Picutre of the 1975
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The 1975: Four guys, five albums and twenty years 

10 mins read

October 14 witnessed the highly anticipated release of the 1975’s fifth studio album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language.

Starting out in 2002 in Wilmslow, England, they went by numerous aliases, such as Drive Like I Do, before eventually setting on the simplistic, but iconic number. 

The band has grown from being a little band for pastel-grunge Tumblr teens in the early 2010’s, to one of the most celebrated main stage acts at the 2022 Reading and Leeds festival. 

The past ten years have seen the 1975 grow to extraordinary fame and popularity, resonating with thousands of fans and reaching a level which certainly exceeded their expectations.

So, with the ten-year anniversary of their debut album looming and amid the new era, now feels like the perfect opportunity to explore the 1975’s musical career.

The era of: The Self-Titled Album 

The 1975’s self-titled era was introduced with a collection EP’s starting in 2012 before they dropped their debut album on 1 January 2013, with the deluxe shortly following suit. 

The Clash magazine gave it an 8/10, describing the release as a “diverse record unafraid to challenge pop music perceptions.” 

This album contained sixteen songs. From the indie pop tunes of Heart out,  Girls and Chocolate– all which give the feeling of youthfulness- to the heart-wrenching love-stories of Robbers and Woman. 

Matthew Healy, the bands vocalist and primary lyricist, introduced us to his now infamous cynical brain with his charismatic lyricism and whilst touring, began to establish himself as memorable frontman. 

The album was an emotional nuclear bomb, a complete mash of blatant and hidden feelings which is what makes such an intriguing whiplash of an album. 

The 1975 indulged in the critical acclaim that followed for three years, before releasing their second studio album in 2016. 

The era of: i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it 

This 17 track, 75 minute album massively contributed to the band’s fame with NME placing it the 6th best album of the decade

Despite the change of aesthetic from black to baby pink, Healy once again took us into the darker corners of his mind as he struggled with drug addiction and negative headlines from the press. 

Nevertheless, the band weighed heavily in on synth, 80s-inspired indie pop ballads that had an agonising underlying message to them. 

From discussing turbulent atheism in If I Believe you, to the somber break-up ballad Somebody else, the album provides admirable levels of emotional diversity, leaving listeners with an existential crisis that will prove beneficial. 

Credit: NME

The era of: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships 

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is the band’s third studio album. 

Released in 2018, It gives us an insight to how the band’s sound has evolved into something new whilst maintaining their much-loved witty, narcissistic, and distressing lyricism. 

The album covers themes such as the internet, love, relationships, and drugs; in a generation conditioned to be obsessed with social media, it would be hard to find someone who can’t resonate.  

The rawness in Healy’s voice during I Couldn’t Be Any More In Love speaks of his tumultuous period before his rehab. It’s so heartbreakingly beautiful, but leaves listeners sorrowful and questioning everything. 

Lyrics such as ‘but your death it won’t happen to you/ it happens to your family and your friends’ speaks of the turmoil the band, especially Healy, felt at the time. 

However, songs such as Love It If We Made It and It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) establish themselves as the upbeat anthems despite having chilling meanings about current society. 

It’s clear to state that this band just improves with age, but what direction the band would take after their third successful studio album left fans questioning for 2 years. 

The era of: Notes on A Conditional Form 

The 1975’s fourth studio album, released during the Covid-19 lockdown in May 2020, was significantly more experimental than their previous three, the primary example being the lead single People

The album was completely divisive, with The Independent awarding one star and NME going for five stars

The musical chaos Healy had created with severe shifts in sound from track to track means the album isn’t a smooth listen; in fact, it’s probably better shuffled. 

But from the dance anthems of Shiny Collarbone and Having No Head, to the acoustic folk ballads of Playing On My Mind, and Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America, it’s hard to find a song on here that doesn’t fit every mood and moment. 

With collaborations from Phoebe Bridgers, FKA Twigs and, surprisingly, Greta Thunberg, Healy still managed to deliver a lyrically intricate and thematically interesting album. 

It’s easy to state this album didn’t have its major era moment unlike the 3 preceding ones, but to say it didn’t have an impact on fans and music would be false. 

The band decided to take a hiatus immediately following the release of the album, leaving fans questioning their return.  

The era of: Being Funny in a Foreign Language 

Last week, The 1975 delivered what is arguably their best album yet. 

Now in their 30s, you can hear the maturity and developed perception of life through the course of the entire album. 

The album takes the elements of what fans loved most about their first albums, but with a modern twist.  

Through the Spotify Story feature, Healy tells us About You is a continuation of Robbers and I’m in Love With You lifts off where A Change of Heart left us, giving fans the much-needed nostalgia from earlier eras. 

The quirky themes from their later releases are also represented in this nostalgic road trip of an album, as Looking For Somebody (To Love) is actually about school shootings, continuing on with their theme of talking about hard-hitting issues in up-beat 80’s inspired tracks. 

This album isn’t only reminiscent of their prime but is also a love letter to The 1975’s origins now that the band, particularly Healy, are in the strongest mental, physical, and musical state they’ve ever been in. 

It’s an excellently cohesive album with a perfect balance of low-tempo serenades, to typical 1975 indie tracks.

They talk about love (a lot), society, and welcomes us to a new era of health and growth with a perfect amount of craziness. 

They, of course, continue on with their amazing lyricism with ‘I’m sorry if you’re livin’ and you’re seventeen’, ‘we get married in our heads’ and ‘The only time I feel I might get better is when we are together’. 

It’s everything you could want in a The 1975 album. 

We may be biased, but the albums, specifically Being Funny in a Foreign Language deserve 5 stars.

But because of how perfect the new record is, could a Grammy be in their sights? 

The new album fits snuggly into their current discography, perfectly reminiscent of their early days but with the addition of the air of maturity they’ve grown in recent years, we are certainly excited as to where the next era will take us. 

Featured image: The 1975 via Instagram

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BA(Hons) Psychology
Politics and Music journalist

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First year English Studies & Journalism student with an interest in film & tv, politics and music.
Live on Air3 Mondays 3-5

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