The 1975 new album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships – on first listen


The 1975 at Liverpool University

As The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships dropped this week, Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan offers her verdict  on the world’s biggest hyped record yet.

Tell me in 2016 when I Love It When You Sleep came out and I’d writing this and be, like what now? Why are you listening to pop music, get back to your fuzz guitar.

But here we are, it’s 2018 and The 1975 just released their third full length album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships to quite an insane amount of hype.

It felt like half the album already had videos on YouTube by the time it was released, anytime some news happened my Twitter feed blew up.  There have been murals popping up in London and Manchester and my recent trip home to Birmingham greeted me with floor to ceiling adverts in New Street Station.  It’s hard not to get sucked inside the bubble. So how did we get here?

For about a year now it’s become a running joke that my biggest guilty pleasure in life is The 1975. Discovered through an old friend around a year ago I sat in the office at work with their YouTube top tracks playing whilst doing paper work. My first thoughts were, this is pure pop crap the likes of Capital FM play which i get force fed at work every day.

I definitely rolled my eyes at the bright and shiny video for Love Me with shiny shiny women rolling around in hot tubs drinking fizz. On a second run through I started to listen to the lyrics, watch the videos and process the actual music.

I found that if you listened to the lyrics in a sarcastic way, they made a lot more sense.  Every song was just one big eye roll and it’s safe to say not long later I was hooked.

It was literally like a bright neon rectangular light turned on in some deep dark musical part of my brain.

After listening it opened up a whole world of sounds I felt I could listen to . It stopped the pretentiousness and snobbery of listening to music, don’t take yourself so seriously and just have some fun.

Has Dirty Hit created some kind of Josie and the Pussycats group with hidden subliminal messages YOU MUST LOVE THIS BAND?

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When I first heard Give Yourself A Try i thought oh no they’ve finally gone to a pop sound I actually can’t find accessible to my ears. This is too much. But no, that took over too. Eventually.  I hated the jarring guitar sound that appears all the way though, but listen to the lyrics What would you say to your younger self? It’s about learning to like yourself and find out who you are and that tinnitus inducing guitar turns into some friendly TV static.

Plus TooTimeTooTimeTooTime is possibly the most annoying song on the entire album.  It’s one of those catchy and annoying radio friendly auto tuned vocals with 90s piano songs that gets stuck in your head for an entire day.

The song that gave me hope was Love It If We Made It, first heard off an iphone at work.  It’s a powerful shunting steam train of a song where every line is a statement from modern day life apparently found from collecting newspaper headlines.  Truth is only hearsay, We’re just left to decay, Modernity has failed us.  With references to Kanye West, Donald Trump and Lil Peep complete with 80s style saxophone break and funky bass lines.

The 1975 sticks with their tradition of the self titled opening track, but this isn’t quite the normal subtle instrumental.  This time we get blasts of over processed robotic vocals, the music is already in your face from the beginning.

How To Draw/ Petrichor starts like the track I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It in a beautiful twinkly fluttering of sounds which turn into fucked up sleepy EDM.  Did you tune your radio in right? Just take a listen, that’s exactly how this track sounds.

Surrounded by Heads and Bodies, the title taken from the David Foster Wallace novel Infinite Jest (because apparently no one gets past the first page of the book according to Healy) and Be My Mistake are both beautiful acoustic songs with fragile vocals and atmospheric background noises that almost sound like Conor Oberst‘s Bright Eyes.  With the former being about Healy‘s time in rehab and the latter about being in a casual relationship where you actually fall in love and feel guilty, not realising what you had.

Everyone has their own ode to Heroin and It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) is about Healy‘s own struggles but disguised as a super fun and catchy 80s synth pop love song.

Sincerity Is Scary is the song I heard and somehow fell in love with.  It’s been shared numerous times across my Instagram stories mainly because the jazzy beats and the lyrics that flow like beat poetry are just too cool. Featuring Grammy award winning jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove.

History lesson for the future The Man Who Married A Robot/Love Theme is a spoken word song performed by iphone‘s Siri about a man falling in love with the internet (bear with us, and listen to the way the voice isn’t smooth but broken up and struggles to pronounce some words).  The accompanying music is beautiful, atmospheric and at times cinematic.  But the vocals turn it into something more haunting, jarring and lonely, all about life online.

Carrying on with the darkness online, Inside Your Mind is a morbidly obsessive song that’s very stalker like in a way that we’re all being watched by others thanks to our online presence.  It’s slightly dark, brooding and heavy hearted with very filmic horror soundtrack qualities.

Mine is a song where Matty Healy can join Alex Turner in his sleazy 70s hotel and casino on this song, singing in a hotel lobby.  This song has JAZZ FLUTE, twinkly jazz, lounge jazz, with weirdness and it’s fucking gorgeous.

Going into a cheesy 90s ballad I Couldn’t Be More In Love reminds me of being 11.  The cheesy guitar solo is going to look great played live back lit with some neon and smoke. So what about these feelings I’ve got? We got it wrong and you said you had enough. Woah, real life shizzz right there.  That hurt.

Finally, the last track on the album is an epic, it’s THE gigantic stadium song (as if they couldn’t make any more bigger songs) and it’s also a stadium song that sounds like it should have been made in the late 90s. I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes) sounds like a song that should have been on the radio when i was in school.  It’s got Manchester Britpop vibes and I was floored.

The song ended and i actually thought, that every time I’ve rolled my eyes when I read this album was a millennial masterpiece it was actually true all along.

So we here at Getintothis cover new music, and as much as you want to roll your eyes The 1975 are new music. Not necessarily in an unsigned band, emerging talent sense but in a style, genre and content sense. The whole album, like their others shouts about real life. The millennial life. Headlines from newspapers. Drug addiction, online dating. Bringing the old heroin addiction song into 2018. Yep it is heavily auto tuned. But that’s new music, using Siri to perform spoken word into a song is using current modern technology in music. It’s pushing boundaries yet infectious and the more I listen to it the more I love it to bits.

The 1975 are already imaging up next album to be released next year for the ‘next culture’.  The state of mind us millennial’s have of getting bored easily and moving on to the next big thing (See their recent Ariana Grande cover of Thank You, Next).

And are beginning a gigantic UK in January supported by No Rome and Pale Waves meaning that tickets are selling fast.  This will be one to get down early for, check out Matty Healy‘s appearance on No Rome‘s Narcissist track and No Rome‘s appearance in The 1975‘s video for It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You).  We’ve heard the Manchester date is gearing up to be something special.

January 9 Belfast SSE Arena
January 10 Dublin 3Arena
January 12 Glasgow SSE Hydro
January 14 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
January 16 Brighton Centre
January 18 London The O2
January 19  London The O2
January 21 Exeter WestPoint
January 23 Birmingham Arena
January 24 Manchester Arena
January 25 Sheffield FLYDSA Arena