Three years after the release of their self-titled debut album, The 1975 are back, brasher, and more bizarre than ever with I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.
The wordy title alone lets you know what you’re in for as soon as you start listening to the LP: a little neurosis, a lot of earnestness, and some truly sharp and poetic lyricism. Sure, the Brit band’s lurid guitar-pop melodies are a blast to listen to — hell, even the four ambient tracks are gorgeous — but it’s the album’s sharp songwriting that really sticks with you.
Frontman Matt Healy comes off as quite the egomaniac at times, but damned if he isn’t full of gumption and charm, too. As he muses about fame, faith, relationships, and mental health, he tends to spew out brutally honest critiques of both himself and the people around him. He’s not afraid to call anyone out on their shit, ultimately leaving you with some great advice about how to navigate this crazy world. Here are seven such examples from the album, out Friday:
“Hey! Would you like to look outside sometimes?/ I’m just with my friends online/ And there’s things we’d like to change”
Healy told NME that this song, “Love Me,” is about “a lack of self-awareness,” saying, “I’m making an observation on the glaringly obvious superficial elements that surround my life and the culture that I feed into.” This opening line seems to capture that feeling perfectly by being a wake-up call of sorts.
“Keep hold of their necks and keep selling them sex/ It’s better if we keep them perplexed/ It’s better if we make them want the opposite sex”
On “Loving Someone,” Healy’s asking who’s going to “show the kids that they matter.” He laments at length about “celebrities lacking in integrity” who are being set up as role models, and talks about the importance of self-discovery. AKA, don’t let yourselves be brainwashed, kids!
“Hey boy stop pacing around the room/ Using other people’s faces as a mirror for you”
You know when you’re trying to “read” other people and figure out what they think about you? Everyone’s guilty of it at some point or another, but it’s not a super healthy thing to do, as Healy figures out on the opening lines of “UGH!”
“I’m looking through you/ While you’re looking through your phone/ And then leaving with somebody else”
There are plenty of lyrics on this album that express what Healy thinks about the way technology’s shaped our lives. The dude clearly (and understandably) has some ill feelings toward it, especially when someone he’s trying to talk to is prioritizing their phone (or, even worse, the person on the other end of their phone) over him, as is the case on “Somebody Else.”
“I got my pen and thought that I’d write/ A melody and line for you tonight/ I think that’s how I make things feel all right”
Everyone has their own ways to work through issues, cope with pain, and practice self-care. For Healy, as he sings on “Nana,” it’s songwriting (and thank goodness for that, because otherwise we wouldn’t have The 1975, amirite?).
“You’ve been reading about yourself on a plane, fame for a change/ Caught up in fashion, Karcrashian panache”
Healy goes on a bit of a tirade during “Love Me” about fame and narcissism on this track, cleverly twisting the Kardashian name to mock people who “represent a decline in the standards of what we accept,” as he later says.
“I said, ‘Don’t fall in love with the moment’/ She said I’ve got a lot to learn”
On “She’s American,” Healy’s singing about an intense (and maybe short-lived) relationship with an American girl who’s way different than him. One thing they seem to disagree on is whether or not living in the moment and being in love with a feeling is a good thing or not. He seems to figure it out for himself later on in the song when he sings, “Don’t fall in love with the moment/ And think you’re in love with the girl.” It’s ultimately a warning not to let your emotions go too far too fast, because they can be deceiving. Pessimistic? Maybe, but it’s also not terrible advice.