Ahh, The 1975. A band that has changed so drastically, yet so seemingly effortlessly since their debut back in 2013. I actually even remember the first time I heard “Chocolate” on the radio and immediately thinking “I NEED to know who this is”, to hearing their second effort I like It When You Sleep… for the first time, to running through Target to get a physical copy of A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. I’ve been following this band for a rather long time and at no point do they fail to amaze me. The way they’ve bended genres and boundaries, always experimenting and expanding to new territories is exciting and keeps fans on edge for what they’re going to do next. For this post however, I want us to take a look back instead of forward, to their debut self titled record from 2013. The bands self titled debut solidified their presence on the music scene with wonderfully produced songs ranging from indie rock, pop, electronic, and emo, along with other small sprinkles of various genres. It’s an album filled with so many emotions and a wide range of thoughts than anyone can listen to it and relate to it in some form. It’s an album that’s a staple in many listeners’ music libraries and quite possibly one of the best albums from 2013.
To keep things simple (simpler, I mean), I’ve decided to only discuss the songs featured on the standard edition of the album. The bonus tracks are all wonderful but the record becomes a bit dense with that much music to go around, so we are only going to be talking about the original sixteen.
I always found these intros to be a little pointless, but I guess it is a good way to introduce the album.
At it’s base level, this is just a really cool, indie rock song but the thing that makes it even more worthwhile is its legacy. The upbeat tone of it keeps it memorable but the way the band has referenced it later on in their career shows its relatability and longevity.
I think this band has always had a zanier side to them, and this is an early representation of that. With certain effects, many of which I can’t even describe, added to this song and so many layers, we’re already introduced to how creative this group is and we’re only two songs in.
This is one of those songs that defined a time period but doesn’t even sound like it came from that time period. I vividly remember being crazy obsessed with this in 2013 and 2014, knowing that it would live on a lot longer than that. Even hearing it now brings back the same excitement that it did back then; that guitar riff truly never gets old.
One of the only deeply rooted rock tracks on the record, this song is a true epitome of the genre. It’s backed by a bright guitar and remains one of the most energetic, charismatic and relatable songs out of them all. Even acoustic versions manage to contain the exact same feel that the original does, never once losing all of its redeemable qualities.
The images presented to us in this one based off of the lyrics are interesting, along with the instrumental that just kind of sparkles in the background. It’s one that I haven’t managed to completely pin point the meaning of which isn’t is bad thing. The ambiguity of the track is what keeps it interesting among instrumental that may appear disorienting at first listen.
I’m not crazy about interludes and this one really isn’t anything special but as far as the record goes in terms of content, it sees like this serves as the divider between the more youthful, confused themes of life and steers us into songs that explore themes of figuring out certain things.
Before sitting down to write about each of these songs, I completely forgot how this one sounded. But one thing I didn’t forget was that they’ve included a small saxophone solo in the bridge that perks up the rest of the calm instrumental, and I don’t think I will ever forget how these lyrics make feel. Something about this one feels so youthful and curious in the best absolute way, and it’s nice sometimes to revisit those feelings of a new love as portrayed in this song.
Sonically, this one fits rather closely among the rest but where it takes a contrast is the lyrical content. Whereas most of the other songs see our narrator chasing a girl, this song instead portrays a relationship that he knows he has to keep a secret and would rather not be around her in front of other people. It’s also a standout track melodically, creating the perfect pair to these exacting lines.
Can we just really quickly mention how good the original version of this song is? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about just search it up on YouTube). This song is ridiculously somber, centered around a couple who are basically just trying to steal more time together even though they know their relationship is doomed. But oh man, is it sonically a wonderful track. It’s a slow burn, composed of a slight humming synth, even drum beat and short guitar riff, but manages to encompass so much emotion and drive.
The bright guitar riff that makes up this track is addictive and the way the words are written in a narrative type of way makes this one of the most memorable songs from this project. This is simply just an infectious, pop leaning song with a really fun feel to it.
Another interlude, similar in tone to the previous ones. I think this also just leads us into the next phase of the record where we’re solidifying our opinions and experiences, and moving forward with life while reminiscing on some of the best parts.
“She Way Out”
Basically a song about girls who can’t dance. It’s comical because we all either know that person, or are that person.
This track details an experience at a wedding, and is quite possibly the most eccentric and hard to grasp song on here. It’s a trip sonically, going through various synthesizer noises mixed with hand claps and distorted vocals. The lyrics are rather honest and kind of funny, and although this might not be my favorite track on here, I do feel like the record would be missing something without it.
This is definitely in my top three favorites from this record, and it’s one that bums me out but also lifts my spirits at the same time. And I know there are other people out there who know what I mean. The instrumental and melodies are addictive, with this being probably my favorite chorus out of them all, along with the saxophone that ties everything together. It’s one that you really have to pay close attention to, or it’ll be over before you know it.
“Is The Somebody Who Can Watch You”
The ending to this wild ride of an album ends with…a short piano song? As the rest of the songs almost take on a life of their own, this one is simple and doesn’t ask for too much attention. Rather, it provides a more heartfelt moment on here, and remains reassuring and calm.