The 1975 are a band that have been capturing the hearts of thousands since their break in to the music scene in early 2014 with the release of Chocolate, a single from their debut self-titled album. At least, that’s when I first caught wind of them up here in Canada. I’ll admit, I wasn’t much of a fan at first, being put off by lead singer Matt Healy’s at times hard to understand vocals. At the same time though, even I couldn’t deny how infectious and catchy Chocolate was, whether I could understand it or not.
I didn’t become the massive fan I am now until last year, months after the release of their second album, i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. I gave the band a second try and quickly became enamoured with their music. Though their use of callbacks to the 80’s in their instrumentals and quirky lyrics, the 1975 have managed to establish a unique and unmistakable sound for themselves.
Here are my top 10 personal favourite songs by the band. Keep in mind that I’m not claiming to be a professional music critic here (though I do love criticizing music, but that’s a topic for another day). These songs are my favourites for a combination of reasons, which I will explain for each pick.
Enjoy, and feel free to leave your favourites in the comments if you’re a 1975 fan too!
The spacey, airy, atmosphere of this song to me always perfect captures the feeling of being intoxicated by love, or even lust. It’s a good sex song – and you’ll hear me say that about a lot of 1975 songs. The biggest reason that this song made my list is the sentimental attachment I have to it. When I hear it, I can’t help but be reminded of the night that my boyfriend and I spent last summer before we were dating, drunk at a friend’s house, sharing a couch meant for one person all night. To me, that innocence and wonder at the prospect of finally being with that person you’ve wanted for a long time – yeah, that’s what gets me about this one.
Favourite lyric: What time you coming out?/We started losing light/I’ll never make it right if you don’t want me round/I’m so excited for the night/All we need’s my bike and your enormous house
I will stand by my opinion that this is by far the most catchy 1975 song. The bubbly beat contrasts the kind of depressing lyrics about a cocaine addiction, and what can I say – I’m a sucker for upbeat sounding songs with deeper lyrics. I love listening to this song and focusing on a different layer of it each time. I also love the more raw tone Healy’s voice has here, especially in the chorus.
FL: Oh the kick won’t last for long/But the song only lasts 3 minutes/I think I’ve lost my phone/So won’t you call it up for me?
Now this is a song that sounds depressing, and is depressing. Healy takes on very personal issues here in this song that even if you are unable to relate to, are easy to understand. The raw emotion in his voice and the lyrics he sings always stirs something deep inside of me. You can’t help but vividly feel his pain as he sings about considering taking his own life. The simple ping-pong beat and slower synths in the background allow for all of the focus on Healy and his words, and it works incredibly well. This is one of my go-to feel sad songs, and I adore it.
FL: I’m sorry but I’d rather be getting high than watching my family die
7. Love Me
The jarring guitar riff at the beginning of this song was what I hated about it most when I first heard it, and now it’s the very thing I love most about it. This is probably the most retro sounding song the band has recorded, and my God I love it. So does my mom for that same reason. With Love Me, I don’t pay much attention to the lyrics, but rather just enjoy every second of the instrumental. It’s a song that I love blasting in my car with the windows rolled down, and though I love that the 1975 can evoke a strong emotional response from me with their lyrics, I love that they can do it with their actual music too.
FL: Hey! Would you like to look outside sometimes?/I’m just with my friends online
Speaking of amazing instrumentals, that’s all the first two minutes of this song really is, and it’s the best part of it. Well, the buildup that the instrumental creates is the best part of it actually. As the beat kicks in and the sounds become more complex I can’t help but feel my emotions build with the music. I anticipate the moment the lyrics explode into the mix, somehow always managing to catch me off-guard no matter how many times I hear the song. But the lyrics here aren’t lacking either – they’re witty, a little passive-aggressive, but most of all fun. This is a song I never get tired of hearing.
FL: He looks just like me, but 6 foot 3/So I reckon you could knock him out
I feel like this is the 1975 song that makes almost everyone’s favourite list, but there’s a reason for that. The instrumental fade-in at the beginning of the song that somehow manages to set the tone perfectly, the chilling lyrics and the longing way that Healy sings them – to me, it’s an almost perfect song. It’s just so atmospheric, and I get absorbed in all 4 minutes and 15 seconds the way I would in a good book. This is also another 1975 song that has a lot of sentimental value to me, and for that reason it always hits me a little harder when Healy sings, you look so cool.
FL: But if you just take off your mask/You’d find out everything’s gone wrong/Now everybody’s dead/And they’re driving past my old school/And he’s got his gun, he’s got his suit on/She says, ‘Babe, you look so cool’
4. A Change of Heart
This song is an anomaly to me. Normally, I’d be annoyed by the whining synths, passive-aggressive lyrics, and the melody that is all over the place, but again, those are the things that I love about this song. The bouncy synth on the beat that almost sounds like tin drums, the simplicity of the song that somehow makes it more complex – I adore it. While I do think it’s instrumental is its strong point, A Change of Heart’s lyrics are a lot of fun too. That feeling of realizing someone isn’t exactly who you thought they were and regretting starting anything with them in the first place is again something that I find very relatable. Here, Healy uses the lyrics to paint both himself and this girl in a not-so-nice light, making the whole story feel a lot more like reality than an ego-boost or a ‘holier than thou,’ sort of thing. I also have to acknowledge the reference to Robbers here- it adds some layers to the story and is a smart way of rewarding 1975 fans for their careful listening.
FL: You smashed a glass into pieces/That’s around the time I left/And you were coming across as clever/Then you lit the wrong end of your cigarette
3. Somebody Else
I could call this the song that truly got me into the 1975. I watched the music video by my friend’s recommendation the day it came out and after that I was hooked. Again, it’s just so damn atmospheric. I can always insert myself into the narrator’s position – hazy, confused, miserable, jealous, a little drunk. It became the soundtrack to my summer of 2016 and what I was going through around that time in my personal life only made the song that much more important to me. I remember one night I had gone for a run when a thunderstorm had broken out while I was far from home, and I put this song on repeat as I embraced getting soaking wet and seeing the lighting in the distance. It’s moments I’ve had like that one with this song that make it one of my all-time not just 1975 songs, but songs in general. I could go on for hours about it’s tone, lyrics, music, and of course it’s music video, but I have 2 more songs to go.
FL: Get someone you love?/Get someone you need?/Fuck that, get money/I can’t give you my soul, ’cause we’re never alone
Objectively, I believe this is 1975’s best song. It was their first single in 2013, and for a lot of fans, including myself I think it embodies what we love about the band. The driving guitars, and Healy’s classic vocals and racy lyrics all come together here to create the band’s most obviously ‘rock’ sounding song. Everything about it works so well, I don’t even know what I can say that everyone else hasn’t. It’s a song that I always want to hear, I never tire of, and everyone seems to like. It’s smart, undeniably catchy, and has that thing that I’m a sucker for – the upbeat sound with the sadder but clever lyrics, this time about someone being a little more invested in an affair than the other is. It’s a good sex song, I guess, but a great song in general.
FL: And she said use your hands and my spare time/We’ve got one thing in common, it’s this tongue of mine
Yes, this is my number one. I don’t even know where to begin with this song and what it means for me. Have you ever seen or read The Perks of Being A Wallflower? If you have, then you’ll know what I mean when I say that this is my tunnel song. I don’t know if there are many other songs in the world that can make me feel what this one does. The lyrics, though vague, symbolize a lot for me in terms of my personal life. That’s how I could summarize this song for me – personal. It represents overcoming obstacles, getting over something that had been dragging me down for 4 years, moving to a big city away from everything that was hurting me at home. That’s not to say that the instrumental doesn’t play a part in this emotional climax for me, in fact, it might play a bigger role. Those opening notes always signify to me that I’m going to feel okay, that I’m going to be okay, and when those triumphant sounding guitars kick in during the chorus, that’s exactly how I feel. Proud that I’ve made it, proud that it ‘takes a bit more,’ to truly bring me down. This song will forever hold a place in my heart that none other could, and it truly sums up why I love the 1975 and their music.
FL: It takes a bit more than you
What are your favourite 1975 songs?