Back in February, The 1975, a band from Manchester widely known for the songs “Chocolate” and “Girls,” released their second album I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware. This album has been perceived quite well, gaining multiple stars from Spin and NME. The band hasn’t truly cared about critics though; it’s always been about the fans from day one. High album sales and accolades are great, but reaching the people is more important.
Even from the first album, this band has always placed deep messages in catchy pop songs. Matty Healy, lead singer and primary lyricist, doesn’t write songs about anything or for the radio; he writes what him and the band are experiencing or thinking. For example, “Love Me” rejects fame and embraces fans, “If I Believe You” is of the struggle of believing in a higher power and “Robbers” is a toxic relationship disguised in a love song.
As a writer, one of the reasons I’m so attracted to this band is because of their genius lyrics. Most mainstream radio songs have the same structure with repetitive lyrics that are usually about sex, love or a breakup. And listen, I fan-girled just as much when “Pillowtalk” came out and couldn’t help but sing along to my guilty pleasure “Worth It” in the car, but sometimes I want something more. I want something with substance or something that makes me think. The 1975 has that.
While incredibly difficult to choose, I’m counting down the best The 1975 lyrics:
10. "Get in the shower if it all goes wrong." (“The City”)
Getting in a shower, not only allows you to become clean, but also escape whatever is bothering you. You can take a breather, calm down and wash off the negativity. If everything goes wrong, just go take a shower. It sounds too simple, but it’s true.
9. "My broken veins say that if my heart stops beating, "We'll bleed the same way.”’ (“Pressure”)Like the song, this line is a reminder that while the guys are super famous, they’re still humans. They go through the same emotions and experiences regular people do. Anyone who feels like they’re outside the norm can probably relate too.
8. "You said I'm full of diseases/your eyes were full of regret/and then you took a picture of your salad and put it on the Internet." ("A Change of Heart")
Many of us have probably reached that stage in a relationship where we know it’s inevitably ending. We’re able to take off the rose-tinted glasses and truly see the other person. Then they try and insult you, taking no responsibility for what they’ve done, so you end up seeing how ridiculous they are and start to bother you. Yeah, that’s this song.
7. "I'll give you one more time/we'll give you one more fight/said one more line/will I know?" ("Robbers")
The narrator is addicted to two things: drugs and the other person. Both are bad for you, cause you to do dumb things and can end up killing you. There’s always that “one more” before officially giving up each other and/or the drugs. But it’s becomes a cycle of this leading all the way to rock bottom. It’s the gloomiest love song ever.
6. "Mr. Serotonin Man, lend me a gram/you call yourself a friend?/I got two left feet and I'm starting to cheat/on my girlfriend again." ("Paris")
I’m in love with this Mr. Serotonin Man character. I bet he serves happiness on a plate and is on call 24/7. Low serotonin levels lead to depression and anxiety and can be incredibly serious if there isn’t enough. It has it’s own medication (SSRI=Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) to treat it. He’s able to help the narrator who is reckless because of his low chemical levels. If only he was here in real life.
5. "It's not about reciprocation, it's just all about me/a sycophantic, prophetic, Socratic junkie wannabe." ("The Sound")
This is just a really fancy way of Matty mocking himself. In a lot of his lyrics he’s observant of himself, but in a very self-deprecating manner. So many fans idolize him, maybe on the verge of worship, and are influenced by him and his actions. Of course, the egotistical part of him loves it, but we all know it’s fake. I’m totally going to use this next time someone gets too vain.
4. "And if I believe you/will that make it stop?/If I told you I need you/is that what you want?/and I'm broken and bleeding/and begging for help/and I'm asking you Jesus, show yourself." ("If I Believe You")
Most of us have all questioned some higher power at one point or another. Why is there so much bad happening if there’s this almighty being? Matty has never been on for religion, so it’s not surprising he’s wrote this. It is unusual to have a song questioning God so openly and criticizing this belief. Another lyric from this song is ‘if I'm lost then how can I find myself?’ It makes me think of Amazing Grace, which is about one finding themselves after God has found them. I told you, deep.
3. "I'm the Greek economy of cashing intellectual cheques." ("Loving Someone")
Hearing this line made me almost do a double take; maybe it’s because I can relate to it. He’s trying to prove his intelligence and sophistication, but his knowledge is like the Greek economy, which is really, really, really bad. The whole song is a take on social observation and what’s happening. Everything from the media selling sex to the refugee crisis to the duality of art and reality.
2. "I'm looking through you/while you're looking through your phone/and then leaving with somebody else/no, I don't want your body/but I'm picturing your body with somebody else." ("Somebody Else")
Let me tell you, I feel this. I’m sure you’ve been in a place where you’ve seen your former significant other with their new partner and felt it too. You may not even want them anymore, like how it is in the song, but you’re still affected. It’s haunting and chilling and something that makes you want to drink. The genius music video, which was released a little more than a week ago, was just as heartbreaking. The message of loving yourself before loving anyone else is controversial, but the video shows the self-destruction that can happen. If you want to feel, really feel, you’ll enjoy this one.