.
After teasing “June 1st” for months in early 2015, The 1975 began posting cryptic images with text such as, “Pay not attention babe — it’s all pretend. Part of an act!!” and “Be Young and Shut Up.” Following a very brief disappearance from social media – prompting break up rumors – the band promptly returned on the afternoon of June 1st with a new pink album cover and revamped aesthetic. Gone was the expected black-and-white personality we had all welcomed from The 1975, welcomed was a splash of color – pink. Pink photos emerged, a pink album cover that mimicked that of 2013’s self-titled album, and pink attire.